Brexit — three months on

When the UK voted to leave the European Union, the general opinion was that we were in store for a sharp recession. The pound crashed against the dollar overnight, and the country prepared for armageddon. Three months on, things are — if not perhaps rosy — stable. The quick intercession of Bank of England governor Mark Carney calmed the immediate concerns of a lot of business leaders, and, despite the uncertainty hanging over it, there has been ‘no major effect’ on the economy.

As we’ve previously said, Brexit spells a lot of uncertainty for the tech community as well as the banks in the city. The best startups in the city rely on EU workers to fill their ranks. Companies like TransferWise rely on access to the EU single market to keep their business growing. Without this surety, several companies — TransferWise being one of them — have hinted that they will have to leave the capital and move to a city which still allows them access to the EU, or at least focus resources on other European cities.

While uncertainty hangs over us, there will always be instability. However, on the ground we’re seeing business as usual. Recruitment CRM provider Bullhorn released a report on post-Brexit trends. In it, the company found that most recruitment firms are feeling optimistic about the next two years. 64% of firms expected revenue to increase between now and 2018.

Jobs site Reed posted a 6.5% increase in applications a month after the vote, while Monster said they were down by 2.5%. These mixed figures are far too early to be taken without a pinch of salt. The government’s jobs figures themselves were positive after the result, with unemployment down to 4.9%, from 5.5%. But, again, it’s too early to assess the full impact of the vote. The government will be releasing a full report on October 27th, with an assessment of the last three months and how the referendum has affected the whole economy.

From our own experience, we have found that companies are not slowing down in their hiring strategies. We and everyone we work with are operating under the mantle of ‘business as usual’. We’ve been able to hire new staff to deal with our workload, and we haven’t seen anyone else in the industry relenting on hiring strategies or holding off on new hires.

Private Eye hit the nail on the end with its article on Brexit. Uncertainty is surrounding us, but for the time being we haven’t even had Brexit yet and we should make the most of the situation. It’ll be two years before we leave Europe, and that’s a lot of time to assess and react to events. With a calm, measured response, we can turn Brexit into the Brenaissance!

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