Britain Votes to Leave European Union: UFI Issues Statement on Global Exhibition Industry Impact

June 24, 2016

Despite polls indicating that the opposite result would be achieved, Britain has voted to leave the European Union, which it has been a member of since the mid-1970s.

The vote’s impact on the British pound and stock markets worldwide was swift, with the U.K. currency dropping to a 30-year low and the FTSE 100 also seeing steep declines.

As a strong backer of the ‘Remain’ campaign, British Prime Minister David Cameron also announced that he would be stepping down from his post in the next few months as a result of the ‘Leave’ campaign winning the vote.

The exhibition industry is a global one, reaching the far corners of the earth, so certainly the British decision to exit the European Union will have an impact.

Below is a statement from UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, by Sergey Alexeev, UFI president, and Kai Hattendorf, UFI managing director and CEO.

“The British people, in their referendum on the UK’s membership in the European Union, have spoken out in favour of leaving the Union. The markets have reacted as expected, with sharp losses, signalling question marks over the economic future of both the U.K., and Europe. Uncertainty about the future is rising. What will this mean for our industry?

The exhibition industry provides the world’s market places for trade and exchange, and is hence strongly linked to global economical developments. Ripples from the U.K. referendum will be felt in our industry, mirroring developments in other sectors.

That being said, exhibitions and other types of events, are particularly crucial in difficult times – as we have seen in the global financial crisis of 2008/09. As leading figures and companies of industry sectors gather at their international and global trade shows, they will take stock of the situation. There will be exchange, collaboration, and trade. And, in addition to the economic context, trade shows will continue to bring together people from different nations, cultures and religions, to work together and help their respective industries and economies to grow.

Naturally, as an association promoting and representing the trade show industry, we support ease of travel to allow people to attend trade shows and do business together. We make a stand for transparent rules and laws on trade, to support economic exchange and growth. And we champion openness and exchange, as face to face“ industry.

After the U.K. referendum, the global exhibition industry remains ready to support business in the U.K., in Europe, and worldwide, for the best possible future for all.”

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