Rarely a day passes without Brexit at the top of the news agenda.
As representatives of the UK government and European Union attempt to thrash out a deal ahead of the withdrawal date of 29 March 2019, the media is busily reporting on the potential implications for individuals and businesses.
Much of the media coverage focuses on the bitter divisions between Brexiteers and Remainers or those who favour a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit.
Journalists are on the lookout for company owners to comment on how Brexit might affect their business and trading conditions. But given the lack of clarity over the outcome, what should you say if you are asked for comment?
Is talking about Brexit a PR opportunity or a hiding to nothing?
The first thing to consider is whether you have something worth saying. The second is do you know your onions when it comes to EU legislation? The third is whether you wish to take a campaigning stance.
For some companies, for example those that have high levels of export sales, there are concerns about tariffs. Some employers have concerns about finding skilled staff if fewer EU nationals enter the UK.
Many businesses are already engaged in ‘scenario planning’ that identifies the risks posed by a hard, soft or no-deal Brexit. Are you happy to talk about this process within your own company?
So, what are the benefits of speaking out about Brexit?
If you passionately believe your business will be better off with a certain outcome, there are clear campaigning benefits. But even without nailing your colours to the mast, a level-headed, practical assessment of Brexit can achieve significant value in positioning you as a thought leader within your industry or business community.
Ultimately, we’re all in the dark until a final deal is agreed. There are many more questions than answers.
If you are looking to swot up ahead of a media interview or round table debate, you could do a lot worse than start here.