The business of Brexit: Bosses give their views

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The telecoms industry’s leading players give their views on the UK’s exit from the European Union and how it might affect business

On June 23, 52 per cent of voters decided that the UK would be best off leaving the European Union as part of a landmark referendum.

We spoke to some of the biggest names across operators, manufacturers and the channel to get their views on the upcoming UK “Brexit”.

BT chief executive Gavin Patterson
BT chief executive Gavin Patterson

BT chief executive Gavin Patterson:

“I see this as a moment of opportunity. There are going to be businesses that don’t make it through this.”

TalkTalk chief executive Dido Harding:

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I refuse to be doom and gloom.”

Dixons Carphone CEO Seb James:

“The nation has spoken and there has been a vote to exit the EU in due course. As you can imagine, we have been giving some thought to this. Our view is that, despite the volatility that is inevitable, we expect to find opportunities for additional growth and further consolidate our position as the leader in the UK market.”

Samsung spokesperson:

“We remain focused on delivering the highest quality products, services and experiences to our millions of customers across the UK and Europe.”

Fonehouse chairman Clive Bayley
Fonehouse chairman Clive Bayley

Fonehouse chairman Clive Bayley:

“There will be less red tape and interference from Brussels for small businesses. Long term it will be better for them but there will be questions over big businesses that operate globally. There will be a short term dip and consumers will be concerned but we could be back trading normally in around six months.”

Liberty Global (Virgin Media) spokesperson:

“We respect the outcome of today’s vote and expect it will have little discernible impact on Virgin Media or our broader European business.”

Huawei spokesperson:

“Huawei remains committed to providing value to our customers, partners and local
communities in the UK and Europe.”

Welcomm MD Aidan Piper:

“We don’t do any international trade, so the UK’s decision to leave the EU won’t affect us massively. However, we are aware that it will have an impact on our customers, as a lot of them do trade in Europe.”

Doro UK and Ireland MD Chris Millington
Doro UK and Ireland MD Chris Millington

Doro UK and Ireland MD Chris Millington:

“The currency market will be impacted the most and without a doubt that worries us. You have to adjust prices to correspond with currency changes, so there will be inflation. However, we are well prepared and we are not going to overreact to the situation.”

Wileyfox CEO Nick Muir:

“To ride out the storm of Brexit, we’re well placed. We buy in dollars, roubles, dinar, Euros. It is important we stay on top, and as a nation, we need to stay in the common market.
We need to make sure we’re definitely well placed to deal with whatever comes our way.”

Vodafone UK CEO Jeroen Hoencamp:

“I would make a big plea for ICT infrastructure. Comparing ourselves to Asia, we are seriously behind. We are in a world where the next generation is all going to be digital. They don’t go online, they live online.”

O2 business director Ben Dowd
O2 business director Ben Dowd

O2 business director  Ben Dowd:

“The Brexit, no matter what the result, was always going to have an impact on businesses. So it’s more important than ever for us to make the most of our customer and market insight and expertise and continue to fiercely compete by offering more for our customers in terms of innovative service, support and preparation for whatever the new normal turns out to be.”

Tesco Mobile spokesperson:

“The EU decision does not affect Tesco Mobile’s Home From Home service. Our customers can still enjoy using their mobiles in 31 countries just like they do at home, this summer.”

Excalibur Communications CEO James Phipps:

“Now we’ve voted to leave, we need to find the best way to take advantage. Some EU regulations were too restrictive on small businesses. If we can strike the best trade deals with countries outside of the EU then, as a country, we might be better placed to be competitive than other EU countries.”

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