Charlotte Wilson, MD of Pure Events and EVCOM member, revisits her Brexit stance, and its impact on the industry

 

It wasn’t a surprise to me that the country voted to Brexit. More than anything it was really I believe a cry for help from the country as a whole that the UK no longer wants to sing the song of Brussels and Berlin and be financially beholden to them.

What it showed was that there is a complete disconnect between parliament and the wider country opinion and that London is so ego centric that it believes all decisions are made based on what it votes for. This clearly wasn’t the case. I hosted a dinner just before the vote at The Shangri La with some key clients who were all appalled by my decision to vote OUT and I was told then that if I did, they wouldn’t be working with me anymore.

Well, it is business as usual, and the UK economic system hasn’t completely disintegrated as it was believed it would and in fact only one month after the decision the markets had recovered to higher than where they were previously. I’m not saying it will be plain sailing as there will be extremely choppy waters to cross, however, in the future, I see a much brighter Britain based on this choice and aqua marine waters with a better negotiated deal and freedom to trade on a wider scale. I don’t feel that Brexit will have a dramatic effect on the events industry. If anything it may well make us look closer to home for our choice of destination, rather than just running to Europe for the cheaper rates and the climate. Border controls are part of the equation not to throw skill force out of this country, but rather to limit the quantity of people coming into the country who don’t contribute to it, therefore I don’t believe that we will be losing skill set here. We don’t regard the hospitality industry nearly highly enough in this country, perhaps this will force us to train our own people to take it seriously, like they do in France.

I felt that Theresa May executed her Brexit speech in late January with rigour and a no-mess attitude, which is exactly what we need. She is a credible leader in my view and isn’t prepared to pander to the EU bureaucrats. Clearly time will tell what the deal will look like however, in my view the long term future is positive and we can look to a future of wider trade deals than that of Europe, opening up doors in the US and Asia.