Finance chief says it’s ‘business as usual’ after Brexit vote

“Business as usual” was the message coming from the council’s finance department after the UK voted to leave the European Union.

At a meeting of the council’s pension fund committee this afternoon councillor Gary Cleaver asked executive manager of finance Jonathan Belford what implications Brexit may have on the pension fund.

Mr Belford noted that despite a “flurry” of information from fund managers it was too early to say.

He said that “the global scale message is business as usual” and that “for the time being … management of our funds is unchanged.”

His assurance to the committee came as the pound hit a 31 year low against the dollar, causing market volatility and leading FTSE 250 companies to suffer an 11 per cent slump in share value.

Mr Belford said that he would continue to monitor the situation, as “more information will add more levels of complexity but also greater levels of understanding.”

The meeting concluded with interim chairman Michael Stout asking Mr Belford to circulate a briefing note to councillors including an analysis of the commentary.


Add Your Comment
  • John Tulloch

    • June 27th, 2016 16:53

    Back to Chicken Little: “Run, the sky is falling!”

    Market speculators never miss a trick, especially, when there’s a good old panic induced by politicians. It’s a splendid opportunity for them to make money from volatility on stock markets and foreign exchanges.

    We are simply swallowing the Remain propaganda that we will be doomed to economic penury and social exclusion. However:

    Nothing has happened. We will continue to trade in the single market for, at least, two and a half years and new arrangements will be negotiated within that time.

    The likely outcome of this is that we (Britain) will negotiate an EU arrangement analogous to those of Norway and Switzerland with some kind of a fudge on immigration that allows face saving on both sides but which actually makes very little difference to free movement of people.

    We gain control of our own country, including our fishing grounds.

    Nevertheless, the SNP will attempt to drag Shetland out of the UK and back into the EU, handing over control of Scotland’s law/regulation and Shetland’s fishing grounds as part of the entry fee, in return for a worse deal than the UK will get.

    • Robin Stevenson

      • June 28th, 2016 1:31

      Seriously John, after reading that claptrap I’m afraid I wouldn’t let you run a bath never mind a political group… oops! I mean a non-political [but attached to the Lib/Dems] group.

    • Johan Adamson

      • June 28th, 2016 11:41

      So John you think we can get a new deal on the fish without upsetting the neighbours and them reciprocating? I cant see that outwith the EU it is any more right for us to stop co-operating with everybody else and having to share.

      • John Tulloch

        • June 28th, 2016 13:32

        How about us having a share of French agriculture, Johan? Or of the German car industry?

        I don’t need to think about a new deal on fishing, we already have one. As of Friday morning, it will all be ours again in just over two years – and rightly so, it was lost to EU skulduggery in the first place.

        Who said anything about not co-operating with our neighbours? Where did that come from? Norway and Iceland co-operate with their EU neighbours in many ways, including the ‘four freedoms’, yet they retain sovereignty over their fishing grounds and their laws and are free to “co-operate” with any other country they wish, whether in trade deals or anything else.

      • James Watt

        • June 28th, 2016 13:35

        Johan, I was more concerned that the prospect of the fishing being returned to Scottish control could be scuppered by the UK governments need to do a deal for an industry they value more, like banking.

        Is there anything that would prevent the UK signing us up to a new common fisheries policy in exchange for the European banking passport that the UK financial sector will need to deal inside the EU without incurring any extra cost, the Conservatives have signed up to a deal that they knew would decimate Scottish fishing once before, can we trust them not to do it again?

      • John Tulloch

        • June 28th, 2016 17:34

        James, if the UK government wants Shetlanders to switch allegiance in the next independence referendum then that’s what they should do – return the fishing to the EU and the CFP.

        I don’t think they will be so daft as to do that, do you?

        I wouldn’t, if I was them.

      • James Watt

        • June 29th, 2016 12:50

        John, I wouldn’t put anything past this government, just because something isn’t a good idea doesn’t mean that they won’t do it. When you also consider that they signed up to the CFP despite knowing it would decimate the Scottish and Shetland fishing industries disproportionally over other parts of the U.K., it could almost be considered naive to not even consider that they might do the same again.
        So John, other than it being a bad idea is there any guarantee that some sort of new CFP couldn’t be signed up to.

      • Johan Adamson

        • June 29th, 2016 13:49

        The government obviously also sacrificed steel so they could sell to the Chinese through the EU trade deal or they were to stupid to realised the Chinese would dump their cheap stuff into the EU. This obviously influenced the vote for Leave by South Wales and Sunderland.

