Well, it’s now over 4 months since the UK voted to leave the EU, and what do we know so far?
Not much, is the answer. Theresa May’s assertion that “Brexit means Brexit” actually means precisely nothing, as no-one really knows what shape the exit negotiations will take.
And with the government stating that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which initiates a 2 year EU leaving process, won’t be triggered until at least 2017, collectively we still have years of being in limbo land.
This has already created a ripple effect of uncertainty for catering equipment suppliers.
I know of several which have suspended their marketing budgets, while the latest CESA Business Barometer survey reported that nearly two thirds of respondents think the economy will not perform well, though only 38% thought their own sales would drop.
But are the market jitters themselves going to be the cause of a sector slide – a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Another string to the uncertainty bow is catering equipment regulation. Many rules have been generated by the EU, so what will happen once the deal to leave is finalised?
Most in the sector would say it would be foolhardy for the government to develop separate requirements, given that 44% of the country’s overall exports and 53% of imported products come from EU countries.
But if the UK is going to expand trading relations with superpowers such as the US and China, might it tempt the government to tweak regulations towards those markets?