Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Decoupling of Business and Politics in the UK (2)

On 15 March 2018, industrial conglomerate Unilever announced scrapping its dual headquarter structure, and created a single HQ in Rotterdam, Netherlands (my blog). Both Unilever and the UK government denied any Brexit link (Guardian).

Excerpt from my 16 March blog on Unilever – decoupling of business and UK politics:

“In my concept of the 7 Belief systemsMoney sides with Politics, its natural ally. The Unilever move shows (i) a decoupling between business (ie, Money) and unpredictable and unstable UK politics, and (ii) a coupling of business with predictable and stable Dutch politics. Money prefers arrogant Globalism / Internationalism over ignorant Nationalism (my 2017 blog).”

In June 2018, other UK conglomerates warned the UK government on Brexit: AirbusBank of AmericaBMW, and Siemens. This time the UK government response was different:

The remark by the UK Foreign Secretary led the FT to conclude: “The foreign secretary’s outburst reveals commerce has lost out to nationalism“. Note LO: bold markings in quote by me. This conclusion is an affirmation of my thesis about a decoupling between business and politics in the UK. Such a decoupling would have disastrous consequences.

Businesses tend to have a rational view, although some of their projects may well be based on an emotional spur of the moment. Decisions are mostly based on a risk / return trade-off, and only some are based on a gut feeling. Businesses seldom continue with disastrous projects, although they dislike communicating its consequences (eg, write-offs). Silence is golden.

There’s plenty of evidence that the Brexit “project” has been run the other way around: Brexit is an emotional view without any pre-Brexit impact analysis (Guardian-2017). A subsequent post-Brexit impact analysis revealed that the “U.K. will be worse off in every scenario after Brexit” (Politico-2018). Brexit appears to be purely based on a gut feeling by some loud-voiced politicians with shady international contacts (eg, Russia, Trump).

In the rational minds of UK businesses, it’s incomprehensible that UK politics would really ruin UK business through a no deal Brexit. Hence, continued disbelief and a posture of “seeing is believing“. The big conglomerates in the UK now realise that time is running out for any Brexit deal. A no deal Brexit would complete the decoupling between Business and Politics in the UK.

Running on Empty (1978) by Jackson Browne

artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2, Wiki-3

Running on, running on empty

Running on, running blind

Running on, running into the sun

But I’m running behind

Note LO: all markings (bold, italic, underling) by LO unless stated otherwise

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