Well, the people of Britain have now spoken – albeit not that clearly given a 51.9%:48.1% split in the referendum voting figures. Nevertheless, it’s a democratic decision and now the word on almost everyone’s lips is “Brexit”. Despite a protest march and some other attempts to try and overturn the result or re-run the event (constitutionally problematic?), previously ‘pro-remain’ politicians in Britain now appear to be fully accepting the decision and will actively participate in what is set to be the long process of extricating the countries of the UK from central EU control. Hopefully this ‘divorce’ will be an amicable one, retaining the good will and well established personal and trading relations with EU citizens and companies.
Looking at the statistics of the vote for a moment, which give an interesting insight into some demographics of the voting electorate, it appears that the leave result was swung somewhat by the over 60’s with younger people voting quite convincingly to remain – but being fewer in number the overall impact was dampened (perhaps apathy or indecision among the young led them not to vote?) Age, aside, other demographics from the 382 separate voting areas indicated that ‘Leavers’ tended to be more prevalent in low income areas and (paradoxically?) from areas most economically dependent on the EU; whilst ‘Remainers’ tended more to be degree-educated, in jobs requiring a degree or have not travelled abroad recently (non-passport holders) but of course there was no clear-cut divide as these were statistical trends and I know many in the more elderly spectrum voting to remain .
All sorts of financial and social consequences of a vote to leave were mooted and, indeed, the expected dismay and turmoil on world financial markets followed the largely unexpected result immediately and although nerves (financial markets, at least, at the time of writing) seemed to have calmed somewhat, people in different industries and professions will be wondering what the future operating landscape for their businesses will look like.
In the second of these two pieces we shall consider some of the arguments for and against ‘Brexit’ for the Pharma and MedTech industries and whether there is any indication of what happens next.