On 23rd June, a majority of Britons (51.9%, of a turnout comprising an impressive 72.2% of the electorate) voted to leave the European Union in a landmark referendum.
The unexpected result caused the pound to plummet, and saw billions wiped off the stock market. The PM announced his resignation as Government divisions threatened to alter the face of British politics. Social divides became clearer as the populace struggled to comprehend the reality of the result.
Chancellor George Osborne attempted to calm the markets soon after, describing the UK as ready to face the future “from a position of strength.”
However, in the short term, uncertainty remains the watchword. Retailers face cost price inflation and a consumer confidence hit. The BRC has commented that their immediate priority is to ensure the continued ease and minimal costs of bringing EU goods into the UK.
The industry is steeling itself to weather dramatic currency fluctuations, and many businesses will be forced to appraise the future of their workforces.
In the wider context, there are even bigger questions. Will the EU survive the blow, and what does it mean for the British union itself? How will the Government ensure a painless divorce from the EU? How will it help mend the deep social divisions the referendum has brought to light in the UK, and appease a populace that is evenly divided in its jubilation and disappointment at the result?
As the dust begins to settle, Furniture News would like to hear our readers’ hopes and concerns – please get in touch through the usual channels.