NEWCASTLE-based political consultancy Invicta Public Affairs is celebrating its first birthday in the city, not with candles and a cake, but with a warning on the dangers that lie in a vote to leave the EU.
With a little over a month until the referendum, the firm of business and political experts has outlined its fears on the potential devastating impact a Brexit could have on UK firms and economic growth. Mark Stephenson, Invicta head of public affairs, said:
“Invicta is celebrating one-year at our Milburn House base in Newcastle against the backdrop of huge political uncertainty, not least of all due to the EU Referendum on 23 June, which is clearly impacting on business’ appetite to invest and grow.
“We work closely with a wide range of investors from around the world and all, bar none, are concerned about the possibility of a UK-EU exit. Added to this, clients within the UK are holding back on major and minor investment decisions while this period of uncertainty lingers. The direction of policy and of our economy could change greatly come 24th June so businesses are being understandably cautious.”
The public affairs consultancy last year relocated its UK headquarters to Newcastle, while expanding its team of advisers which work with businesses in the energy, housing, retail and commercial development sectors.
“We have had a fantastic first year and we look set for that to kick on into our second,” added Mark. “But it’s a huge shame that the referendum is casting such a huge shadow across all sectors and our political landscape – it would be wrong of us to celebrate our anniversary when our clients are so concerned about the UK’s uncertain future.”
Invicta advises 150 clients and has helped businesses realise over £2bn of UK investment in the past ten years alone.
Jessie Joe Jacobs, North East Field Director with Britain Stronger In Europe, said: “Invicta, like many growing North East businesses, is doing well. It is no surprise therefore that they are fearful about the results of the referendum and want to use their birthday to highlight these fears.
“The 100,000 jobs related to EU trade, our economy, regional investment and hard earned workers rights are all at risk. Its enough to bring any party to an early end.”
Mark added: “Invicta has gone from strength to strength and we hope to recruit and grow further in the coming months. Ideally the UK will continue to reap the benefits of EU membership and this would undoubtedly provide opportunities for us, our clients with resulting jobs and wealth creation that this entails.”