opinion statement

Frank Stührenberg, Phoenix Contact

14.02.2019

Brexit - we are prepared

I have two perspectives on Brexit: As a European, I very much regret this development. I find it intolerable how the European idea is being damaged by the completely unnecessary Brexit vote.

Too soon we forget the European Union is not only an economic area, but also a great peace project. If you follow the way in which the discussion about Ireland is now going, you will see that this is anything but self-evident and deserves every effort from all of us.

As a company representative, I can say that Phoenix Contact will be prepared as best it can be. Great Britain is not among the top ten of our markets. Nevertheless, we started last year to increase our inventories in the country and to coordinate with customers how we can ensure the availability of critical components. For example, we have booked capacity on alternative transport routes such as air instead of land. On the supply side of our plants in Europe, we have also tapped alternative sources on the mainland. Also relevant are consequences that are not directly observed, such as the fact that approvals issued by British organizations will probably lose their validity in the EU. Here, too, we are taking precautions. The indirect consequences will be decisive for many companies, such as a reluctance to invest due to uncertainty throughout Europe or negative currency effects on the world market. In a weakening economy, this can be the drop that overflows the barrel of recession. In this respect, I am not giving up hope that common sense will return and at least chaos will be avoided.

Frank Stührenberg

CEO, Phoenix Contact