Away from the political chaos caused by the Brexit vote, it is worth reflecting that industry is much more comfortable with absorbing unforeseen change than our politicians or press appear to be. Everyday companies take in their stride changing customer demand, new product introductions, changes in personal, vagaries in delivery and host of other factors they must absorb to deliver and exceed customer expectation.
Successful companies, of which we have a great many in the UK, are masters of consistent, calm delivery based on smoothing and managing a host of varying inputs. Brexit does not change this. Indeed, we can expect business to be the calming blanket, which, whilst not generating headlines, does keep the ship moving forward. A good product last week is still a good product today.
For high value manufacturers, which includes most of the 1500 photonics companies in the UK, the exchange rate shift can also have benefit. Cost of imported materials may rise, but in high value photonics products, the component bill of material is only a small fraction of the final selling price. A great deal more value is added in the design, assembly and support of such systems. The absolute increase in the cost of materials to the UK manufacturer is thus small relative to the reduction in final system price to the end international customer caused by the falling value the pound. Give that photonics is such a global market place this makes UK produced photonics instantly more attractive, making this a great time to focus on UK photonics exports.