Here’s when we’ll know the Brexit result

Britons will go to the polls on Thursday evening, our time, where they will partake in a historic vote to either remain in (dubbed ‘Bremain’) or exit (dubbed ‘Brexit’) the European Union (EU).

It was only last year that the world was seemingly waiting on hands and knees for a similar vote involving Greece. The Greeks ultimately decided to remain in the Eurozone, much to the relief of equity markets, but there was plenty of uncertainty and anxiety in the lead-up to the vote.

The same goes for Brexit. If Britain does decide to leave the EU, it is unclear how that would impact its own economy. George Soros noted that Brexit could trigger a ‘Black Friday’ event, potentially throwing the British economy itself into recession and causing a sell-off of the pound.

The outlook is equally unclear for the European economy as well as the global economy. Of course, there have been those journalists and economists that have predicted doom and gloom if the Britons do vote to leave, although others have gone on record as saying it will be a complete non-event, barely impacting the Australian market.

As an example, it’s fair to assume that companies such as Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) won’t lose too much business if Britain votes to leave. Same goes for Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW); after all, people will still need to eat and drink regardless of what happens!

In fact, there are some companies which could even benefit if Britain did choose to leave. One company that springs to mind that could benefit from heightened uncertainty is Burson Group Ltd (ASX: BAP), which provides the parts for the repair and servicing of older vehicles. If the economy does take a hit, people would likely hold onto their older vehicles for longer, creating more demand for the company’s products and services.

The Australian Financial Review also quoted Jason Beddow of Argo Global Listed Infrastructure as saying there will be no immediate consequences even if Brexit were to occur, and that it would be business as usual for local companies:

“I think Brexit’s a lot of noise and won’t actually mean anything really, because the immediate impact’s not huge and it will take something like three to five years to leave the EU.”

The local S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has risen this week on heightened expectations that Britons will elect to remain in the EU, although the odds are still too close to call.

Voting will open at 7:00am London time (4:00pm today, Sydney time) and then close at 10:00pm London time (7:00am on Friday, Sydney time). However, the official result is not expected for a number of hours afterwards, while the votes are counted.

Clearly, Brexit has been cause for much anxiety in the market recently, but investors need to remember that volatility and uncertainty are both completely normal facets of investing.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman owns shares of Burson. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Burson. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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