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For better or worse? What advisers really think about Brexit

Financial advisers, it would seem, just want the UK to get on with Brexit. These are the findings of Money Marketing’s latest survey, in which we questioned nearly 400 advisers up and down the country about their view on the most significant political change the UK has seen for decades.

Despite the group leaning toward the remain camp – nearly 60 per cent of advisers expressed this view – almost half (49 per cent) say they do not want a second referendum.

However, worries about the impact the UK leaving the European Union could have on advisory practices do persist, with continued uncertainty around trade and regulation weighing heavily on advisers’ minds.

The perceived intransigence of EU negotiators is hardening opinion, as is negative rhetoric and infighting among UK politicians. Financial advisers, like many other people living the UK, are now looking hard for the light at the end of the Eurotunnel.

Business impact

One of the most important aspects of Brexit is the effect it could have on UK employers and jobs. For advisers, this impact has, to date, been neutral. Nearly 70 per cent of advisers told us that, so far, the UK’s impending exit from the EU has not impacted their jobs, while two thirds (63 per cent) told us their companies and employers are also unaffected. Moreover, around 45 per cent believe they will be unaffected after Brexit.

While some might see this as complacency, according to Pimfa deputy chief executive John Barrass, this is, in fact, a fair assessment.

Barrass says: “Brexit is clearly affecting everybody. However, the majority of our members conduct little cross-border business so will unlikely be affected by any change to things like financial passporting, for example.”

Barretts Financial Solutions managing director Kim Barrett agrees. He says: “The financial adviser is fairly unique to the UK – Europe doesn’t really have a similar model – and almost everything we do is overseen by the FCA. So I don’t see it having much of an effect.”

However, for those that have seen a Brexit effect, more advisers do report negative consequences than positive, with nearly one fifth stating that Brexit has already had a slight or strongly negative effect on their jobs and employers (versus around 13 per cent reporting positive impacts). Furthermore, more than 40 per cent of advisers say their companies would be hurt by a messy EU divorce.

One chief concern for advisers is how Brexit might hurt UK savers’ personal finances – something we are already seeing evidence of in rising inflation as a result of a weaker post-referendum pound.

Rowan Dartington investment director Tim Cockerill says: “The UK is probably going to have slower GDP, people are probably going to earn less, inflation will be higher and so they will start being more cautious, and I don’t think they’ll want services like financial advice as much as when times were good.”

Another area of concern is the wider financial market, which many agree is likely to dip on Brexit – especially if negotiations fail – and the impact this will have on client portfolios.

Facts & Figures director Simon Webster says: “Brexit is one of the major concerns overhanging markets at the moment – if we crash out with no deal, a lot of markets will go south very fast while we work out what the hell is going on. It may recover, but it does cast a long shadow.”

Divorce settlement

As is clear from the above, most advisers would like to see a smooth and amicable divorce from the EU, with as much of the current arrangement maintained as possible.

More than half of those surveyed say they want the UK to stay in the single market, and that they support a transition period of at least two years.

Barrass says: “We must minimise disruption to business, otherwise clients will pay. We want a transition period as near to the status quo as possible. By staying in the single market and customs union, there will be no disruption to the way you handle investment funds.”

Despite this, though, a surprising number of advisers (47 per cent) believe that no deal is better than a bad deal.

Courtiers Asset Management chief investment officer Gary Reynolds puts this seeming contradiction down to a lack of foresight.

He says: “I don’t think a lot of people thought [Brexit] through in a lot of detail. A lot of people put out protest votes and didn’t think it was going to happen.”

However, on the no-deal scenario, Reynolds agrees, pointing to pro-Brexit economist Patrick Mimford, who argues that the EU is not a free trade area as you must be a member to qualify, and that the UK would benefit by leaving and then opening up tariff-free trade to the world.

Barrett adds: “What is so good about the single market? We’re talking about a bloc of 500 million people that includes a lot of nations that are not worth a jot to us in trade. Take those out and we’re talking maybe 300 million, and why is a bloc of 300 million people so much more important to us than China and India where you have 2.5 billion people? Or the US – which has 320 million alone?”

Perhaps unlike the majority of respondents to the survey, both Reynolds and Barrett underline a view that sees free trade with the EU as a red herring in both the pre- and post-referendum debate.

Brexit is one of the major concerns overhanging markets at the moment – if we crash out with no deal, a lot of markets will go south very fast while we work out what the hell is going on

Hardening of opinion

Instead, what may be at the heart of this contradiction in adviser views – that being a strong desire for free trade and single market membership while preferring a ‘no deal’ scenario – may be a hardening of opinion against the EU.

This is suggested by the nearly 60 per cent of survey respondents who state they believe the EU is being too inflexible in its approach – one of the strongest ‘agree’ answers overall.

Moreover, in terms of disapproval ratings, president of the EU commission Jean-Claude Juncker leads, with two thirds of those surveyed viewing Juncker more unfavourably than any other Brexit politician.

This attitude is further underlined by an increase in the number of advisers that would vote leave in a fresh referendum – up from 40 per cent in June 2016 to 42 per cent today.

On why one survey respondent would now vote leave, they say: “I only voted remain out of self-interest. I believe the response of the EU to Britain since perfectly illustrates why we should leave. I have no issues with each national government and their position. The unelected in Brussels, however, are a different matter. Obnoxious, parasitic, arrogant, self-serving and corrupt.”

Barrett is equally vehement: “Why should we lay down and let [the EU] walk all over us?”

Others, however, believe that current expectations of the EU are unrealistic.
Webster says: “Turkey’s don’t vote for Christmas. There is no way the EU was ever going to give us an easy ride out. Anyone that thinks the EU is going to give us a sweetheart deal because they love us and need our money is in cloud cuckoo land. There is too much political capital invested in the future of the EU for it to go any other way.”

Cockerill agrees, adding that too much emphasis has been placed on the importance of our market to the EU.

He says: “In the EU, political consensus is more important than trade. This is where we are falling down in negotiations.”

