Jim Armitage: No time for Brexit regrets, we must get tough to survive thisComments Off on Jim Armitage: No time for Brexit regrets, we must get tough to survive this
The Covent Garden-based CEO would have been tearing his hair out if he’d had enough left.
He was still deep in the anger stage of Brexit bereavement, and you could see why; after an emergency board meeting at noon today, he was going to address his staff to give them an “it’s-all-going-to-be-fine” speech.
He felt distinctly uncomfortable: “I’m expected to reassure my people that their jobs are safe, that I remain confident about our order books, and that, essentially, they needn’t worry about their mortgages and school fees. But that’s a lie. I really haven’t got a clue what’s going to happen.”
Most bosses have been going through this, communicating implausible reassurances to worried staff. They shouldn’t feel ashamed. Heartfelt or not, we need such rhetoric now.
Confidence is all if we are to avoid talking ourselves into a worse economic decline than we already face.
The decision to leave the EU cannot be undone, and businesses must deal with it.
That means deploying the best of British creativity and flexibility in their business models and, crucially, the closest cooperation with the new Tory leadership when it emerges.
Never has it been more vital that our banks, insurers and exporters build close, trusting relationships with the government’s negotiators to strike the best deals on trade, regulations and visas when we start negotiations in the autumn.
Those bridges, between avowedly anti-Brexit businesses and the Boris/Gove camp, must be built now. London, the time for misery is over. We must toughen up, unite and survive.
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