Meg Lee Chin

The media is aflame with hysteria over the idea of a "crash" out of the EU. If the narrative is to be believed, UK businesses will suffer catastrophically under WTO rules. But how real is the hype?

Astute business owners adapt to changing economic cycles. That's just what they do. Whether it be inflation, deflation, currency fluctuations, floods, hurricanes, and even wars, the canniest of entrepreneurs are able to adjust. Indeed most economies tend to be dynamic and rarely stagnant.

Most businesses know this, yet instead of preparations to tackle new challenges and embrace opportunities worldwide, many are succumbing to the emotion-laden proselytism peddled by the largely pro-Remain UK press. We hear sweeping statements which suggest that all British businesses will be affected negatively. We hear projections for losses but rarely for gains. We are warned that the pound will drop. Apparently, EU goods will be too expensive to buy and UK goods will be too expensive to sell.

But when I hear blanket pronouncements and one-sided projections I am reminded of Nassim Nicholas Taleb's statement; "Years ago, I noticed one thing about economics, and that is that economists didn't get anything right". So will it all really be as bad as the doomsayers predict?

The benefits of a lower currency are rarely mentioned in the press. Indeed this benefit has been key to Germany's success as an export powerhouse over recent years. Furthermore, China favors a lowered currency so much, Trump actually accused them of deliberately manipulating their Yuan lower (they did).

Likewise, the drop of the British pound just after the Brexit referendum was good for exports and tourism. Tourists got more in exchange for their own currency and spent it here in the UK. The lower pound made British products more affordable for those buying UK goods. Remember how we were warned of an impending cataclysm simply upon a successful vote to leave the EU? It didn't happen. Instead, the drop actually enriched small business.

Though the downside of a lower pound means it costs more for us to buy non-UK goods, the upside is that locally sourced goods become more attractive. This stimulates the local economy with jobs and prevents currency flowing out of the UK. Witness how Portobello, Camden Market and Brick Lane are heaving with tourists lately...

The other threat peddled by our leaders is over the impact of tariffs under WTO rules. Here, we might look toward Tim Martin - owner of Wetherspoon's, who is already ahead of the curve. Martin has replaced wines and beers from France, Italy and Germany, with drinks from the UK, Australia and South Africa. According to Tim, "We intend to honour existing contracts with EU suppliers, some of which have several years to run... However, we are starting to make the transition to non-EU trade now."

Martin's forward-thinking example might perhaps be heeded by my friend Karen who imports stereos worldwide and sells them to UK customers. Terrified by a sensationalist press, she worries that EU tariffs will devastate her business. She hasn't taken into account that those same tariffs will be borne by her competitors too.

Though Karen imports a fair amount of German stereos, there are plenty of other countries to buy from. The amount her customers have to spend on stereos won't change, the choice of whether to buy Blaupunkt, Sony, Cambridge Audio or JVC might. If Germany finds themselves unable to compete with Japan, Taiwan, China, the US and the UK, then that's a problem for the Germans - not my hard-working friend.

So although some try to portray economic forecasts as a science similar to physics, the reality is that the track records of economists make weathermen look psychic. As such, forecasts of certain financial disaster from the likes of the BOE, IMF and World Bank, leave me unconvinced at best and suspicious at worst. Who exactly are they looking out for?

Britain as a financial monoculture, with all its eggs in one basket, has been great for those who work in or around the City of London. But this lopsided economy has been devastating for the rest of the UK. Indeed it could be said, that a "strong" pound was a crucial factor behind our diminished manufacturing industry. With most of its life force flowing to just one part of the body, it's easy to see why Britain's limbs would shrivel and die.

London is currently the richest city in the EU (by GDP). But nine out of the ten poorest cities are also in the UK. This makes Britain the country with the greatest inequality. It's no surprise the mainstream media is warning of cataclysm. Any move toward a more independent, self-sustaining Britain with an emphasis toward small, local business must be frightening for those who've benefited handsomely from Britain's extreme wealth gap.

So just say "NO" to the hype. We voted to leave. Let's make a dash for it.