Not One In Three Businesses Planning Brexit Relocation But One In Six Hundred

The Institute of Directors says that one in three of its members is thinking about, planning for, business relocation in the event of Brexit. This is being reported as one in three businesses is planning for relocation in the event of Brexit. The two are not the same statement although that’s how our entirely unbiased media is reporting it:

One in three UK firms plan for no-deal Brexit relocation, IoD says

No, it doesn’t. It says that one third of IoD members are.

Nearly one in three British businesses are planning to relocate some of their operations abroad or have already shifted them to cope with a hard Brexit, according to a leading lobby group. The Institute of Directors (IoD) warned that 29% of firms in a survey of 1,200 members believed Brexit posed a significant risk to their operations in the UK and had either moved part of their businesses abroad already or were planning to do so.

There are 5.5 to 6 million businesses in the UK. The IoD has 30,000 members. The finding is that one in three of IoD members are planning for relocation of some part of their activities. That is, 0.166% of businesses are planning relocation – that’s what has actually been found.

Do note that the IoD is not representative in any manner, statistical or otherwise, of British business.

Or, you know, close enough, one in six hundred businesses is planning a post-Brexit relocation. Yes, of course, mere pendantry, two orders of magnitude and a doubling, what’s that between friends? Thank goodness the British media is entirely free of fake news, eh?

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timworstallJames MorganQ46Davidsbian parkinson Recent comment authors
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Davidsb
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Davidsb

Occasionally, I think about how to minimise the effects of a Corbyn administration. Or my local supermarket running out of potatoes. Or that nice Mr Trump pressing the ‘Fire Nukes!’ button instead of the ‘Post Tweet!’ button by mistake.

I would be very disappointed if the directors of any company in which I invest were NOT thinking about minimising or eliminating the effects of a Hard Brexit. Or a Soft Brexit. Or a postponed Brexit. Or an abandoned Brexit.

ian parkinson
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ian parkinson

Also, if they have already moved staff then that is a sunk cost and shouldn’t impact UK policy decisions. You need the split between have moved and thinking about it.

James Morgan
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James Morgan

How do you know the IoD is not representative of all businesses? I’m on your side – I’ve been arguing with another forum and that’s what was shot back at me. Any answer would be great I am getting shot to pieces over there.

timworstall
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timworstall

IoD membership skews heavily to large corporates, multinationals. Those who don’t like the CBI. They are already likely to have operations in many countries – relocate is just an allocation decision among many such. The vast majority of UK businesses are small and have only local operations. Relocation is a very different decisions.

Q46
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Q46

‘That is, 0.166% of businesses are planning relocation – that’s what has actually been found.’

Less. Often companies have several/all directors as members of the IOD, so if three members are ‘thinking’ that does not necessarily represent the ‘thinking’ in three businesses just one.