Brexit: The day the world turned upside down

By Raphael Reuben

 Europe... Britain

Europe... Britain

For a while, Brexit was a fictitious nightmare, conjured up by audience conscious newspapers and outspoken politicians hungry for headlines. When the result finally came through in the early hours of Friday, June 23rd, the atmosphere around London was hectic, not least because of the devastating weather the day before that had crippled the city. The markets plunged, almost in free-fall, shock and dismay spread like wildfire, petitions flying out, the prime minister resigning and big businesses contemplating the possibility of moving to Ireland. What would happen to the union? Would Scotland leave? Would Europe break apart?

As the immediate panic of Brexit begins to die down, it seems the outcome doesn’t need to be all that bad. For entrepreneurs, startups and the techcommunity in London, there is room for hope with the possibility of tax breaks and government incentives to stimulate growth in a sector that has seen strong growth in the last few years. The UK will continue to be home to some of the world’s best universities, with top talent graduating every year, looking to make an impact in the world.

One of the talking points in the run-up to the referendum was whether small and medium sized businesses favoured remaining or leaving the EU. Outside of the EU, there is a good chance that burdensome regulation will be scrapped and give room for SME’s to trial and improve. How things turn out depends on government policies and the decisions they make. Without interference from an outside body, the UK government has the opportunity to implement policies that encourage enterprise and innovation, and it’s within our power as people to speak up and encourage our politicians to actively pursue this.

 — a startup focused on connecting UK based startups with Chinese investors — could be a good indicator of what is to come ahead, establishing ever closer relationships with global superpowers that have markets with endless opportunities of prosperity. After all, the wheels of the economy will continue to turn, inventors will continue to invent and ideas for business and enterprise will continue to be hatched as possibilities of success continue to entice.

Brexit has so far produced nothing but uncertainty, and uncertainty inevitably knocks our confidence, but as the world’s fifth biggest economy, leaders in the security industry as well as home to many intelligent inventors, talented  and ambitious young people, we shouldn’t write off the UK’s future just yet. There is still much to come, but having confidence in ourselves as an innovative and enterprising community, as well as realising that the world is big and there are many countries to trade with should be enough to quell our discomfort.

If there’s one thing to take away from this, it’s to make your voice heard loud and clear; let policymakers know what message we want to send to the world, that we are open for business, that we are no less talented or innovative than before the Brexit result. We will overcome.