The immediate concerns in running the country will be to stabilise markets, ensure liquidity and put in place an interim Government able to take reassuring day to day decisions. And such decisions will be needed. Word comes to us that companies are already cutting budgets and some are preparing for recession. The very people who decried ‘the elites’ in voting for Brexit will be hardest hit. There is no economic freedom in leaving Europe.
It will be left to a new Prime Minister to lead us out of Europe. And with what mandate can they govern? David Cameron only won a General Election a little over a year ago. Can a new Government last for over three and a half years without facing the electorate? Leaving Europe may not be a sufficient mandate to decide on the many complex issues involved in running a country. It is why single issue referenda lead to bad government.
Politically, there will now be a battle for the soul of the Conservative Party and make no mistake, this is a victory for the Right. If they continue to triumph then the far Left will respond. And across Europe and beyond, similar battles are underway. However self-inflicted voter disaffection may be and however poor established political leadership may seem the threat to consensus politics is no solution.
So for companies going forward, managing the shorter term pressures of a weaker economy and longer term pressures of an uncertain Europe will be uppermost in their minds. As the consequences of today’s decision grow, it may also be wise to review crisis communications strategies. Next stop, President Trump…