BUSINESSES in the West Midlands are entering ‘unchartered territory’, a senior partner at a leading service provider firm has said in the aftermath of the EU Referendum.
As the public votes for ‘Brexit’ this morning, Sara Fowler, senior partner at Ernst Young, said Midlands businesses must use coming months to assess impact on trade, people and regulation.
She said: “We are now entering unchartered territory after the majority of UK voters chose to leave the European Union (EU) yesterday.
“It’s the first time a member state has left the union, and this means that the consequences are almost impossible to predict.
“Above all else, it is vital that the message that the UK is open for business should not change.”
Ernst and Young’s latest research on foreign direct investment (FDI) revealed the UK was the most attractive location for FDI in Europe last year, and that 2015 also proved to be a record year for the Midlands region – with 46 per cent growth in a number of projects.
However, Ms Fowler said businesses would need to work alongside the Government to ensure this remained the case in a post-Brexit world.
She added: “The UK will also have the opportunity to make new trade deals so it is important that key trading partners are quickly identified and negotiations accelerated.
“Businesses across the region must use the next few months to assess their position in terms of trade, their people and regulation.
“One thing is certain: Brexit will result in a number of large-scale changes for UK plc – in areas such as trade, employment, regulation and Government policy.
“Few changes are likely to happen overnight.
“As a result, businesses now have a prime opportunity to take proactive steps to prepare for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”