Neil Raynsford takes a serious look at the UK’s position in Europe on the back of Prime Minister, David Cameron’s speech about the future of the UK and its place in Europe. It would be great to hear your view on the matter. Please add a message on LinkedIn or Twitter (@LangdownsDFK) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I consider myself to be a moderate Euro-sceptic. When I listened to David Cameron’s speech a couple of weeks ago, I largely agreed with his sentiments (until he announced the referendum, which I will come to in a moment) in that it is the common market that is vital to the UK, the laws centrally imposed on us are the hindrance, especially for small businesses like yours and mine.
A few days after the speech I attended the DFK European, Middle East and African conference. Having spent 3 or 4 days in the company of fellow Europeans, it helped me to understand the importance of our ties with Europe and how vital it is we continue an active role in Europe, but a reformed Europe.
My worry is that my appreciation for this importance was greatly enhanced by spending time, discussing issues and working with my DFK friends. Asking the British people to decide an issue of this magnitude is, in my opinion nonsensical. A massive percentage of our population is not as fortunate as I, to spend time in an environment such as a DFK conference. I fear, they will form their opinions from an over exuberant press. I, for one, am of the opinion that we democratically elect our government to make decisions of this importance. They are the people that have access to the best information and are best placed to make the informed decision, not sensationalist journalists.
At the conference a completely unscientific straw poll hinted the attitude to the UK was mild, but nevertheless one of the ‘problem child’ of Europe. That said I think there was a respect for the way we challenge the status quo and will not just accept dictates. We must be careful not to over stretch what I hope is a healthy respect as our future is not just dependant on a common market, but also with willing trade partners. It does not matter whether it is on a global scale or in our local towns and cities, people only want to do business with people they like and respect.
My hope is that David Cameron considers the small businessman when negotiating the ‘new’ Europe as we need willing business partners to trade with us and not to look elsewhere in the world. Even if he achieves that, he will then have to persuade the general public for a ‘yes’ vote, which could be the tougher task!
Langdowns DFK have been part of the international DFK association for more than a decade. We recognised the world was growing smaller and more connected, seeing that our clients and contacts would need access to advisors around the world, not just the UK. We are extremely proud of our commitment to this association of international business advisors and our ability to assist businesses when looking to operate overseas. Neil Raynsford has been instrumental in the development of this for Langdowns DFK, through him and the other directors of Langdowns DFK we have seen our clients businesses grow outside the UK with amazing success. If you think your business needs this kind of advice please do contact us, it would be great to hear from you and see how we can help you grow.