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Brexit and the Plastics Industry

Malton Plastics (UK) Ltd News and PR from Malton Plastics (UK) Ltd - Published 25 July 2017 Its been over a year since approximately 46.5 million UK voters turned out to vote on whether the UK should leave the European Union. The result shocked the nation
It’s been over a year since approximately 46.5 million UK voters turned out to vote on whether the UK should leave the European Union. The result shocked the nation, as the Brexit campaign won with a slight majority of 52% of the vote, a result the brexiters themselves probably weren’t even expecting. However, since the 23rd of June, 2016 the UK has been crippled by instability both economically and politically, all surrounding our potential departure of the European Union.

Immediate effects of the Brexit vote were apparent as the Pound fell against both the Euro and the Dollar, and the FTSE 100 dropped when it had previously been climbing at a consistent rate for some time. To add to the chaos, large firms located in London threatened to move out of the UK should Brexit become a reality. The chaos was capped off by David Cameron resigning almost immediately, and so the country seemed to be on the brink of collapse with no leader and no ideas. Unfortunately, this uncertainty has carried on throughout the year and was most certainly not helped by the election held last month, June 2017 which saw Labour revitalised under Jeremy Corbyn, while the Conservatives and Theresa May lost their majority at parliament.

From the above you’d think the country would have collapsed and we’d all be broke, however, we’re still here and on the contrary British Plastics is seemingly doing rather well. The British Plastics Federation (BPF) released their conditions survey for June and July this year, and found indications of optimism within the industry. The survey results showed that 80% of respondents were predicting an increase in sales turnover within the next 12 months. In addition there also seems to be a large amount of investment going into plastics, in regards to new factories and machinery, but why such optimism when leaving the EU could be so detrimental for UK business?

To put it into perspective, plastic is all around us, from our pens on our desks, to our bottles, cups and containers, it is everywhere. This necessity, could be what is driving such optimism, that plastics in the foreseeable future will always have a demand, meaning that plastic manufacturers have nothing to fear. The recent advances in 3D printing have also seen a boom in plastics in regards to rapid prototyping and other exciting ventures. As discussed in a previous article, we have seen more manufacturing businesses returning to the UK rather than outsourcing to countries such as China and India which are traditionally cheaper made but poorer quality than the UK equivalent.

However, it is foreign exports which we would all like to see increase and this may improve with trade deals across the Atlantic to the United States and there are even talks of Australia wanting to begin negotiations as soon as we leave the EU. Obviously there will be some cost, as you can’t ship something around the world and expect to pay the same as going into Europe, but the optimistic approach is promising
plastic is all around us, from our pens on ours desks, to our bottles, cups and containers, it is everywhere.

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