December 9th 2011 – Christmas Informal Luncheon

The biz club held its final luncheon of the year at the Garden Hotel with a full house of attendees. Geoffrey Pointon thanked everyone for all their support and introduced Matthew Hare – CEO of Rutland Telecom to the room. Matthew briefly detailed his interest in politics and particularly felt that the number of MPs would benefit from radical reduction.

On what turned out to be a ground breaking day in regard to Europe naturally the conversation turned to the events of the past 24 hours and in particular David Cameron’s decision to veto at the European summit.

Frank Simms reminded everyone that ‘there are 27 states in Europe but only 17 in the Euro. But he agreed that we need to make sure that the changes in the Treaty are good for the UK .’ He felt it was a golden opportunity to put the UK back at the top of the pile. He added ‘too many people in the UK are employed by European businesses. To bring back individual currencies would be too difficult so he anticipated that the Euro would continue.’

Michael Clayton felt that ‘anyone who was rejoicing over the recent events and thought that the collapse of the Euro would be a good thing was ill advised.’ He said ‘we need to fight for the best deal we can get. We have allowed Europe to fragment the Conservative party enough. The coalition is in power as they failed to win the last election and if we are not careful concerns over Europe will let Labour back in.’

Derick Horsfall was ‘in favour of the European Union as such but politicians have abdicated too much power to Brussels Parliament who can’t even balance their books.’

Peter Tasker didn’t think the ‘Euro would collapse as it was not in the interests of the Euro zone countries. He felt the UK should be part of Europe but not controlled by Europe.’ He felt ‘the Mercozy duo had the political and financial will to ensure the Euro will survive.’

Phillip King ‘Mercozy want further economic integration which means local government will get a lot of additional red tape and bureaucracy. This may mean the electorate find increased household bills. We have shared points in our history but our traditions are very different, EU suits continental Europe but not the UK. The fate of the Euro lies in the markets as they will ultimately decide.’

Chris Emmett agreed that ‘culturally and economically the EU was never going to work.’ She personally voted ‘No’ in the last referendum. She felt that ‘the markets moved faster than the EU bureaucracy can keep up but that the German and French need to get together and decide the direction – possibly smaller than now and countries like Greece will exit.’  She agreed that there is lots tied up between the UK and Europe and we need to have contingency plans to explore other markets. David Cameron had done the right thing to protect the City and Country.’

Peter Tasker noted that ‘M&S no longer accept invoices in Euro’s.’

Frank Simms ‘the Chinese want to come into the IMF and the US will need to give away a percentage of its holding to let them in.’

Chris Emmett said ‘we should recognise that this is not just a EU problem but a global one. This could lead to increased social unrest we need to help business to create jobs as unemployment is a continued risk to the economy.’

Fuad Hamzeh noted ‘that some countries such as Australia or Sweden had already started to move into more favourable economic times as they had suffered crashes earlier.’

Geoffrey Pointon said ‘that it was an immature world economy that was brought down by the crash. We need to go back and make sure things are properly regulated second time around. Business needs to be encouraged to generate income for the economy especially small businesses below 10 employees. Removing the regulation and tax restrictions on these small companies would help them generate jobs. Unfortunately micro businesses spend too much time and money dealing with red tape.’

Anner Fehenrt agreed saying ‘David Cameron needs to help so small businesses can take more employees on.’

Frank Simms said ‘bond holders are fed up of low interest rates as they are losing money by standing still. No matter what quantitative easing has been done we are not moving interest rates up.’