BUSINESS LEADERS AND POLITICIANS TELL SAV D’SOUZA THEIR THOUGHTS ON WHAT THE REFERENDUM RESULT WILL MEAN FOR ASIANS IN BRITAIN AND FOR BUSINESSES TOO Dr Rami Ranger, CBE,
Sun Mark Ltd
BREXIT has stunned the world, including those who voted to leave the European Union. They took an emotional, rather than a pragmatic decision. They underestimated the fallout from the exit in terms of the economy and union with Scotland and Northern Ireland. Undoubtedly, the economy will shrink, sterling has become weaker, share prices are low and Britain will now attract less for- eign investment. The loss of the world’s biggest single market of 500 million af- fluent consumers will be hard to replace. Companies like Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Fujitsu and Samsung came to Britain due to the fact Britain was a part of the EU. They are unlikely to remain. More importantly, Britain’s influence in the world will also di- minish. Britain cannot now threaten any country like Russia with sanctions. Countries which were allies will now become rivals. Countries like India benefitted more while Britain was a part of the EU as the companies could base their headquarters in the UK and do business freely in the EU. People from India could always come to the UK with the right qualifications.
Lord Dolar Popat
LAST week’s referendum result is very disap- pointing. I very much supported the Remain campaign’s message on the economy and I do worry about what may now happen. The economic consequences could be very serious and, if we don’t now take the necessary steps to help the economy, it could take a long time to recover from. We are entering a period of uncertainty and it is essential that, whoever now takes these matters forward, must do all they can to retain the foreign firms and invest- ment that play a vital role in our economy. In particular, I feel that this will have a very harmful impact on our trade relationship with India, which invested heavily in the UK be- cause of our place in the single market. The other element that I’m extremely upset about is the resignation of David Cameron. He has been an outstanding leader and prime minister and a real friend to the British Indian community. Very few, if any, politicians have done more to engage with British Indians than him. I believe both my party and my country will be weaker without him.
Conservative MEP for London
THE BRITISH people have spoken and now we must respect their decision. All parts of our country and all commu- nities must strive to put behind us this robust and at times bruising campaign and look ahead to the future. The EU would be mistaken if it wishes to send a signal to the rest of the EU by punishing Britain. I hope that we can see a cool and sensible reaction that keeps in mind the need for Britain and the rest of Europe to continue cooperating in those areas where it is in our mutual interest. The initial volatility in the markets was a self-fulfilling prophecy but what matters is how the economy performs over the com- ing months and years. I believe in the strength of Britain and its economy. I am proud of the part that Asian work- ers and Asian businesses play in that strong performance. I expect us as a coun- try to make the most of the new opportu- nities and the greater flexibility that leav- ing the EU will bring.
MEP, West Midlands
OUR country is in a big political and economic mess. Already lots of key research organisations are now predicting that the UK will go into a recession in 2017. I’m not sure that many peo- ple who are writing to me now ever considered that was the price that they were going to have to pay. Many Asian families voted to leave without properly looking at what impact it would have on their livelihoods, their com- munities and for businesses especially. People are experiencing racism because the referendum has somehow legitimised it. I think that is the most worrying trend to come out of all this.
Managing director of Vissi Uniforms
IF YOU think about a lot of the hotel industries, the Na- tional Health Service and so on, a lot of people working here will be immigrants. I personally think they have given a very good service and they are also making a con- tribution to this country. I think going forward if there is going to be restrictions on people coming in, that may have some future implica- tions on the services we can provide. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered at the moment and, to be honest, I don’t think many people have the answers.