Adviser view: Olivia Bowen, partner, Castlefield Advisory Partners

“I don’t think Brexit will have a negative impact on us. If (and that’s a big ‘if’) there is less regulation, this will be positive for our business, as we won’t have to spend so much on compliance and management information, with most likely the same end result for clients. In addition, our clients will continue to have money to invest given that we invest globally for them – as I’m sure most do given globalisation means many companies are international. So yes, overall we hope for less regulation, but there are no guarantees – the FCA is well known for in-depth reviews and shake-ups of our industry!”

Moving forward

One area where advisers are united, however, is in their desire to see a more positive rhetoric from Westminster and businesses from here on. Combined with the 60 per cent who simply want the Government to get on with Brexit, an equal number of advisers believe it is the Government’s ‘duty’ to implement it. Now that it seems the UK is firmly heading for the door, it is time to talk up the opportunities.

Cockerill says: “I have not heard anything positive from the Government about the future – especially on our trading prospects with the rest of the world. We need that.”

As perhaps already indicated, an open and welcoming attitude to global trade is a hallmark of this debate. More than 60 per cent of advisers agree that the ability to sign trade deals with non-EU countries is ‘very important’ now – the strongest affirmative answer overall.

Regulation is another area of aspiration, as highlighted by numerous survey respondents.

One person who responded to the survey says: “The possibility of lighter, certainly less onerous, regulation in financial services is the biggest opportunity.”

Another adds: “We could have the freedom to reduce regulation and become more productive.”

Unlike Cockerill, others also believe that the market upheaval potentially caused by Brexit could create advice opportunities, with caution driving clients towards professionals, while others merely look forward to the stock picking opportunities in such a market.

Overall, the mood might be described as plucky resignation. Reynolds says: “Like the raft of regulation we advisers have to deal with now, if you take the view that this [Brexit] will create opportunities – which it will – and go in with a positive mindset, I suspect it will work out well for the UK.”

Thus, it would seem that, despite fears over how Brexit might impact businesses and clients, the UK’s financial advisers are ready for the country to start extricating itself from the EU.

As ever, clarity and certainty are desirable – as are current arrangements around trade, and a grace period in which Britain’s economy, legal and financial systems can adjust to their newfound independence. As some have argued, this may be a little too wishful. Regardless, though, the message is clear: keep calm, and Brexit on.

KEY NUMBERS

57.8% Voted remain

38.8% Voted leave

60% Say ‘just get on with it’

19% Say Brexit has already had a negative impact on their jobs

12% Say Brexit has already had a positive effect on their jobs

52% Say the UK should stay in the single market

47% Say no deal is better than a bad deal

58% Say the EU is being too inflexible in its approach

Jean-Claude Juncker: Most unfavourably viewed Brexit politician

David Davis: Most favourably viewed Brexit politician

Expert view: Let’s use common sense and put customers first

A democratic decision has been made by the UK to leave the European Union, and it is now up to our Government and the EU to negotiate a workable solution that we can all benefit from.

For most advisers, it will be business as usual. Larger financial services firms are more likely to experience issues, but our consultations have revealed a fairly balanced outlook for small and medium-sized practices. For those that do have European clients, our post-Brexit agreement with the European Financial Planning Association means advisers’ qualifications will be recognised by a number of EU regulators.

In terms of a transitional arrangement, the UK has made a commitment to recognising contracts made under existing arrangements, and it is logical to assume that this will be reciprocated as part of the exit negotiations.

Going forward, I’d like to see us adopt a common sense approach and work towards getting arrangements in place to put consumers first in any new regulation. We absolutely need to avoid the law of unintended consequences, which will, in turn, help to address or mitigate any negative impact on firms and advisers.

Let’s be confident, optimistic and make sure the best interests of the public remain at the forefront at all times. There is little point worrying about things we can’t influence. Instead, we need to concentrate on the things we can do.

Retaining a clear focus on the public’s best interest – which is mutually aligned between the UK and the EU – will help develop greater certainty and better outcomes for all.

Keith Richards is chief executive of the Personal Finance Society

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Comments

There are 61 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Shame people weren’t asked to what extent they were influenced by the big red bus and the £350 million a week they were told was to go into the NHS.
    As for the figures any idiot can play around with them. How about 63% not voting to leave? Powerful argument or just proof of the three great lies – lies, damn lies and statistics?
    Of course there should be a second referendum. If it was the right of the people to decide to leave (and the promise was not just a device to keep the conservative party united prior to an election, similarly to the 1975 referendum and the labour party)then it must be the right of the people to have the final say.
    My personal view is that Parliament should decide everything since that is what we pay them to do but when it comes to party unity and potential damage in an election parliamentary democracy goes out of the window.

    • I totally agree that parliament should decide everything. It has been said that referendums tend to produce bad results for the countries that use them, because of the lack of informed choice. And a subject as hard to get your head around as the effects of leaving the EU was as good an example of having no real informed choice, is as good an example of a bad referendum as you can get. It has totally divided the country and even caused many a split in families and friendships.

  2. Hard to see why you chose Keith Richards as an expert Rebecca. He hasn’t said anything of any substance. Just, basically, let’s get on with it. That’s just the same sort of thing you get from nationalistic brexit supporting members of the Question Time audience, wnat britain to be “great again”. Nothing constructive. And greatness is all in the mind. Just because britain has been a in the EU for years doesn’t mean its not a great place to live and just because the UK leaves the EU it doesn’t mean it’s going to be any greater. It’s all an illusion and one which has been used by the leading brexiters to create a groundswell of nationalistic fervour.
    Many brexiters are nationalists, which is obvious from the flag waving and the comments they make. Fervent nationalism is a dangerous place to be. It often leads to violence. Just look at the murders of Jo Cox and Makrim Ali.
    I haven’t even mentioned the Irish border problem (but neither has your expert). That’s probably because he hasn’t a clue how to solve it. How you control your British borders with no border is not very clear, is it. A lot of brits don’t give a toss about Ireland though. As long as everything is hunky dory in the UK. But it won’t be. And Britain will, eventually, rejoin the EU, as the older population die off, or even before that. But they won’t get as good a deal as they have with the EU at the moment. They will have to rejoin on the same, less preferential, as everyone else.

