If we knew the answer to the above question then we’d be millionaires overnight when we’d place a bet with the British betting shops.
Nobody knows - but it seems that everybody cares!
But what will be the consequences for the European logistics scene if on June 23rd the British nation votes for a BREXIT from the European Community?
Is it all panic or to be taken seriously?
In our view it’s not just the British (or the majority of them) who are fed up with the way the EU is being run.
Let’s face it - the EU has grown itself into an organization which has an enormous civil servant machinery and costs a fortune and which many may rightly think has got out of control in the sense that there is no proper steering mechanism on who does what in Brussels or Strasbourg.
A unified Europe! - yes by all means.
But - not one which has built itself into an uncontrollable and unproductive organization whereby the impression of millions of its citizens is that “the right hand does not know anymore what the left hand is doing.”
Some also argue, maybe rightly so, that the community has grown far too large and that it has become counter-productive due to having too many members and too many individual own interests that deter away from the original aim of making Europe an economic force to reckon with.
Whatever is fact - is fact - but fact is also that if the British vote for “out,” then this will have far reaching effects on the future of Europe.
The question remains - “what will happen to Europe, or are we panicking far too soon?”
European Logistics - in danger?
The United Kingdom is no small player as regards European trade figures.
In 2015, the UK imported goods totaling just over 564 billion euros. Around 56% of that figure were goods from the EU countries. Germany alone exported goods to the value of 89.3 billion euros to the UK.
The ratios are more or less the same as far as UK exports to the rest of the EU are concerned.
Of the 415 billion euros of exports from the UK, 182 billion or 44% were into the EU.
Germany for example received 38.3 billion euros worth, or 21% of the total exported to the EU.
So, if Britain leaves, then somewhere down the line, someone is going to suffer.
UK logistics firms expect tremendous price pressure as result of a Brexit
The transport sector may well be a future victim of the UK leaving the club.
The logistics (transport) between the UK and the rest of the EU countries is big business and enjoys certain benefits on trade and customs rings all round.
The UK economy has seen substantial growth in the past two or three years, but some UK logistics managers are very pessimistic on a Brexit as they see a steep drop in demand from the Eurozone and China. They also see their sector coming under tremendous price pressure which may well take away some of the competitive edge they presently enjoy.
Will this disappear overnight?
No - probably not as even if Britain opts for out on June 23rd, it could take up to seven years before things start to hit.
In the event of a Brexit, the EU Commission has to put a system into motion, which effectively cancels each and every contract between the old Britain in the EU and one without it.
This alone can take up to two years and final ratification of all of that, maybe a further five years.
Who knows what will happen in that period.
Will other countries follow Britain’s example?
Some, including larger members will definitely have more serious thoughts on that unless the “water head” in Brussels is reformed into a real economic platform and gets away from forcing changes in the everyday life of its citizens.
Our team's view is that we are clearly against the UK stepping out of the EU. We are convinced that a Brexit will harm both sides severely, with the British economy suffering most.
However, it is only fair to say that the EU with its bloated and mostly inefficient but costly bureaucracy revolves around itself with no clear vision where to go from here.
So no matter how the British people are going to decide (we hope in favour of staying on board) the EU needs to reform itself radically, or else the next candidate comes around the corner (Marie Le Pen ??) determined to quit the club.
Let’s see what becomes fact in the coming days.
In this issue of CargoForwarder Global, we have gathered some opinions from members of the air cargo industry.
John Mc Donagh