Don't play with Europe

Written by: Tim Fryer | Published:

Only two days now until votes are cast. In a previous blog I expressed, rather despondently, that such was the disappointing choice of political alternatives then, all other things being equal, it would be as well to vote for the local MP who is most likely to improve the prospects of your company.

And I remain convinced that there is little enthusiasm, perhaps with the exception of Scotland, for anything, let alone change. However, there is one subject that may have a genuine impact on the engineering and manufacturing sector, and that is of Europe.

Despite what the naysayers say, if the UK is in the EU or leaves it, such is the scale of the markets on either side that business will find a way. Long term function will remain largely unaffected whether in or out. However, the short term consequences of dithering for a year or two while we negotiate what to have a referendum about, is not what business wants to hear. To think that this will result in instability may be going too far, but certainly it will encourage caution possibly to the point of stagnation. At a time when the best way to relieve austerity is growth, this cannot be a good thing.

So however inconsequential our relationship with Europe may ultimately be, it is too important in the short term to be used as bait to keep Tory voters from switching to UKIP. If we could individually trawl through the policies of the main parties and pick and choose what we want, then what would be created, personally, would probably bear little resemblance to either of the main parties. But it certainly wouldn't have a guaranteed referendum on Europe thrown in.

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