Its the day before the UK national referendum and I wanted to send a quick note to everyone whether they are based in the UK, rest of the EU, Middle East, or North America.
As a UK founded company but now worldwide company this is an important day and I wanted to explain my personal view on the potential effects. First and foremost I will start with saying that no matter what happens Dreamtek, The Virtual Forge, and the UK will be just fine. So my views are based on what is better for the nation and company.
In terms of the business group our amazing customers are international. They operate in the UK as a base because it makes sense for their business and the markets and ease of doing business attract them. The EU is the market they want to work with and market to easily. If either were impacted, as a leave would do then the pull of gravity will make itself felt on those businesses. Currently the UK is the best place to be based to make the most of the massive European market. Tomorrow that could all change. We will always be a UK company but any change could impact how we access a market that is already very important to us. As an example we as a company export products and solutions. When we do so anywhere other than the EU it becomes a complicated and expensive exercise that could make us less competitive. There are numerous other unknowns such as currency and tariffs. All of which could make life more complicated and at a time we want to focus on the business opportunity we don’t want to have external factors distract and impact our plans. And beside its great working with people from other countries and backgrounds. Why would we want to walk away from that?
On a personal note as a Canadian/Irish immigrant who studied European history and still has a passion for it I find the whole situation confounding. My wife and I have been so welcomed here and I hope we have made a positive contribution in the over 20 years but the day I did some research on what our likely status would be after a leave vote was pretty sad. Many of the issues talked about in the campaign have to do with austerity budgets not immigration. The reality is when a vibe has been created that all immigrants are not welcome and it applies to the oligarch, the business owner, and the Syrian refuge all the same. At least the first two have options. Immigration adds to this country not takes away from it.
As a history buff I have thought Europe has a history of warfare and in the scheme of things its recent and it is no coincidence that this period of peace is at a time of European integration. An integration whose cornerstone was laid by Winston Churchill who as I recall he was very pro Great Britain. The UK did not seek to start the first two world wars but that did not stop it being dragged into them. For me peace and prosperity is the only real argument that needs to be made. Tell those in the Ukraine war can’t happen in Europe.
No doubt the European Union government is bureaucratic, bloated, and in need of a good kicking. The UK is uniquely placed with the strength of this debate to do that. But the spirit of the EU is beautiful, inclusive, and our best hope of relevance and prosperity. Also remember the European Union is not the only Union on the ballot. The UK is a Union if distinct nations and the prospect of 3 out of 4 home countries voting to remain within a leave vote makes for a complicated few years in domestic politics.
For me vote remain for prosperity, peace, and more opportunities for our children.
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