If I stay there will be trouble, if I go…


So the CBI guy, speaking in a personal capacity said “out” and had was kicked out.

The Bank of England guy said “out” could cause trouble and that caused him trouble.

The Queen is being interpreted as saying “out” but that was years ago before anyone was asking so she can’t have been answering and now she’d say nothing.

So where does Stan stand?

Well, we have a risk register and we are going to enter Britain leaving the European Union as a risk for Stan’s Cafe but where do we place it on the likelihood / severity matrix? At this point, damp finger in the air, people around the world with a taste for ‘change’, with media massed in the ‘out’ camp reporting on the refugee camps, maybe we go ‘quite’ on the likely. The impact axis is even more tricky to evaluate.

If leaving the EU spooks the markets because of its uncertain implications for trade then the value of sterling could drop we become cheap for international promoters and get more bookings. Of course if the markets react the other way then we become more expensive and overseas bookings could drop.

Then there are questions about visas. When we are booked to perform in the United States our hosts have to build a big dossier setting out why our actors have to travel to perform the show rather than us using US actors. This is a time consuming and expensive business that culminates in us having to send all our actors down to the embassy in London for an early morning visa interview appointment that requires an overnight stay; if we were required to do the same thing prior to a gig in Germany that would be an utter nightmare.

It should be crazy to happen even on exit but there have to be benefits to being in the EU club, if none of these benefits are withdrawn when you leave what would the point of being a member of the club, what would stop everyone else leaving? There must be some penalties on exit because if there were only upside surely everyone would go.

Then there are reciprocal tax agreements for the company that mean that in theory we don’t have to pay tax on our shows in the country where we perform them (this isn’t a Facebook kind of thing I promise). If rules change this could become a problem. It’s proved tricky in Canada for us in the past, but to be honest it has also proved tricky more recently in EU member Poland.

We can only speculate. Everyone is saying the thing they think will persuade others to join their prejudice. I am prejudiced. I love being European. I love being connected to all those other member countries. Given that I often don’t vote for the domestic government I get I don’t mind this government being in tension with European government I voted for but don’t control. I think of it as a balance of powers.

So how do we mitigate this risk? Maybe Stan’s Cafe should lobby for ‘in’.

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