Brexit Postponed Amid Political Gridlock; Industry Disruptions in Store

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5. Manufacturers must plan for various scenarios.
Saddled with these uncertainties, companies with operations in the UK and EU are hedging against the various outcomes. IHS Markit’s Rob Dobson expects that “the impact of Brexit preparations, and any missed opportunities and investments during this sustained period of uncertainty, will reverberate through the manufacturing sector for some time to come.” In the near term, the uncertainty has led to advance purchasing and stockpiling of inventory, leading to surges in manufacturing production. But many companies are shifting their supply chains away from the UK, sourcing goods and materials from other EU countries or from outside the region altogether. Airbus, Nissan, Ford, Siemens and Sony are just a few of the companies that are considering or actively shifting operations out of the UK as a response to Brexit.

6. The electronics industry may be disproportionately impacted.
According to an Oxford Economics study commissioned by IPC, the EU28 electronics industry employs more than 2.4 million workers, with about 8 percent or 196,000 of them in the UK. Without an orderly Brexit, the UK could slide into recession in 2019, and the country’s share of the EU’s electronics workforce could drop even further. It’s impossible to predict with precision, but the electronics industry has a highly globalized and complex supply chain. New trade barriers and uncertainties will constrain the ability of British electronics companies to leverage the European electronics marketplace and labour force.

7. Brexit has already harmed economic growth in the UK.
A column in the Financial Times says the UK economy has already shrunk by 1.5 percent since the Bank of England’s 2016 forecast, even as the world economy has grown. Goldman Sachs predicts that a no-deal Brexit could whack UK GDP by another 5.5% and depreciate the pound sterling by 17 percent. The New York Times reports the UK has forfeited its role as an economically and politically stable country from which companies can base their European operations.

With so much at stake for the electronics industry, IPC will continue to stay abreast of developments and keep you informed.


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