  • Johan Adamson

    • June 28th, 2016 9:21

    The market reaction has more to do with the state of the government and the opposition than the vote. The rats leaving the sinking ship and no leadership, no one standing up to be counted, taking up the cudgels. Suddenly no one is fit to govern or complete the mammoth task ahead. Facts and realities are discouraged. Labour is worrying about winning an election rather than about the state of the country (and an election has not been called). They are blaming their leader for what I am sure was a team effort. They should be helping him. No one is blaming the Tories for all of this and it was their fight.

    I shouldnt speak tho as things have stopped making sense. Especially nationalism. The English want to be great again and want us to be in it but not the rest of Europe, even though they dont know anything about us. The Scottish want to govern themselves but only in the EU but with or without the rest of the UK, and wir Shetland want to run away without the UK, Scotland or the EU. Enough is enough.

    • Duncan Simpson

      • June 28th, 2016 10:07

      Johan, Wir Shetland do not want to “run away”. All that we want is a say in our own governance so that our needs are not overlooked. There is a very real danger of this happening in the upheaval to come, especially if the SNP are hell bent on re-joining the EU at all costs.

      I agree with everything else you are saying though.

      • James Watt

        • June 28th, 2016 13:47

        “All that we want is a say in our own governance so that our needs are not overlooked”

        Who’s needs do you think you represent Duncan? When I look at the vote share in Shetland then look at the statement ‘Wir Shetland’ released after the results I can’t help but feel there is a disconnect somewhere.

    • John Tulloch

      • June 28th, 2016 10:12

      Johan, relax.

      The government is the exact same as it was a week ago, except that Cameron has announced he will step down in the autumn. Meanwhile the Tory Party will hold a leadership election to select a new leader.

      It took two and a half years to prepare for going into the EU and that’s what it will take to prepare for coming out.

      On the ground, nothing has changed, except that a vast stampede of lemmings is heading for ‘da banks’ broo,’ whipped ever-faster by a media frenzy, competing for sales of doom-laden hyperbole.

      • Brian Smith

        • June 29th, 2016 7:25

        Long-term observers of the political scene in Shetland may recall that Wir Shetland in its earliest days grew out of an infatuation with the ideas of Stuart Hill. As time passed, WS flirted with the Liberal Democrats, and latterly lurched towards UKIP. Now Mr Hill is back on the scene, with a long letter in the Shetland News that combines UKIP rhetoric with what may be overtures to WS. I am looking forward to the next episode.

      • ian_tinkler

        • June 29th, 2016 10:55

        Goodness, Brian Smith, why the obsession with Wir Shetland? If we are so insignificant why do you fret so. Surely, UNISON’s support of Corbyn’s disintegration of the Labour party may be better served with your energies. Maybe you have decided, unlike Wir Shetland, Corbyn’s Labour party is a lost cause, such a shame.

    • ian tinkler

      • June 28th, 2016 20:34

      We had a great nurse (effectively deported/ told to leave) as she was from South Africa (Namibia). That was EU regulations and law in action. Work permit revoked after one year. Told job should be given to EU citizen or local person! She had a chance to renew her permit and did so online whilst still working (under permit) in Lerwick. Hours of form filling and £150 in fees later. She was turned down flat. Told she could not apply when still in the UK. Had to go home first (SA) and start again. No refund of her £150. We lost one of our best trained nurses that day. if that is not discriminatory what the hell is?

      • John Tulloch

        • June 29th, 2016 10:50

        That is absolutely hellish.

      • Robert Sim

        • June 29th, 2016 12:12

        Talking about “EU law in action”, Ian and John, you may care to reflect on how important the EU has been in protecting human rights in this country and how potentially disastrous coming out of the EU is from that point of view. A good example is the recent verdict on the Hillsborough disaster. The European Convention on Human Rights made it possible for the inquest to go ahead and for the jury to find that the police were “responsible for manslaughter by gross negligence”. EU law is also interwoven into Scots law and is a positive influence in the area of human rights.

    • Johan Adamson

      • June 29th, 2016 9:32

      Now the SNP are going for official opposition. Hilarious! Especially since they are to the left of most of the Labour MPs. I wonder if they will put candidates up in England for the next election?

    • Johan Adamson

      • June 29th, 2016 9:36

      And where are the liberals?


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