Brexit debate is unnecessary and a distraction

Industry Database

Andrew Growcoot, CEO of Gloucester based Beta Marine, a company involved in the supply of diesel marine propulsion engines and marine generating sets, is not a fan of Brexit – at all, writes Adam Bernstein.

He considers the whole debate quite unnecessary and a distraction that the sector does not need: “My personal view of Brexit is that it is a mistake looking at it from a business point of view.

“We have spent 40 years harmonising standards and enjoying free movement of goods and services for it all to be put at risk.”

Mr Growcoot believes that any disquiet with the European Union was ‘way down on the list of issues exercising people’s minds’. He’s bothered that politicians found it necessary to bring the issue to the fore ‘and it’s now politicians who are cocking up the negotiations’. From his perspective, a second referendum would not be a bad thing.

In terms of business – as yet, he sees the effect of Brexit on business as being minimal: “The drop in the value of the pound has indeed helped our exports, but then it has increased our material costs, so really there’s been no change to our profitability.

“Our growth remains steady so Brexit hasn’t impacted on our plans so far.”

As with any firm that trades outside of the UK, Beta Marine’s customers in the EU are, says Mr Growcoot, very concerned: “They’re asking if there will be trade barriers - will there be customs checks? And will tariffs be introduced? We can’t answer them, and neither can the politicians.” He says that this is impacting on his customer’s confidence.

Overall, Mr Growcoot views trade barriers, duties, and the risk of losing harmonised standards as a direct threat to the sector and his business.    

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