To leave or not to leave: can anyone help me answer the question?

As PR professionals it's our job to be abreast of current affairs, tuned into the vox populi, up to speed on public opinion and debate.

The 'Brexit or not' arguments are based on speculation, says Alicia Melish
The 'Brexit or not' arguments are based on speculation, says Alicia Melish
But the sheer volume of opinion, based on nothing more at present than speculation, is making it very difficult for people like me to draw their own informed conclusions about whether to back or buck Brexit.
 
I write this not from the perspective of a seasoned lobbyist, experienced in political and economic analysis; but as a business owner often paid in currencies other than the Great British Pound and a PR professional working with clients whose products are freely traded between EU countries. 

I am of course also a consumer, accustomed to the free movement of travel ‘on the continent’, who dreams of retiring to the South of France, but settles for the delights of imported French cheese (and wine) until the day that fantasy is realised. 

It is my job (and chances are if you are reading this yours too) to sell concepts, services and products to consumers.  

Building a powerful, persuasive and emotive argument is what we do best. I therefore enjoy reviewing the spin around Brexit.  

True to its right-wing political leaning, Wednesday’s issue of The Sun reported that our dear old sovereign, Elizabeth II, is herself a backer of Brexit.  

Despite the story being derived from a conversation taken completely out of context with a woman who, notwithstanding her status, is not permitted to hold any political views, I am sure it will influence public opinion.  

This could be a kick in the aristocratic nuts for David Cameron, who is not only PM but fifth cousin once removed (by illegitimacy) to Her Royal Highness. 

Interestingly, it’s the younger generation who are thought more likely to join Cameron in opposing Brexit.  
Unfortunately insight shows that this demographic is the least likely to turn up to the polling station come 23 June.   

The Anti-Brexit spin teams have been hard at work though. We heard Philip Hammond compare the time that it will take to renegotiate the UK’s trade agreements to the length of the Second World War.  

There’s nothing like comparing our departure from the EU to the deadliest military conflict in history to get people to see things from your point of view.

It is of course, a serious issue and one with potentially far-reaching implications. As a country heavily reliant on imports, will us stepping away from the EU result in a rise in food prices and therefore a decrease in the expendable income of consumers?  

Will our clients with lifestyle brands be forced to cut marketing budgets, preferring to focus on markets outside of the UK? 

Will our FMCG clients be affected by a rise in the cost of raw materials?  

On the flip side, could Brexit deliver business opportunities from markets such as China and India, once the Government is free to pursue international trade deals independently?

I don’t have the answers, because like everyone else, I don’t have all the information. We are speculating about the unknown; so may the most persuasive argument win.  

In the meantime, I am checking out retirement properties in Margate. 

Alicia Melish is managing director of Stir PR

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