Opinion: Brexit, travel and the view from the City, what’s really happening?

Opinion: Brexit, travel and the view from the City, what’s really happening?

No one fully knows the implications of the referendum yet, but we must seek out opportunities that will no doubt emerge, says Andrew Monk, chief executive of VSA Capital

Brexit has caused a lot of people to claim a lot of things and to worry about a lot of things, but the reality is no one really knows exactly how it will all pan out, they simply have a view that is often tainted with misinformation on both sides

So the first thing to realise is when in the last month a company has released news or an announcement and blamed Brexit they are just using Brexit as an excuse as it is way too early to know what effect it will cause.

So when an airline reports lower profits or outlook and blames Brexit they are not quite telling the truth, that was going to happen anyway for other reasons, such as falling yields, maxed out load factors rising oil prices, currency moves.

To suggest you will relocate new aircraft away from the UK due to Brexit is baloney, you do that because the UK market was becoming mature anyway. Right now what is really driving the leisure travel industry issues is the collapse of holidays to the eastern Mediterranean that has a much larger impact.

Brexit was not just a protest vote – the percentage tells you that. Many, including myself, believe the real problem lies in Europe and the European Economic Union which as a concept is not working and there has to be a probability of further countries leaving or a collapse of the Union.

But again only time will tell. The UK is a very strong country and we have always been very good at standing on our own two feet and if necessary re-inventing ourselves.

I have no doubt we will do that in the coming years and actually prosper, I do happen to believe we will see Europe in some serious trouble probably starting with their banking system which is in a parlous state (this is one major reason why the City will remain strong and not fall to European competition)

Our airlines are some of the strongest globally, and our travel companies also, and we have some of the most experienced and capable staff globally. we can flourish with independence

What we do need desperately is more runway capacity for two reasons. Firstly our growth is being stymied by the inability to fly more routes particularly to Asia. Secondly, a major infrastructure programme such as this will bring jobs and growth h to the UK and it can all be funded with non-government money and so not cause issues.

Heathrow is the business airport and so there is no question the additional runway should be built there, and I live in Chiswick and still believe so.

Gatwick is a leisure airport and once Heathrow has more capacity business traffic at Gatwick can be moved to Heathrow giving Gatwick more capability for leisure. Also it is much easier for leisure traffic to go to other London airports or regional airports.

The weakness of Sterling after Brexit is getting blamed for many things but again this must be put into reality, the currency was at this level in 2010 and 2012 so why not now?

Currencies always swing around and it may be more expensive to holiday overseas but the quid quo pro is it brings more tourist to Britain. Cornwall will need signs in German if we aren’t careful.

So my advice is don’t believe what anyone tells you about Brexit yet. Wait and see and look for opportunities that are bound to emerge and take advantage of them.

Embrace new countries and continents such as Asia and look to do business there and I can assure you that well run companies will always succeed regardless of what mess politicians leave us in and we have a very strong and well managed travel industry in this country.


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