  3. That should have read less preferential ‘terms’, as you probably spotted, at the end of the last paragraph.

  4. All the usual cliches trying to paint Brexiteers as racists, nationalists, out of touch etc. Did Boris & Co lie about the number on the bus? Probably. Did Osborne, Cameron, Clegg & Co lie for Remain? Definitely. Has every British government lied about the EU to get us in and keep us in? Absolutely. I do not know of a single Leave voter who was swayed by the promised millions. We are not fools. We know that politicians are all liars at least some of the time, a few of most of the time, but none – that I know of anyway – to be fair, lie to us all of the time. We’re even smart and realistic enough to know that sometimes we need them to lie in the country’s interests. So, get real. Nobody voted out for the money. We voted out because we want to live in a truly free truly democratic country where we elect those who govern us, simple as. We weren’t conned in the referendum and they can’t con us now either.

  5. “We should have a referendum on the final deal.”
    After the ‘advisory vote’ and ‘let’s have a second referendum’ try-ons, I thought I’d seen the high-water mark of Remainiac con-ology, but then this one was dreamed up. If there’s the promise of a ‘referendum on the deal’ then that incentivises the EU to play the hardest of hard balls with the UK. If the Remainiacs get their way on this then the only deal on the table will be a lousy one, and they know it. I know it’s not parliamentary language to call an MP a traitor but any MP who support the ‘referendum on the final deal’ is just that. Those advancing that argument aim to undermine our country, weaken it and place it at a fatal disadvantage. Anyone who tries to so con the British people as to help Juncker and cronies crush and imprison us, is a traitor pure and simple. If any are so arguing in good faith however, which I doubt, then then they are just too plain stupid to be let anywhere near power. If the UK were to now try and U-turn and stay in the EU then we would find he worst terms imaginable being imposed on us indefinitely. We shall be in the position of the husband who leaves his wife and then goes crawling back, begging for a reconciliation. For the first time in history the UK would have committed an act of mass national cowardice. Nobody would take it seriously ever again. If we fail to follow through on Brexit, what will keep Argentina out of the Falklands, or Spain out of Gibraltar?

    • We seem to have forgotten that the referendum was actually a vote on the deal negotiated by Mr Cameron prior to the referendum. He traipsed round Europe and ‘negotiated’ better membership terms for us before we had the referendum. As I recall, all he got was odd minor concessions. I voted out not for reasons of economics (we may or may not be better off financially in the future). It’s about control of our purse strings, borders and laws.

  6. “We’ll be less secure against terrorism.”
    So, let’s say MI5 rumbles a terrorist plot to crash a plane into the Eiffel Tower. Because we are a civilised nation, because we seek to create a world in which all peoples benefit from the rule of civilised law, I would absolutely expect our security services to notify and co-operate with its French counterparts, and all other relevant agencies, to prevent that attack, and I have every confidence that the British Government, of whatever party, would require and lend that assistance. So, what then would our current EU partners do? Would they keep quiet and let it happen simply because we have left their club? That would be a very uncivilised, unintelligent and unfriendly act, tantamount to an act of war itself. Is that what Juncker & Co are threatening us with, that they will insist EU member nations are complicit in acts of war against us? If not, what are they saying? International co-operation on security matters of mutual interest has never, hitherto, been dependent on membership of a super-state. We have co-operated with the US for the last hundred years without us needing to become the 51st state. If the EU wants to co-operate in the future it should always find a willing partner, but not a subject, in the UK

  7. “Brexit will weaken the economy.”
    Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. Maybe it will be weaker in the short term and stronger in the long term. A lifetime of studying politics, economics, and history, has taught me that economic conditions are transient and utterly unpredictable. Political change on the other hand can be very predictable and long-lasting indeed. Dictatorships once established may eventually fall, but it can take a very long time – sometimes multiple lifetimes. The Soviet Union lasted 69 years but the country is still not a democracy 26 years later. 68 years after the Chinese revolution China is no nearer democracy. What I do know about our economy and every economy, is that the more people you have making regulations, especially if those people are lifelong inhabitants of the politico-bureaucratic bubble, many of whom have never had a proper job, the less likely that economy is to be competitive.

  8. “We’ll have less clout in the world.”
    We are a small nation that punches above its weight for multi-various reasons. The wide usage of the English language, the respect in which English law is held and the degree to which it has been exported, and cultural institutions, in particular the BBC, are but a few. We shall have to take whatever comes in an ever-changing world, whether we are in or out, and we shall have to deal with it. Personally, in life and business and politics I’ve always found that over-planning is always a mistake because events soon render all plans obsolete. Napoleon said “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” Mike Tyson put it rather more prosaically as “Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the mouth.” If there is one big thing, however, that we do need to do as a nation to improve our chances for the future, it is to educate future generations of children better than we currently do and to provide remedial education for the large sections of the adult population that left the education system having achieved standards far below those of which they were capable, and which our country needs in a workforce. That subject would need a long essay on its own however so I shall not write more on it here.

    “Jobs will be threatened. Some will be lost and others exported out of the UK.”
    Yes, they will. And this has been the case for the entire 44 years that we’ve been in the EU. Likewise, new jobs will be created in the UK and others will be exported to the UK. This is the nature of economics. It is dynamic and ever-changing and as already noted above, economic conditions are transient and in reality, utterly unpredictable.

