back to article A sorry Brexcuse! Systemax blames Brexit for car crash Q3 results

Sickly supplier Systemax has blamed Brexit for its latest car crash financials as losses in the UK mounted in the wake of the EU referendum. The once mighty reseller reported falling year-on-year sales at its European Technology Group (ETG) for Q3 ended September, down 6.3 per cent to $226.5m. Trading output across the region …

  1. Jess

    It seemed to me like the whole industry was being cautious for the six months before the referendum from when the result we got started becoming a possibility.

    A fair chunk of the largest multinationals have their EU HQs in the UK (40% form some figures I've seen). It is inevitable that these will downgrade to UK offices should we exit the EEA. Why would they do anything more than the minimum to keep running, until they are sure they are staying put?

    Had the vote gone the other way, then there would have been a mini boom as the delayed projects get taken off hold.

    Of course there has been a minor recovery since the date of article 50 has been made more certain, and businesses know that anything on a 2 year cycle can resume, and anything that can be accelerated to be complete within 2 1/2 years can as well.

    However, a lot of stuff is on a cycle of four or more years. (Including equipment).

    Given we have no idea how this mess will turn out, no-one whose business involves the EU can make any long term plans. (Without some sort of promise being made to protect them).

    There are many possible outcomes.

    We might end up remaining in the EEA (which is really all that the referendum question gives a mandate for).

    We might end up remaining in the European Customs Union, meaning goods can travel freely, but people and services can't. (like Turkey) I wonder if this is what has been promised to Nissan, it would also fulfil the promise made about the Irish Border.

    We might end up paying a few tens of millions a week to keep our bank passporting.

    Or we might keep insisting on no freedom of movement, while the EU insists it is non negotiable, and end up with WTO rules (or even nothing at all, if we don't get a smooth entry into it as a standalone.)

    Giving the UK access to the single market without freedom of movement would destroy the EU, and they know it. We get it, Switzerland will have to be given it too, then the whole thing will fall apart. Quite why they set a precedent for doing it with Canada, I don't know.

    It could mean a game of chicken in the negotiations.

    1. P. Lee

      > the whole industry was being cautious for the six months before the referendum

      So right.

      But not for the reasons you say. No-one was expecting Leave to win - not the politicians (who would not have allowed the referendum to happen), not the media and not even the Leave voters. There's a massive disconnect between the populace and the political/big business bubbles.

      The reason for the caution was that despite all the pretense, most people know the economy is down the drain.

  2. Spanners Silver badge
    Meh

    @jess

    We might end up remaining in the EEA (which is really all that the referendum question gives a mandate for).

    The referendum did not give a mandate for anything. It was not legally binding either. The only mandates we have around here are ones supplied by parliament or possibly the Queen.

    1. Jess

      Re: @jess

      > The referendum did not give a mandate for anything.

      Which is why I specifically referred to the question asked, rather than the nature of the referendum.

      A question asking if we should remain in the EU cannot give a mandate for anything other than leaving the EU.

      (Whether there is a mandate or not is a separate issue, and not one I was making comment on with that post, just the limit of it, should it exist.)

    2. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: @jess

      "The only mandates we have around here are ones supplied by parliament or possibly the Queen."

      Something written by Tim Harford a few years ago reminded me that not only did the Magna Carta limit the monarch's powers, but the Glorious Revolution of 1688 did so even more, conveying much more power to Parliament and away from the royal prerogative. And Ms May was appointed by the monarch, not by Parliament. The critical point in 1688 was this (quoting Wikipedia): "Some of the most influential leaders of the Tories united with members of the opposition Whigs... the Bill of Rights 1689 has become one of the most important documents in the political history of Britain and never since has the monarch held absolute power." We need Tories, Lib Dems and Labourites to unite now, to get rid of Brexit once and for all.

      1. Jess

        Re: We need Tories, Lib Dems and Labourites to unite

        It would be nice, but the Brexit is purely being managed for the political benefit of the Tory Party.

        The only real hope is if their rich mates decide they can't make enough money out of the UK fire sale.

        If there gets to be too much opposition in Parliament, I'm sure all that will happen is that Mrs May will make the SNP an offer they won't turn down.

  3. AMBxx Silver badge
    Joke

    They sure it was Brexit?

    Surely it was the wrong weather?

    1. ATG

      Re: They sure it was Brexit?

      There were Leavers on the tracks...

  4. Smoking Gun

    Is this the MIsco bunch? I bet ya sales slide is nothing to do with Brexit...

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