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Brexit & Your International Business

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Brexit & Your International Business

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So it has actually happened – the British electorate has voted in favour of a change. The result did come as a bit of a surprise but is seen by many as a much needed wake up call for the EU, which is politically complicated and seems to be led by a bloated administration.

If the EU was a ‘Start-up’ today and its current format was being proposed as the working structure, it’s unlikely that any investors would be interested.

Focusing on the facts

Now that the market speculators have had their way – as they always do when moments of uncertainty arise – some calm and pragmatism has started to return. True, there will be a period of uncertainty aspoliticians huff, puff and rattle their sabres but despite the Brexit vote, the fact remains that the EU needs the UK and vice versa.

“The Member states should calmly and prudently analyse and evaluate the situation, before making the right decision together” Angela Merkel, German Chancellor

Why would the EU not want to find a way where it can continue to trade and interact with one of the top 10 biggest economies in the world, which happens to be right on its doorstep? Conversely, why should the UK try to totally disengage from the biggest trading market in the world? These are facts that will not be lost on business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs in both the EU and the UK when negotiations start.

No timetable for a Brexit has been established and there is no reason for the UK to rush, or be rushed, into discussions.

Practical next steps

It’s entirely possible that a new UK Prime Minister can negotiate favourable terms for a future trading relationship with the EU and easy movement of tourists and skilled labour. It’s entirely possible too, that new trading relationships can be forged with economies that will be the powerhouses of world trade over the coming decades.

There has been some speculation that non-British EU nationals may be asked to leave; it’s important that these individuals are reassured of their status. In particular, London is a city of immigrants, with 40% of its population born outside the UK. Moving forward, it won’t be in the UK’s interest to make it harder for businesses to hire talented people.

Opportunity in every difficulty

The government has indicated it intends to maintain a globally competitive low tax environment. There are indications that corporation tax rates will be reduced even further than previously planned. Exchange rates are now also very favourable for investors into the UK and are likely to remain at similar levels for some time.

If you have any concerns or queries on Brexit or the implications for your employees or your business, please contact us.

Melissa Harkcom, Director +1 415 867 6245 /

David Jenkins, Partner +44 (0)20 7430 5881 /

Melissa Christopher, Partner +44 (0)20 7430 5894 /

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