  9. “We won’t be able to get the workers we need from abroad.”
    When we leave we can decide who we let in. It really is that simple. If farmers need pickers and can’t find them in the UK I really don’t see any UK government denying visas. So, are the Remainers saying that Juncker & Co won’t allow EU workers to come to the UK? I don’t think so. More scaremongering. Again, who are they trying to con? I don’t have a problem with people coming to the UK if they come here to work and support themselves. If, however they are simply coming with a demand to be housed and fed ahead of our own people then that is a problem. We need to be able to control our own borders and choose who we let in and other countries need to be able to do the same. It is right and noble to help others with their problems, but if their problems become our problems then nobody is helped. It is not immoral or racist for a country to look first to the well-being of its own citizens. That is, in fact, what every other country in the world does and if we don’t do the same then our people will finish last. When a school is suddenly faced with having to teach 20 or 30 or more ethnic groups, as some now are, none of whom have English as a first language and some of whom have no English at all, it is axiomatic that the native British children’s education will be diluted unless proportionately greater resources are directed their way. We know that where state schools are concerned, that does not happen. Those with the wherewithal to have their children privately schooled can afford to say “Let all come”, but the less well-off, who do not have that choice, suffer. The same is true in housing. A Swedish friend of mine, a social democrat to her fingertips, related to me how her 35-year old son had waited years for the Swedish equivalent of a council house and was due to be housed imminently, but then suddenly found his waiting time back in the years again as their community had been required to house hundreds of ‘refugees’. Again, the elite make feel-good decisions for which the poorer pay.

  10. “We’ll lose the ability to trade freely.”
    The Remainers say we have free trade in the EU. In reality we don’t. If trade depends on us paying protection money it is by definition not free, and protection money is in effect what we pay at the moment and what the EU is continuing to demand. Likewise, the EU restricts the basis on which we trade with the rest of the world. We need to offer the current EU members an alternative vision of real free trade.

    “Brexit threatens workers’ rights.”
    Why must this be so? It’s a fallacy. Britain led the world in creating the template for trade unionism. Like the vast majority of Leave voters, I am absolutely in favour of workers’ rights and in any case, the body of EU law is being ported over into UK law. If anyone tries to repeal the bits that benefit workers we can fight it line by line. That is democracy. We can’t do that with anything Brussels imposes.

  11. “Interest rates will rise.”
    Yes, they will, whether we are in or out. When Bank of England base rate is 0.5% you don’t have to be an economic genius to understand that rates really only have one way to go, because the downside potential is minute. When I started work aged 16, in January 1980, it was for a company that was writing 15% mortgages. Six months later we were writing them at 17.5%. Rates have been all over the place in my lifetime and we cope. That’s what we British do – we cope. Rates will rise but there’s no reason for the rise to be steep or sudden or to the levels of the 1980s. Again, more panic mongering. Again, who do they think they are conning?

    “The City of London will lose its dominant place in European finance.”
    Whenever a change is mooted that the very rich and powerful dislike, this is always portrayed as an inevitable consequence. Financial institutions locate according mainly, to where they can a) find the skills they need; b) general stability and the rule of civilised law (e.g. no daily riots and/or bombs going off and no kleptocrats in power). London meets these requirements, and will continue to do so. So long as a business-friendly environment is cultivated – and no, that does not mean a tax-haven – then I do not see London playing second fiddle to Frankfurt anytime soon, whatever Goldman Sachs might say.

    “Scotland will leave the Union.”
    Maybe, but I doubt it. I love Scotland and the Scots. I believe in the United Kingdom and I hope Scotland remains a part. If it votes to leave though, it should be let go. I don’t think the Scots are that stupid, however. A small vocal minority, who’ve overdosed on Buckfast and re-runs of Braveheart, may scream for independence, but the vast majority of Scots are smart enough to know that dumping Sterling for the Euro would kill the Scottish economy. A truly independent Scotland would need its own currency for a start. It could not print Bank of England Pounds, because that’s called forgery, despite the Scottish Nationalists being too dumb to work that out when they had their last referendum. Any Scottish ‘Pound’, or whatever they called it, would have to float against Sterling like any other currency. Weighed down by its share of the national debt and the SNP’s inclination to buy popularity with other people’s money, and lacking the subsidy it has hitherto enjoyed under the Barnett Formula, it would more likely sink.

  12. “There should be a quadruple lock.”
    David Lammy MP voiced this one the morning after his side lost. It would be as logical to say that there should be a ‘lock’ on a city basis, or a town basis, or a village basis. I’m sure Mr Lammy could go on developing every greater multiple-locks until he found one that served the Remainer purpose. Why doesn’t he just ask for a Lammy-lock so nobody in the UK can do anything without his personal approval?

    I think that takes care of all the main arguments against Brexit I’ve heard so far. I now turn to the Remainer backlash that has gone on ever since June 2016.

    The day after the Referendum I was told that my vote should not count because of my age. I was then 52 with, statistically at any rate, 35 years of life before me.

    Next, I was told that my vote shouldn’t count because I’d not been to university. Well, it’s a fact, I haven’t. I started work at 16 and ever since I’ve been subsidising university students with my taxes. For 24 years I was an employee and for the last 13 I’ve been an employer, all taxes duly paid. I don’t have a degree but, miraculously, I’ve never been unemployed and have managed to start a business from scratch, run it at a profit, and create employment and wealth.

    Next, I was told I wasn’t “decent” according to a caller to BBC Radio Leeds on the morning after the Referendum. Leeds as a whole was “decent” apparently, for recording a (small) Remain majority, so by implication those of us who voted were not “decent”.

    Next, I was told by some hysterical Remainer harpy that I was personally responsible for the murder of Jo Cox MP. I kid you not. She told me this during a BBC Five Live debate at Media City Manchester.

    Next, I was called a racist and a ‘little Englander’. Actually, I joined the Anti-Nazi League in 1977 aged 14 and my views on race and immigration have not changed much since. As for being a “little Englander”, I founded the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations – FEMA. I always believed that our best chance of success in FEMA would come through co-operation with our overseas counterparts, and so it proved, but to co-operate with each other, we never needed to tell our individual member organisations how to run their affairs in their own countries.

