HAPPY HALLOWEEN. REALLY?

12 weeks 2 days until Halloween. That’s guaranteed. 12  weeks 2 days to BREXIT. That certainly isn’t guaranteed. And even if we are to believe Bojo’s declaration that we will be out by the 31st October, there is no certainty that the Backstop will be resolved, and we end up with an orderly BREXIT and there is no certainty that Parliament will allow a disorderly BREXIT, which could well mean an Autumn election. So, what to do? How do we work out your pricing for fire curtains and fire shutters when we are reliant on a European supply chain for key componentry? Our Flameshield Fire Curtains tested to BS 8524-1 have control panels and motors which are especially reliant on our German friends. And will the ports be so chaotic that lead times go out of the window?

Certainly, the markets are factoring in the uncertainty and the financial rumour mill tends toward an ever-depreciating pound. Technical articles predicting Pound Euro parity or lower abound. Last weekend saw another flurry from analysts. The last month does not exactly look pretty from an exchange rate point of view. Surely 10 per cent plus price rises are imminent?

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But then again didn’t the markets get Brexit wrong? Didn’t they expect a May majority in the 2017 General Election, and so much for my well-placed friend in Philadelphia who said “You can put your house on  Pennsylvania going with Hilary, and without Penn State, Trump cannot possibly get in.” Well it was close, 0.76% to be precise, but the point is, he was wrong, the markets were wrong and the rest as they say is history.

 And if the markets can’t be trusted, (although it is about time that they called a political event correctly), and the only certainty is uncertainty we have decided to leave anything quoted in 2019 as is. At the moment that is. All of our Flameshield fire curtain and fire shutter, quotations leave the office with the caveat “All prices quoted are exclusive of VAT and are open for acceptance for a period of 30 days.” The 30 day rule is not something we tend to enforce that rigorously, given that our construction partners need some stability with their pricing and that the average duration from tender to order is six months.

Of course you can secure your price definitively just in case we are forced to change our minds, by placing an order now rather than later. We may even be able to give you an additional MCD for projects placed before the end of August. Just ask, we won’t be offended. paul@a1shutters.co.uk

Back to Halloween, and we probably have a couple of other things to consider. The two largest exporters of pumpkins globally are China with 28.7% and India with 19.7%. The Russians are third. Obviously I am not going to be so impolite and reiterate that none of these countries are in the EU, but it is worth noting the pound is plummeting against the Yuan, the Rupee and the Rouble. Dominos are stockpiling pineapples. Maybe we should definitely order our fire curtains early and learn how to carve out potatoes or home grown turnips. I am just saying….