MPJ has been asked what will Brexit mean. The one thing we can tell you with absolute certainty, there has never been a time like this when buying British equipment means getting a real bargain. If you have US, Australian, NZ, or Canadian dollars, euros, yen, RMB, or pesos, get on the next flight to the UK – and bring your wallet.
During the run up to the UK’s historic vote regarding EU membership, the facts, stats, and overreacts came fast and furious. Prime Minister David Cameron said that if the UK left, it could lead to World War III (you have to wonder if this was truly the case why did he chance it to a popular vote). While on the leave side, Michael Grove said that with the money the UK would save by not supporting the EU, Britain could build a new hospital every other week.
The leave side said with the UK out, Britain would become ‘Great’ again. The remain side said that by staying in the EU, the UK could retain it’s rightly spot at the dinner table of Europe.
Remain questioned why would anyone want to leave the world’s largest trading partnership; the leave side stated that Antarctica was the only continent with slower economic growth than Europe.
Now one-week post-vote later, the dust has yet to settle, but the disruptions happening are not what was anticipated. Both major political parties are going through a leadership crisis which resembles the good times of Germany’s Weimar Republic except without the blood – hardly a day goes by without a newspaper headline stating someone was stabbed in the back by plotting ex-friends.
For those expecting great things to come out of the leave vote, it’s become clear that the architects of the leave campaign really weren’t expecting to win and they have no clue as to what to do next. For those expecting great things to come out of the remain vote; they too could make no long-term predictions.
The only one who seems to be truly loving the moment is Nigel Farage of the UK Independence Party. Speaking in Brussels this week, he said: “Seven years ago when I stood up and predicted this, everyone laughed at me. Who is laughing now?”
The European Commission is in the tough position of wanting to punish the UK, while at the same time showing that anyone can leave a cooperative agreement. The last thing they want is a sudden stampede of other countries pulling out and this could be the case. Indeed, some commentators are wondering if when Britain signs the final ‘divorce’ papers in two years’ time, will the EC still be around to accept them?
What does this all mean to the UK/European meat, poultry, and feed sector? Nobody knows and that’s the only fact out there. Britain is far from being self-sufficient in agriculture; the last thing the farmers of France, Spain, and eastern Europe want are tariffs imposed on Britain by the EC.
British pig and poultry farmers have told MPJ repeatedly over the last few years that as much as they try, they find it near impossible to get local youths interested in the farming industry. Without Polish labor, their farms would go bust. The last thing the UK agriculture side wants are draconian immigration laws.
But very short term, if you can sign a contract tomorrow to buy UK processing or packaging equipment, do so NOW. As predicted, the pound fell mightily against the US dollar; as predicted the rates are slowly climbing back up. You might never be able to get a bargain like this again in your lifetime.