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August 21 2018
By Mel Holley

A former routeone editor, Mel has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.

What will happen in seven months?

In seven months’ time roughly half the country will be rejoicing, the other half not. That is, if the Brexit referendum results and subsequent polls (showing little change in opinion),are anything to go by.

Brexit: Do you feel positive or negative?

It is said that the first casualty of war is truth. The war of words on both sides of the debate has made it difficult to tease out what is ‘truth’ or ‘hard fact’ and what is not.

The now infamous ‘Brexit Bus’ - the coach emblazoned with the £350m figure and references to the NHS - was one polarising argument.

But, come 29 March 2019, what exactly will happen?

The simple answer is no-one knows, or is able to accurately predict. And, when you’re trying to plan for your business, that’s exceptionally difficult.

We do have some limited facts. We know that our currency - as holidaymakers are discovering this summer - is not as robust as it was. But that could change and it’s a two-sided coin being good for exports, not for imports.

We know that, despite the importance of the myriad fine details, many rules affecting the coach and bus industry - from international coach tours to vehicle type approval - are yet to be tackled. This leaves a great deal of uncertainty, irrespective of how you voted, but it may affect your confidence about an outcome that will be good for you.

From our regular conversations with operators, we know that the operating industry’s views on leave/remain follow the national pattern and this magazine therefore remains neutral.

The big ‘if’ is what will happen to the economy? Those in the bus industry know how closely linked revenues are to the nation’s financial health.

We call on the government to knuckle down over the rest of the summer recess and provide clarity on those key aspects affecting our industry.

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Millbrook 2019