Few Perceptible Commercial Benefits to be Gained from Brexit
The sense of frustration surrounding the slow pace of Brexit talks, compounded by predictable political posturing, fuels speculation that the UK will not be ready when it leaves the European Union by March 2019.
In fact, there is widespread consensus within the business community across EU27 and the UK that the negotiations will not have been completed ahead of the 29th March 2019 deadline, when the UK is set to formally exit the bloc.
Luca Raffellini, Head of Business and Financial Services at Frost & Sullivan, took a factual look at the current status and the consequences of leaving the EU during an earlier conversation with CNBC’s Angela Antetomaso.
Raffellini remarked that, out of the four big issues on the negotiation table in 2017 – EU citizens’ rights, the Brexit divorce bill, the Irish border and future trading relationships – the only sticking point that is likely to be resolved quickly during the coming year is agreement on citizens’ rights.
Raffellini further asserted that no individual country stands to generate a net gain from Brexit.
“In commercial terms,” said Raffellini, “the fallout from Brexit will manifest itself to varying degrees of intensity across the eurozone and the UK.” He believes that from a pure business, non-political viewpoint, this is not a zero-sum game – the positive opportunities arising for Britain and its 27 European counterparts as a consequence of Brexit will not offset the downsides. The Frost & Sullivan consultant warned that for the next five years, at the very least, collectively, the net economic effect will be negative under most scenarios.
He added that the market experts at Frost & Sullivan have developed multiple future scenarios, both from a top-level view as well as focused on each of the many vertical sectors covered by the advisory firm.
“The scenarios under analysis range from a “very soft” Brexit based on the ‘Norway model’, plus five-year interim implementation, to a “very hard Brexit based on no divorce settlement, no interim period, with the UK falling back on WTO rules… and everything in between,” Raffellini explained.