Post-EU referendum – what about your business?

June 23, 2016

Today the country votes on whether to REMAIN or LEAVE the European Union (EU). But what happens then – and how might the result affect your people management and ultimately your business?

People Management recently asked Chris Rowley, professor of HR at Cass Business School how UK employment might be affected post-referendum, “It is impossible to predict with any degree of certainty how UK employment may change. The most likely scenario is business-as-usual in the short term, as rules are unlikely to change dramatically in a sudden radical departure from the status quo. Even in the long term – and irrespective of the employment rights consequences of any new UK-EU relationship – so much employment regulation is now established as good practice that any attempt at unravelling it will not only be complex and slow, but be seen as regressive and counter-productive, and so undesirable not only for employees but also employers and politicians.”

What may happen from tomorrow?

The result should be known early on 24 June and it is likely that whatever the result the Prime Minister, David Cameron (leading the remain campaign) will make an official announcement of the result – though if it is really close then this may take some time to announce. As there’s been much scaremongering by both sides, and this has created uncertainty, a recount could create even more! So what does this mean for you and for your business?

Considering the markets, if the vote is remain then it is expected that the stock market would rally though a leave majority would cause a drop in the stock and money markets. Whilst politically, the EU Heads of State are keeping everything crossed for a remain vote – with diaries cleared for emergency meetings if the UK is set to leave the EU. Closer to home, though the leave campaigning Conservatives have ruled out a coup in the case of winning the vote, David Cameron’s position may be in peril. So even more uncertainty going forward…

What will happen if the leave vote is successful?

The process for leaving the EU is set out in the Lisbon Treaty – Article 50 – and though the Prime Minister said that the procedure would be started without a delay there is a 2-year long negotiation period including working out a new deal on trade between the UK and the EU.

If the UK doesn’t want to leave the single market, we may have to pay towards the EU budget anyway and still adhere to rules and regulations – plus allowing free movement within the EU may be still required. It’s unclear what would happen to UK citizens already living in EU countries – or EU citizens living here.

EU laws and regulations made over decades would have to be rewritten into UK law. The clock keeps ticking…

And if we vote to remain?

If the vote is to remain then things may change in any case. This may include countries using the Euro pushing for further integration, though David Cameron negotiated the UK to be in the single market but not in the Euro and agreed for the UK to be exempted from closer political union. Further change meaning further uncertainty…

How about 50/50?

A close vote may leave us with no option but for another referendum.

And now?

Though nothing will actually happen immediately, and time may tell as far as law making is concerned, there will be repercussions affecting business leaders based and working in the UK and the EU…and that may well mean YOU!

Whether it’s getting your business over the post-referendum blues, consulting about new processes to deal with people issues Brexit creates or someone to bounce ideas about how new opportunities could help grow your business, HR180 have experts in place who can help you fight your way through whatever follows during the next few weeks and years.

Contact HR180 – the HR180 Heroes – we’re on your side whatever tomorrow brings.



Leeds based HR180 is a team of superheroes in HR Outsourcing, Projects and Consultancy committed to work in partnership with organisations of all sizes to establish working policies to go above and beyond Employment Law requirements, to protect both employees and employers alike. We love to hear from you, so call us on 0113 287 8150 or hit the Rescue Me button.

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