As leading government relations recruiters, we are painfully aware of all of the implications of a possible referendum regarding a British exit from the EU. Any such referendum, if it comes at all, may not occur until next year, but both sides are already making strong arguments. Opposed to the exit are most companies in the automotive industry. They believe any move by Britain to leave could harm them.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, a number of their member companies have prepared case studies demonstrating the adverse impacts of a British exit. Those six companies are:
In addition, 92% of the organisation's members said in a 2014 survey that they would be better off if the UK remained part of the EU under a plan of reform. As many as 75% believe that an exit could harm them by reducing foreign investment.
All Eyes on the Prime Minister
At this point, all eyes are now firmly on Prime Minister David Cameron to see whether he can successfully renegotiate Great Britain's position within the EU. Cameron has stated that he also prefers to remain, but he is willing to hold a referendum before the end of 2017 if he cannot get what he wants in a reform proposal. Cameron's government is already preparing for negotiations that could determine the future of both the United Kingdom and the European Union.
Should the UK make an exit at the end of 2017, the UK economy could suffer. However, that is mere speculation. Proponents of the exit strategy claim that any impact would be minimal at best. Many believe there will be no impact at all in the short term, and a favourable impact over the long term.
At the end of the day, the automotive industry believes that a British exit would be harmful to them. They will be lobbying Cameron to work out an agreeable reform measure that would prevent an exit. You can bet those on the other side will be lobbying just as aggressively. As government relations recruiters, we will be in the thick of things as we help our clients find the best candidates for their positions.