b'EDITORS MESSAGEBREXITTIME FOR A EU-TURN?ferent polls vary in their outcome, noneCertain companies are convinced that of the various options has a clear higherthey will (be able to) tackle the Brexit than 50% majority. But what is clear isissues when they arrive. And last but not that among the various options, a secondleast, is the insecurity. Many companies referendum has the largest percentagefeel they dont know what is going to (37%), which is about 10% higher thanhappen, and how to prepare themselves. a no-deal, and with a soft-Brexit and Mays deal trailing far behind. What alsoCOST TO ECONOMYplays a part in this is how UK voters thinkAnalyses show that the UK economy is their country will be perceived if theynow 2% smaller than it would have been remain in the EU. When asked whetherif the country had chosen to remain in it would be humiliating if the UK endedthe EU, according to the Bank of England. up staying in the EU 50% said yes andThe economic output lost since the ref-39% said no.erendum is worth about 930 million per week. The UK was the fastest growing IMPACT ON AG AND SEED G7 economy when the UK voted on the Marcel Bruins The impact of Brexit on agriculture andBrexit referendum in 2016. Since then, the the seed sector will be manifold. In thiscountry fell toward the bottom of the G7 H ow I wish that Brexit was aissue we investigate if and how the seedranking. Economic growth has slumped morning cereal that you wouldsector and adjacent providers, such as thefrom an annual pace of around 2% to less take when youre constipated.crop protection industry, have preparedthan 1% now. Investment by UK compa-Alas, this is not the case. June 23, 2016!themselves for Brexit. For starters, thenies stalled after the referendum and then That was the day when the UK held aseed sector can no longer rely on justplunged 3.7% in 2018. Meanwhile, the referendum and decided, by a very narrowCommunity intellectual protection to pro- rest of the G7 has seen business invest-margin, to leave the EU. With a nationaltect their assets. They will need to pro- ment grow around 6% a year since the turnout of 72% it was the highest ever fortect their varieties in the UK separatelyvote. Business confidence in Britain has a UK-wide referendum and the highest forif they wish to keep infringers at bay. Forslumped to the lowest level in almost a any national vote since the 1992 generalsome, this will be just another businessdecade with hundreds of banks and other election. And what a narrow margin itdecision, for many others, the extra effortcompanies leaving or already having left was: 51.89%, or 17,410,742 people, votedand costs will provide an additional andthe UK and many more to follow.to leave the European Union, whereasunnecessary burden and will lead to aIn earlier issues of European Seed, 48.11% or 16,141,241 people voted tomuch lower number of varieties beingwe talked about the negative impact of remain a member of the European Union.registered and protected in the UK. AndBrexit on agriculture, the seed sector, And since that dreaded day, weve beenthrough that very hurdle, it will deprivethe environment and much more. And hearing and reading a lot about theUK farmers of the best germplasm theyas I am writing this column, a petition first EU member state to leave the EU.could get, and UK consumers of muchto "Revoke Article 50 and remain in the One could easily argue that for suchneeded innovative products in their gro- EU" has already been signed well over 6 an important issue, this should nevercery aisles. Other challenges include vari- million times, which is by far the highest have been left to a popular referendum.ety listing and maintenance, DUS reports,in UK petition history! Now that the UK It kind of feels like the UK got drunkenforcement of IP rights, phytosanitaryhas been given a delay of six months, and and accidentally unfriended Europe onbarriers and overall trade. taking into account the myriad of detri-Facebook. And what a rollercoaster rideBut not everyone is prepared, andmental impacts, I would say its time for a it has been: Hard deal, soft deal, no deal,there are several reasons why companieslong deep breath, swallow some pride and back stop or no backstop, delay or noare not prepared for Brexit. A first oneconsider a EU-turn! delay and the list goes on. is that they dont think it is necessary. What was striking is that from theCompanies that are not dependent on theMarcel Bruinsday after the referendum, polls continueUK, dont feel the need to prepare them- editorial director, European Seedto indicate that more and more UK peopleselves. Secondly, another way of dealingmbruins@issuesink.comregret having voted Leave. Although dif- with Brexit is the wait and see approach. 4IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'