“I thought they had a plan!” – Junker
At this stage it is difficult to say how automation will be effected. Ireland has always tended to be regarded (despite our best efforts) to be lumped in with Britain by many automation suppliers. In many cases Irish business is handled directly from Britain rather than within the country itself – despite the fact that not everybody in Britain understands that Ireland is different and not a smaller version of the British Market. There was also the problem of different currencies but that was a problem that pre-dated the introduction of the Euro.
Nobody really expected this result. So despite people saying that they had “contingency plans” in reality the answer to all questions is “Nobody knows!”
The puzzled words of the President of the European Commission Jean Claude Junker sum up European frustration – “I don’t understand those advocating to leave but not ready to tell us what they want. I thought they had a plan”
Arc Advisary’s Florian Gueldner has written “The impact could exceed the 2009 crisis for European companies, but ARC is actually less pessimistic. However, we think that the Brexit will hinder growth in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Overall, it is a difficult and challenging task to identify all the dynamics and even more to quantify them later.”
Ireland is unique in that there is a land border with the British state and it is our biggest trading partner. What will happen? Ireland an Britain have had a mutual co-operation and passport free travel since 1928 – pre European Union. That is now all has changed. What exactly this will mean? Nobody knows!
Britain may become less attractive to foreign investors as it may be cut off from the single market. This will effect Ireland of course. Trade in both directions will probably suffer. Nobody knows!
In Britain Siemens has stopped a major project it was planning in the energy field and we are hearing of more and more postponements in projects there. Certainties have become “maybes” or “Don’t knows!”
The IET said the vote to leave the EU could result in a number of negative impacts on engineering in Britain, including exacerbating their engineering and technology skills shortage by making it more difficult for companies to recruit engineers from other EU countries, including Ireland.
Other issues identified include changes to access to global markets and companies, a decline in funding for engineering and science research, and a weakening of their influence on global engineering standards.
In the area of Standards, there has been a gradual assimilation of standards between all 28 countries to a common European Standard in all sorts of areas. Standards, and many other activities are handled by European Offices which are based in various countries. (For instance we have just learned that the EU Office of Bank Regulation, which is based in London, will be moved to another European city.)
Engineering qualifications is another area where things may change. Will the EU recognise British qualifications and vice versa? Probably, but we don’t know! As a straw in the wind we do know that the legal profession may be effected and the Law Society of Ireland has had an extraordinary increase in applications from British Lawers for affiliation as outside of the EU they will not be able to practice in European Courts. Will that apply to other professions?
The legal situation at present is that Britain is a fully paid-up member and will remain so until they activate Article 50 application. In reality Britain is being excluded already from important meetings for the first time in forty three years.
As mentioned earlier Arc Advisory issued a short paper, in the immediate aftermath of the referendum result, on the effects of Brexit on the Automation Markets. It is worth a quick look.Florian Gueldner concludes his paper, ‘All I can say at this point is, to quote the British writer Douglas Adams, “Don’t Panic!”’