    The abuse and vilification of Leave voters has continued unabated for 18 months. Recently the Remainer Twitterite @JamesKPatterson incited others of his ilk to destroy my business by trolling it. Such are the progressive, liberal, democratically-minded university-educated, bright young things of the metropolitan elite who hate us and smear us as thick, not-decent, racist murderers. Why? Just because we voted. That’s right – voted. V-O-T-E-D.

  13. We know we weren’t supposed to win. We know that if the politicos had thought there was any real chance of it happening, we’d never have been allowed the Referendum. They stacked the deck. Osborne threatened economic Armageddon. The BBC from the Dimblebys down did its bit. Cameron blew a small fortune in publicly funded pro-Remain propaganda. But after all that, they still lost. We, the people, won. Ever since though they’ve been trying to rob us. It’s as if Plymouth Argyll FC beat Manchester United in the FA cup and instead of being presented with the trophy bedecked with dark green and white ribbons, they were told to come back in a year’s time, while in between times the big clubs got together to find ways of reinterpreting the rule book to say that Manchester United really won after all.

    Now we’re getting a bit fed up. We’re not worn down, we’ve not been beaten into a state of apathy and we’re not giving up. We are not unreasonable. We didn’t think there’d be a vote and that would be it; we didn’t expect to be out of the EU on the Friday morning the result came in. We did, however, expect that all our politicians – all of them – would accept the result and work together, flat out, for a good result for our country. Instead all we’ve seen, from all quarters, is an ongoing attempt to undermine the result, steal our victory and lock the UK in the EU. Instead of helping us escape they’re helping the Eurocrats build a stronger prison to keep us in. They’ve become like Colonel Nicholson in Bridge on the River Kwai.

    We know they’re trying to rob us but we’re not letting them get away with it. If, however, by some great feat of conmanship, they do manage to either keep us in the EU or else take us out in name only, with us still paying into the EU budget and the writ of EU law running here, they should just do us one last favour and vote themselves out of existence, close down Parliament, sack the Sovereign and hand all power to the Commission in name as well as in fact, and not insult our intelligence by inviting us to vote any more for paid robots with no actual power.

    On Thursday 23 June 2016 the British people voted to leave the European Union. I call on you and every MP to work now in our country’s interest, to take us properly out of the EU and the single market. If you want to call that a ‘hard Brexit’ then so be it, because ‘hard Brexit’ translates as ‘strong Brexit’. A ‘soft Brexit’ is no Brexit at all.

    Leaving is not a leap in the dark, but it is a great leap, and you can’t leap a chasm in a number of short hops. The disunity and party-advantage seeking in which you are all currently indulging can only give aid and comfort to those who seek to do the UK down. Be assured, the electorate will not forget or forgive it. We won, fair and square. Whatever party you are in, you should now get behind the government, just as Attlee and the rest got behind Churchill in 1940, work for the good of the country and deliver the outcome for which the electorate voted.

    Racist, me? No. Nationalist? No. L:ove my country and freedom? Yes.

    Now go patronise somebody who might let you get away with it.

    Neil F Liversidge

  14. This looks like MM trying to put lipstick on a pig.

    Extrapolating from your figures it would seem that 51% would rather like to have a second referendum.

    When it comes to jobs, if we look at the current figures and projections – whatever the kind of deal we get – it will impact on our economy. Adviser jobs may not be immediately impacted, but they may well find that their business prospects are somewhat curtailed. Will the Japanese car manufactures stay? Astra Zeneca is positioning itself in Holland as is Unilever. JP Morgan have moved personnel. Who else? Is this the start of the exodus? Will this just result in less clients?

    All your figures show a strong leaning towards remaining. Indeed the percentages show a greater margin that that of the Referendum for leave.

    When it comes to inflexibility – that runs both ways. We not only have an inflexible Government we have one that doesn’t know its backside from it’s elbow and our other main party would be a joke if it wasn’t so pathetic.

    Those in the EU aren’t stupid and know full well that no one on this side of the Channel has a grip and that there really isn’t a great majority for leaving. They know that this economic self harm is spearheaded by a dogmatic clique who have jumped on a tiny recorded majority.

    • Whatever the numbers in the MM poll Harry, the poll that mattered was the one in which the entire electorate got the chance to vote. So what if 51% of IFAs want a second referendum? I’m pretty sure 100% of LibDem MPs want one. But those aren’t the numbers that matter. Outside the financial services bubble, there’s a nation that voted out. Enjoy Brexit Harry – I know I will!

    • Neil , I think you need to get out more …..

      And perhaps spend some time updating your woeful website instead of clearly wasting lots and lots of your precious time on here

      • Dear Mrs Right, firstly I don’t denigrate others from the cowardly hideout of a pseudonym. Secondly, we get lots of new business and compliments on our website from those who matter, i.e. clients – not you. The website will, however, be getting a makeover after we move to our new premises – evidence of our success. Be sure to enjoy it.

        Mrs Right, you’re a misnomer.

        • I’m really surprised Neil. I almost always agree with your views but I didn’t realise you were so passionate about leaving the EU!
          Nothing you have said is what I haven’t heard before from other brexiters (by the way, calling people, who would prefer to stay in the EU “Remainiacs” does not help your case, with reasonable people, who don’t like being insulted, as Mrs Right insulted you) and, quite frankly, I think your passion comes over as a bit alarming. I don’t mind a bit of passion from anybody but this is like hitting someone over the head with a hammer, and is partly why I think overt nationalism is counter productive for everyone, at the end of the day. If you want a country, that has no partners, prepare to end up with everyone insulting each other, in due course, trying to get one over on each other forever, not just in trade deals and cutting taxes for companies who pay crap wages to their employees, even when the world gets really overpopulated and water and food is scarcer. Good luck with that. Just carry on making the world a worse place for our grandchildren.
          By the way, this countries politicians need their own lessons in democracy. They even ask for impact reports to be drawn up on huge matters of importance, then say they will publish them, then say they don’t exist, then they get leaked, then say they were fiddled by civil servants! Very democratic I must say. And as for voting them out, good luck with that as well, with this right wing bigoted press we have.

