Owner Guy Schanschieff was among the more than 17 million Brits who voted to leave the European Union late last month, setting in motion an historic regime shift that is upending the nation’s political leadership and unraveling a long-standing alliance with its continental neighbors. Analysts have warned that the Brexit will wreak economic havoc. But Schanschieff sees opportunity instead, a chance for the company he and his wife founded two decades ago to escape the E.U.’s rigid trade rules and sell diapers to parents in any nation in the world.
“It is certainly those countries outside the European Union where we have the greatest opportunity,” he said. “It’s about looking globally, rather than the very European thing of looking very inward.”
Business owners like Schanschieff played a central role in the effort to abandon the E.U., venting populist frustration over restrictions and red tape emanating from the political union’s seat of power in Brussels. Now they are hailing Brexit as the first step in removing burdensome regulations that have stifled innovation and growth and see new opportunities to strike favorable trade deals, not just with Europe but with fast-growing emerging markets across the world. To them, the country is not careening toward recession but building a new economic order that puts British interests first.
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