Brexit? Business optimism reigns, according to a study

The Brexit negotiations have started and a lot is at stake. According to a FTI Consulting study business leaders in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Spain are rather optimistic about Brexit’s consequences. Surprised?

Some highlights

  • Just under 90% of the 2,500 senior executives of large companies surveyed by the firm expect stable or rising turnover in the first year following the UK’s departure from the EU in March 2019.
  • Three-quarters of them want clarifications before June 2018, a crucial deadline for planning “irreversible changes” in company’s strategy.
  • Two-thirds of British businesses believe that the United Kingdom will keep free of customs duties for goods, 59% that free circulation will remain in place and 52% that the European Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) will keep its authority.

Not so optimist after all

  • Businesses are a little less optimistic about the future of the British “financial passport”: 71% of British financial companies think it will be maintained, but only 59% in Germany, 56% in Spain and 51% in France.

A strategic path ahead

The EU and the UK began their discussion in February on a transitional period of about 20 months. Both sides hope to complete this part of the negotiations by March, before talking about the future relationship, especially commercial.

The United Kingdom has already announced its intention to leave the single market and the Customs Union after Brexit. The EU has made indivisible respect for the four freedoms of movement (goods and services, people, capital) one of its subjects of concern.

The survey and the source

The survey was conducted on the internet between 4 and 19 December 2017, and collected 2,568 responses from senior officials in large companies in the United Kingdom (642), Germany (632), France (646) and Spain. (648). Source: Capital

Some questions for debate

  • At the end of the day, what will change for companies?
  • Would this change the balance of power in the EU?
  • Is there a visa to travel or work in the UK?
  • What consequences for students?
  • Will English remain the working language of the EU if the UK comes out?
  • What would become of EU-funded programs in the UK? Would the subsidies stop?
  • What free trade agreement could the United Kingdom negotiate?
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