Is Brexit affecting your Engineering?

Status quo is an interesting concept. On the one hand, we know that patterns exist in our lives and we all have some things that make us feel comfortable. On the other hand, we live in a world that is always changing, especially since the arrival of the internet and the effects of modern technology. For many, the EU (including the UK) was the status quo, at least until it was destabilised by the UK referendum of 2016.

Although the question: should the UK remain or leave the EU is interesting, the truth is that no one really knows (or knew?) as there are so many uncertainties involved. Furthermore, (and this is where I think it becomes more complicated) people have different interests and ambitions that are likely to be affected by Brexit. These interests and ambitions, which I must note may well be praiseworthy, will inevitably sway peoples’ preferences.

Putting aside the Brexit question, one thing that we can be certain of is that Brexit, whether it happens or not, is already having an incredible effect on business, and indeed engineering. These effects may well increase in the near future, and we need to both understand them and also develop strategies to deal with them. Many good businesses and organisations have already, as one would expect, run sophisticated initiatives to understand and evaluate the risks involved, and have planned responses to situations that may arise. Some have done detailed scenario-based analysis to help them prepare for different outcomes of the Brexit negotiations. Others may even have performed a thorough SWOT analysis to help identify opportunities for growth and threats to be dealt with. Responses that I have come across have varied considerably.

Having studied the Brexit developments so far, and having been involved in discussions with colleagues and various businesses about Brexit for a while, I have taken the initiative to put some of my thoughts in writing. Some of the issues which I am exploring and I think are of particular interest to readers are: what are the main aspects that are being affected and are likely to be affected? What are engineering companies doing to prepare for Brexit and are they appropriate? What strategies could help companies to thrive or survive through a potential storm? (if readers have other questions to raise, please do)

You might not be able to influence the outcome of Brexit negotiations, but by being proactive and developing an effective strategy you’re going to be better off.

 

Dr Muhammad Khan

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