Who do you think you were kidding Mr Osborne?

June 24, 2016: The virtual sandwich boards declared “the end of the world was nigh”.

The UK had voted to leave the EU and our economy would never recover from the shock.

Emergency budgets were pencilled in and massive hikes in income tax, alcohol and petrol duties as well as swingeing cuts to the NHS and schools were inevitable and markets would spiral wildly downwards.

Private Frazer would likely have whispered “We’re doooomed”.

Corporal Jones might have responded: “Don’t panic”.

So, which of them would’ve been right?

A few short months on, what do economic prospects look like for the UK, Scotland and for the Aberdeen city region?

At a UK level, the jury remains out and there are still mixed messages but:

  • the FTSE 100 is at its highest mark since before the global financial crisis of 2008;
  • jobs are still being created and - overall - unemployment is falling;
  • August saw the biggest month-on-month positive rebound in a quarter of a century in manufacturing sector confidence;
  • the value of sterling is now stabilising, providing significant impetus for a much needed increase in net exports;
  • we have record low interest rates which seem to be prompting consumers to spend rather than save.

Closer to home, some of the key indicators for the Scottish economy are not as bullish as for the UK as a whole.

Of course, one factor in this is the oil & gas downturn which is being felt most acutely in this region.

Fundamentally, though, our economy in the North-east remains strong and even the current position provides a firm foundation on which to build our regional renaissance.

Levels of innovation and entrepreneurship are high and we are leading the way in Scotland for business start-ups.

Opportunity North East is putting the foundations in place to anchor oil & gas here for the long term while diversifying our economy through a focus on food, drink & agriculture, life sciences and tourism.

The City Centre Masterplan is gaining traction. And a number of major infrastructure initiatives are underway with the Chamber estimating that in excess of £4.8billion has been committed to live projects.

What business needs at this time is as much certainty, stability and confidence as possible.

The message from Chamber members is clear and consistent - the only government priority must be to create the conditions that will enable businesses to thrive.

That means focus and resources must be single-mindedly directed towards greater strategic infrastructure investment, developing the skills we need to sustain growth, fair business taxation that does not limit entrepreneurship and investment and support for entering and trading in overseas markets.

No distractions.

We are living in turbulent and dynamic times and the final shape of Brexit remains uncertain but the most successful organisations will embrace this as an opportunity for creating and delivering positive disruptive change.

Like the chaps from Dad’s Army, business in the UK appears to be “sticking it up ‘em” despite the odds seemingly being stacked against it.