We’re waking up this morning to a leave vote for the referendum. Whatever your politics, I think that the sea change that will result has to be looked at as an opportunity to make things better for everyone. It will be a seismic shift, but it’s gonna happen, so we now need to look ahead and start to plan. And we’re really planning for our children’s future. My 9-year-old son has been very engaged with the Brexit debate, as have most of the schools – it’s been wonderful for getting them to think outside of the school curriculum. And he made a very strong case yesterday for letting children vote – it’s their future that’s being decided, he said!
As a business owner, it has left me nervous I must say. Many Mojo clients are practices and other small vet-related businesses, and as the financial markets get hit, as is already happening, the consumer is likely to tighten their belts and reel in spending. Which means less money to spend on their pets. Practices will have the double whammy of looking at even more recruitment difficulties as the free flow of vets from European countries, that have helped to bolster our home-grown numbers, will stop. But the opening of new vet schools will hopefully make up the numbers by the time the impact really hits. The planned drop in VAT which might have help to free up spending may now be in jeopardy – and the pet food companies that have long-campaigned to have the VAT taken off pet food, are less likely to have their wish granted.
But far from hunkering down, I think it’s imperative that practices step up and promote their services more loudly than ever now. That ‘discretionary spend’ on pets is going to come under pressure, and the health and wellness of our pets could suffer. So we’ve got to go out and make the case for our pet’s welfare – push preventative medicine, push neutering and microchipping, push the benefits of pet ownership, and speak up for the well-being of our animal companions. The British have always loved their pets – and now with ‘independence’ and an increased focus on British values, we’ll be relying on that love to see us through.