David is a keen observer of anything Brexit, and has been since before the UK Referendum of June 2016. What interests David most is the impact exiting the EU has already had, and continues to have on UK businesses. With so much ongoing information, news and debate, much of it conflicting, it’s sometimes difficult to get a holistic view on the state of the economy and political landscape. For the first time David answers some pretty challenging questions sent by business associates about the Brexometer, how it works and why we should read it. We’ll then get a sense of where it is now and his take on what the immediate future holds.
Q: it was interesting to see that November’s reading actually rose by 23 points – what were the key changes over the last month that impacted the score in such a surprising way?
There are pros and cons that made up the score. On the positive side, Boris Johnson and his team agreed to a new Brexit deal and there’s a three month extension to the Brexit date to 31st January 2020. This was a relief, because many people were extremely concerned about the possibility of a no deal Brexit at Halloween. That has driven up both the Pound and the UK Stock Markets. For example the FTSE 250 that represents the medium sized companies rose by 6% in a month. That’s a lot and it’s quite encouraging.
On the downside, the Election creates massive uncertainty, and it is by no means certain that the result will be clear cut. Britain is completely fed up with the lengthy and tedious lack of clarity that hits the business community particularly hard.
Q: What can you tell us about the next month or so? Will it get resolved or are we in for more turmoil?
Nobody can predict the Election result with any degree of confidence. There are many people who claim that it will be a re-run of the referendum, and that voters will make their choices along leave or Remain lines, rather than Party loyalties. But once you are in a General Election campaign, anything can happen. Everything is on the table. Whether it’s the NHS, taxation, the economy, conspiracy theories, politicians’ love lives, it’s all valid and people will have to make up their minds at the end of it all.
Q: The election is on Thursday 12th December. When will you release the next Brexometer?
This is so crazy and spooky. We had the nightmare of a potential Brexit at Halloween, and now the results from this Election will come through on Friday 13th. Scary. We will measure the December score on that day as the result of the election becomes known. Then we will release it publicly on Monday 16th December.
Q: Do you expect it to go up?
That’s anyone’s guess. The direction of travel of the opinion polls will shape the answer. Certainly business confidence is not likely to rise during this period; but the removal of political uncertainty – if that were to occur – would be a massive shot in the arm. So you pays yer money and takes yer chances.
Q: Talking of which, you have been running a competition to get Brexometer fans involved. Does this continue in December?
It certainly does. Everyone is welcome to have a go at predicting the December result. Just send me your prediction – a score out of ten to two decimal places. If you win you will get a special Brexometer tenner to win, which has the serial number AA13, celebrating the date with destiny. A rare and prized note, which may well bring you good fortune by absorbing all the bad luck in your life. The winner will also receive a framed certificate to show off their awesome punditry to colleagues and friends. Just send an email to email@example.com, and this keepsake could be yours… or you could just spend it!
We have painstakingly collected more special banknotes for 2020, so if you are a collector or just like money, watch this space.
Q: We hear that you have an Election special up your sleeve.
Yes, I do. The Election represents two polar opposites as the leading parties have moved away from the centre ground to present more radical manifestos. I know there is a rainbow of different political colours out there, but the two main parties have become interesting contrasts. The labour party has defined a socialist agenda, no more pink tinges but a crimson declaration. Under Boris the Tories are clear blue, with Brexit to the fore and not so much centre ground. They have also been competing with each other to spend more. Once their plans are fully released, I will be evaluating them to predict the most likely Brexometer scores for December 2020, exactly a year from now. As always with the Brexometer, it will be pithy and concise, and will be dispassionate. A refreshing change from the emotion and hype of the political campaign!
Q: When should we look out for this?
It will be towards the end of November, once both parties have given a costed set of plans.
Q: How can people get to see it?
It will be released like a regular Brexometer on email, LinkedIn and on our website.
This interview was conducted on 11th November, we hope you’ve enjoyed the read and you join in the fun to make your own prediction for next month, and keep following the Brexometer!