          By the way, illegal funding went into the leave campaign as well as Russian interference so our democracy has already been tainted. Of course you don’t hear a lot about that.

          We all need to think more about the longer term than what we want for ourselves today. That’s been the trouble with this planet for too long.

          • As ever Patrick well said.

            Every informed source is unhappy about Brexit. The majority of MPs in Parliament (all parties). Most business leaders, most economist, the CBI, The IOD, the majority in the City. In fact I don’t see that many informed sources actually supporting Brexit. It seems fundamentally based on an emotional kneejerk, on more hope than logic and somewhat stubborn dogma.

            We will undoubtedly lose diplomatic clout and become somewhat of an irrelevance. It should be borne in mind that no fewer than 66 countries have negotiated trade agreements with the EU. There is no mechanism for just switching these to the UK. It will require fresh talks with each of them. To date the cabinet minister responsible has seen about 3 or 4 of them.

            Notwithstanding Neil’s diatribe there is scant hard facts that support the leave argument apart perhaps from the chimera of sovereignty. How sovereign were we when we had to go cap in hand to the IMF for a bailout? If there was a vote which asked:

            “Would you like sovereignty and be poorer or have rather less sovereignty and be richer” I would be prepared to wager substantially on the outcome.

            A former Govt. Minister (Lord Adonis) has said that Brexit could be the UKs biggest mistake since appeasing Hitler.

            Half the Civil Servants (who are pretty close to the coal face) recon that Brexit is trashing the national interest. Even the most senior pro-leave conservative (Sir Geoffrey Clifton – Brown) said that Brexit risked becoming an unmanageable muddle. Chairman of the commons Brexit select committee (Hilary Benn – whose father was a staunch Brexiteer)said that not having a customs union with the EU was a profound mistake. Lord Bridges the former Brexit minister has said Brexit is a gangplank into thin air.

            Sir John Sawyers (the ex head of MI6 put it succinctly:

            “We have to acknowledge that Brexit is damaging our economy at the moment. Immediately after Brexit we suffered a 15% devaluation in our currency – we devalued all the assets in the UK by 15%. We are going through a Brexit inflation at the moment which means that people’s pay rises are not enough to keep up with real-terms incomes and, having 18 months ago been at the top of the G7 table of GDP growth performance, we are now at the bottom, so we are undoubtedly going through a bit of a dive. At the end of this process we will need to work out how to rebuild our economy and our influence in the world.”

            The biggest advocates of Brexit today are those with personal wealth and were born with silver spoons.(Rees-Mogg, Johnson, Gove etc) They are leading their followers like WW1 Generals – over the top to get massacred.

            What will it take for those such a Neil – who does exemplify many – to wake up and smell the coffee?

        • To be fair I don’t see how I insulted Neil. Advice to get out more would increase the chances of mixing with a cross section of society- I get out alot and there are an awful lot of “Leavers” that feel they were conned with the bus and lots of other false promises, that would vote differently were there a second referendum. He might also realise, like I do, that the people that are always going to be leavers are inevitably racists. Having been in Scotland, England and Wales over the last two weeks they all reel off the same old tosh in the end about getting our boarders back and foreigners taking our jobs!

          As far as my comments re the website it appears Neil agrees with me on that one given the planned overhaul

          • @Mrs Misnomer: No I do NOT agree with you about our website, and neither, obviously, do the many new clients who come to us through it. Re’ the planned update, we do have an ongoing program of revising everything, except the truth. (Unlike Remoaners, obviously, who revise their version of the truth daily at least.)

            Personally, I’ve not met a single Brexiteer who says they feel conned.

            @Harry Katz: So Digby Jones is less well informed and less of a business leader than you?

  15. I hate posting twice on the same topic but I do hope Neil feels better soon and as far as polls are concerned take a look at the one in the Times today (Yougov). The question was whether it was right to vote to leave; 43% said yes it was right, 44% said no it was wrong.

    • Whatever the percentages are or were, everyone on the Electoral Roll had the right (and to my mind the responsibility) to vote. Of those that exercised this right, the majority chose to leave. Those that chose not to vote gave up their right to comment now, in fact it could be said that as they did nothing to sway the result, as in every election, they in effect voted for the winners……

    • I refer you to my previous reply Blair: The poll that mattered was the one on 23/6/16. We waited 41 years for it. We’ll let you have your next one in 2057.

  16. Neil, just wanted to say I agree 100% with all of your comments. You (or we as is the case) are in the majority and don’t let comments such as ‘your ‘passion’ is quite alarming’ (??) deter you from posting. For any overly pessimistic, doom mongering, remain voters, the last time I checked you can still obtain one way flights to all destinations on the continent.

    • “You in the majority” confident you would still be if there was another referendum now?

    • I’m sorry Will; what confuses you about my saying that Neil’s passion is alarming???
      Neil has just posted the longest rant
      I have ever seen on this website that is totally, in my opinion, a perfect example of unconstrained nationalism. As much as he denies being nationalustic. And you are backing this up. What about the queries I have made about foreign interference and illegal funds supporting the leave vote? No opinion on that from you? Maybe you would rather not count that in t the equation, because it doesn’t fit with your arguments?
      What about the seeming hatred that is spouted by British nationalists, of which you and Neil, to my surprise, seem to be among. Neil has even said he has waited many years for brexit, which is disturbing in itself. Has he had nothing better to think about since the 1970’s? And you agree with that? And yet many of you claim not to be nationalists when everything you say seems to indicate that is precisely what you are.
      Neil has said brexit is not a leap into the dark, although he agrees it is a leap but doesn’t say what it is a leap into. If he has a magical crystal ball please let us see it. Of course you agree with this 100%. Could It be a leap from the frying pan into the fire? Please advise.
      It seems you both think that the EU have been dictating to us all these years. May I remind you that we, here, in the UK have been a major part of EU regulation. You guys just seem to keep blaming the EU for everything you can think of.
      The absurd conceit of telling your EU colleagues to push off because you are leaving the club but then castigating them because you want all the bits of the club you like, without paying your way, is a pantomime.
      Just because people like you and Neil want to celebrate leaving the EU because it seems to be your ultimate aim in life we don’t all have to have sympathy for that strange (in my opinion) ambition in life. Thankfully More people seem to be changing their minds on brexit but it is a hard slog against against a rabidly (and self interested) jingoistic media and shady politicians like Rees Mogg who, I suspect might be some sort of hero to you an Neil.
      Finally, there is something I agree with Mrs Right on.

