Angela Spang, a medical devices entrepreneur and small business-woman, explains why Single Market membership is vital for Britain.
Brexit has already had a big impact on my companies, despite the voices saying it will take a long time before we can fully see the effect on businesses in the UK.
We have already suffered setbacks: a recent example was a manufacturing partner wanting to renegotiate the deal on the table by changing their selling currency from Euro to Sterling, putting all fluctuation risk on us (Certainly, there are those who could consider this a positive. Not me. I am not an expert on currency fluctuation; I deal with medical device with a set price in long term tenders with healthcare providers – I need to know what the margin will be to ensure we can uphold our commitment to the NHS and others) I walked away from the deal.
I would hope that those who now work to shape the new country we will live in take into account the following:
When I launch a new product, I do that in the market(s) that makes the most sense. I consider market size, growth, accessibility, etc. Obviously large countries like China, India, US are all looking very attractive from a sheer volume perspective. The European market is interesting, thanks to its size in The Single Market.
It looks to me like a lot of people haven’t realised that the UK on its own cannot compete. With smart use of existing resources, prioritisation has to happen, and my launch plans will take me elsewhere. This isn’t just me; Any business leader caring about ROI will make the same call.
That is a sensible business decision, but it leads to an interesting dilemma. If I make the decision
to forego the UK for other, more interesting markets….do I want to live in the country I just put down as second or third tier, well knowing that the access to the latest discoveries will decline? Is that where I want to raise my children, grow old, have a hip replacement?
I am not saying that every company will prioritise the same way I would…but what if half of them do? Would you want to stay?
By Angela Sprang, Managing Director of June Medical Devices