As a large business in the agricultural sector The H&H Group and all of our businesses including Harrison & Hetherington, our livestock Auctioneering business, and H&H Land and Property will continue to work hard to support all our farmers and customers as we have done for generations.
For many of us the Brexit vote has not gone the way we expected and the uncertainty this causes means concerns about the future are felt by many. Whatever happens long term, we now need to remain positive and move forward, grasping every opportunity that comes our way to strengthen our industry.
This morning’s referendum result to exit the EU will cause much short term turmoil and upheaval to markets and speculation as to what the future holds for the UK, whilst my own views have always been to remain part of the EU, there are some clever people on the other side of the argument who believe we can have a strong future outside the EU.
Our notice period with the EU is at least 2 years from when we formally give notice to quit so rules and regulations stay the same for at least that period. Clearly what happens to currency and the stock market in the next few months will have implications for business and, I suspect, cause trade to slow whilst people wait to see what happens.
Our main market focus is with farmers, an industry heavily linked to EU support and rules, and there will be big issues to solve. These issues are not insurmountable and the industry may even get a short term bounce through exports with the fall in currency.
So we are where we are and in for a period of uncertainty and confusion. There is frankly not a lot we can do to influence the bigger political picture, however what is certain is that commerce will continue. The goods and services we supply are still needed as much today as they were yesterday.
The UK agricultural industry is a world leader and we can produce food to the highest quality at a completive price and it has a real can do attitude to adapting to circumstances. We now need the politicians to deliver an environment where the industry can exploit that strength by providing continued access to markets and a positive environment for the industry to operate in.
As the leading livestock trading company in the UK, and one of the foremost rural practitioners in the North of England, it is important we remain positive and provide leadership and guidance during this uncertainty.
So to conclude, in the short term whilst we see what the politicians do, there is nothing to be done and any timetable they might be working to, so our message to our customers is that it is very much business as normal, we remain there to support our customers and work on dealing with the challenges together.