      • I agree with Mrs Right’s question on why you seem to be so afraid of a referendum after the negotiations have finished, if you are so confidant about the tired old phrase “the will of the people”?
        I still believe, however, that the whole business of a referendum on this subject was a mistake, in the first place, and a cowardly capitulation, by Cameron, to EU sceptics in the tory party.

        • You are trying the usual tactic of trying to get another go by saying we’re afraid of a second referendum. We’re not, but why should we? We won fair and square. You wouldn’t give us another go that’s for sure, so save the sanctimony or pass the sick bag. The ground rules were clearly set out by Cameron and his speech is on Youtube if you missed it. You lost – get over it.

  17. Nothing in the article about UCITs funds domiciled in Dublin and Luxembourg and how they might be impacted nor Eu clients or am I the only person in the industry with any? And nothing about manufacturing companies with supply chains across Eu borders that will be impacted.

    And to presume that financial regulation will be lighter, is surely naïve when our own regulator has been at the forefront of regulation and even gold plating Eu regulations.

    It is fine to urge speed of execution of a policy but there are so many other policy areas where politicians would have been wiser to take longer to devise policy before implementing that I don’t find it hard to imagine that it makes sense to scrutinise very carefully, the potential consequences of something as significant as Brexit.

  18. Personally, I am surprised that only 58% of IFA’s voted remain. I am curious, however, as to the geograpghical location of the remainers and brexiteers. As with the wider population, I wouldn’t be surprised if an even more significant majority existed in and around the London area.

    I am embarrassed about Brexit and the message it gives to not only the Europeans but the wider world about the UK. Theresa May was given what appeared to be minimal time with the Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the beginning of this month, by contrast, Donald Trump despite his protectionist rhetoric against China received the full-on red carpet treatment and several meetings with Jinping, all revolving around trade.

    Having worked in Foreign Direct Investment over the last 20 years, I cannot express the damage that has been done to the image of UK PLC not just in the EU. For sure the Americans will think twice about locating their European Headquarters in London (or anywhere else in the UK) if that means it becomes prohibitive to trade across borders into Europe, whereas pre-referendum with the language and cultural ties it was a complete no brainer.

    FDI may not be relevant to a lot of IFA firms, but the economy will (and in my opinion already is with anemic growth) suffer from the consequences of Brexit and that, in turn, will have a direct influence on the IFA community. It doesn’t take an economist to see that.

  19. I wonder how Neil will feel if the Japanese car manufacturers will leave? (Today’s headlines) His county neighbours will no doubt be delighted that such a staunch Brexiteer has helped to lose them their jobs.

    • Good point Harry. But, hopefully the Japanese won’t leave; and neither will we. None of us want to see working people plunged into hardship.

    • Harry, I could introduce you to a client of mine whose entire business is threatened by competition in Poland that has been massively assisted by EU money. Anyhow, I refer you to my previous point, the fact that all economic conditions are transient. And don’t pretend to cry phoney tears over job losses Harry, only one of the two of us has ever been a shop steward (FTAT), or turned out in support of the workers in three miners’ strikes, ’72 ’74 and ’84, and it ain’t you.

      • Sometimes Neil your ostentatious self-aggrandisement is rather hard to take along with unrelated comments.

        I didn’t actually say I was concerned about car workers losing their jobs (although I am, as I’m sure is everyone else – not least because it will also affect the wider economy); just that they may have people like you to thank if they do become unemployed.

        Your comment about phoney tears was uncalled for. You may recall that I too was in industry and my record as an employer was none too dusty. Indeed when the local union organiser came to my factory the meeting was concluded by him admitting that he served no useful purpose at our plant because pay and conditions were way in advance of what he would expect.

        As far as the miners’ strike is concerned I wouldn’t boast about that. As we can see the mining industry was superfluous as well as being ecologically unacceptable in today’s world. We have much to thank Margaret Thatcher in curbing the sort of aggressive unionism that was endemic. As a result today we have far less strikes and far better labour relations – although we still have a way to go to match the ethos in Germany where unions, management and banks all work in partnership.

        • Quote: ‘when the local union organiser came to my factory the meeting was concluded by him admitting that he served no useful purpose’. And then you woke up.

        • Oh, and I could never, ever, ever hope to compete with you Harry at ‘ostentatious self-aggrandizement’!

          • When there isn’t a concrete or logical response there isn’t much use in tying to be a clever clogs. It rather devalues your polemic. What I said was a statement of fact.

  20. Fingers very tightly crossed.

    • Harry, you have made clear your hatred and disdain for Trade Unions so I’m sure you are one of the people who would have condemned the miners’ leaders as subversives who were trying to overthrow the democratically elected government by industrial action. So now we have a democratically arrived at decision, in a referendum facilitated by a Conservative PM, David Cameron, (who to his credit has NEVER tried to undermine the result of the same) but YOU feel entitled to subvert the result of the referendum and to undermine the people who are now trying to put it into effect. Eat your own double standards Harry, because you make Arthur Scargill look like a paragon of honesty and virtue.

  21. I will confess to sitting on the fence on this whole subject. Given the polarised views expressed wherever I look I may be the only one in the UK.

    It seems to me that the truth about what is best is rather more finely balanced than any of the zealots on either side would have anyone believe.

    Shouting has replaced balanced argument. Wilful ignorance has eliminated any chance of considering the other side’s point of view. Intellectual argument has been defeated by boorish rants. Examination of the facts has been crowded out by opinion and attitude writ large.

    I generally have a lot of time for the people who take the time to post on here. Usually thoughtful, incisive, opinionated, but ultimately respectful and reasonable. Sad to see that lost over Brexit.

    Yes, I did vote.

    • “Shouting has replaced balanced argument. Wilful ignorance has eliminated any chance of considering the other side’s point of view. Intellectual argument has been defeated by boorish rants. Examination of the facts has been crowded out by opinion and attitude writ large.”

      I don’t think anyone can argue with that. But with the calmest and most deferential of reflection I can’t agree with your assertion that ‘what is best is more finely balanced’. Particularly if you mean what is best for the economy. To my mind every instance in your paragraph above conclusively points to a ‘remain’ conclusion. I have seen no compelling statistics that points in the other direction. Hyperbole, wishful thinking and wild assumptions are really not convincing arguments.

      When all that has been said it is often wisest to go with the majority of those in business, commerce, finance and academia,; who all seem to be agreed that Brexit is not in the best interests of the UK.

      • I guess that’s a valid but predictable response.

        Like most remainers the focus tends to be on money. Short term it’s pretty clear that the UK will suffer (indeed, it is already relative to other EU economies). What is simply not known is the longer term effect. If remainers are to be believed then the UK will become a second or third world country within 10 years. Simply no evidence for that either. Sometimes you have to take a chance on making things better.

        More importantly it’s not just about the money. Many people made a political statement with their vote. The EU is no longer an economic arrangement, it has become highly politicised and moved significantly towards a federal Europe. A significant number of people don’t want this and the rise of far right parties across Europe is a warning that has not been heeded. The UK vote was a reaction to this and just may turn out to be the wake up call. The point is, it’s not just about the money, it’s possible other things are more important to some people.

        I do take exception to the last point about business, commerce and finance. This is a self-serving cabal and it would be a tragic day when a country relied on it’s moral and ethical turpitude to decide how the country is run – it certainly wouldn’t be for the majority of citizens. Academia is also self-serving though perhaps in different ways. These two groups will always go with what is in their best interests not the best interests of the UK.

        I still think the difference between in and out is not that great and in the long run it won’t make much difference. The only way to find out is wait and see.

        • In the long run we are all dead. Meanwhile as I still breathe I would rather be better off than worse off. Which bunch of lying politicians holds sway won’t make that much difference. We will always have a lunatic fringe and it seems that perhaps we were not so high minded as you seem to imply. Many of the strongest Brexit areas were the most xenophobic it would seem.

  22. What Patrick calls a ‘rant’ and Blair a ‘diatribe’ is merely a series of answers to all the phony arguments I’ve been collecting from the Remoan campaign for the last 18 months, which is why each of my postings above starts with that argument in quotation marks. I fully appreciate, chaps, that you might not like those arguments being shown up for the fallacies they are, but that’s all I’ve done. If by any chance I’ve missed any I’ll happily answer those also. What we have now is the Eurocracy behaving like a mafia boss who, for a personal slight, wants all his soldiers to go to war to avenge his slighted honour and dented dignity. The Brits have pointed out that Emperor Juncker is sartorially challenged and somewhat lacking in accouterments. Heaven forfend that that our continental brethren might pick up on the fact, he and his cronies would all be out of jobs and we’d all be free-trading away and creating more wealth than ever without the myriads of pettifogging regulations that are tying Europe down like Gulliver with ever more threads. At the end of the day the EU is going to have to wise up to the fact that it can’t expect to wage economic warfare against the UK if it wants to carry on being able to rely on the UK to put everything on the line in a shooting war. Nato has three nuclear powers, the US, France and us. With Trump in the White House that makes us the most reliable power keeping Putin from rearranging his borders to take in the Baltic states, Poland and all the countries of the old eastern bloc. The EU has already precipitated one military crisis in Ukraine, what mad adventure do we want to let them drag us into next? Where we all go economically, us and the EU, could be argued endlessly. It is an unknown. What is a ‘known’ though is that the EU is not democratic and is showing every sign of becoming less democratic with every new development. It boils down to whether we’re prepared to trade the certainty of our freedom for the possibility of being a bit richer. I am absolutely not prepared to make that trade.

    • And by using the derogatory word ‘Remoan’ in your first sentence you ensure remain-leaning folks will take no interest in what you have to say next. And on. And on.

      If you just want to shout that’s fine, but don’t expect anyone on the other side to be taking any notice.

      Perhaps some simple respect and good manners might get people listening and considering across the divide. That divide has the potential to do far more harm than Brexit itself.

    • My God the man really is deluded. And |Grey area is correct. The whole debate has sunk to the lowest possible level.

      • If we’re going to start talking about good manners and respect, it’s good manners to respect the outcome of an election and/or referendum. I have no more respect for those that try to steal a ballot than I have for any other kind of fraudster. I have even less respect for those who give aid and comfort to those at the top of the EU bureaucracy who wish us ill. It’s funny though, Harry, how somebody as right-wing as you, is so prepared to do the UK down. I guess your perceived personal financial interest takes precedence.

        • My goodness, the delusion is incredible – in one of literally hundreds of posts on this topic – you claim the EU wishes us ill, you respect people who commit voter fraud, wanting to protect our current economic situation is somehow ‘doing the country down’ and to want to remain is due to personal interest.

          I know you are so far down the rabbit hole now that you’ll never see the light again but you seriously need to stop these posts. you’re coming across as deranged, you’re a financial adviser and this is all searchable on Google.

          • Eh? I ‘respect people who commot voter fraud’? I said – check it – ‘I have no more respect for those that try to steal a ballot than I have for any other kind of fraudster.’

            Now get back down your own rabbit hole.

          • Oh, and by the way Matt, you literally don’t understand the meaning of ‘literally’. Either that or you can’t count.

        • “Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools because they have to say something.”

          Plato

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