With the triggering of Article 50, the UK began the formal process of withdrawing from the European Union (EU). A profound legal structure is emerging that will have wide-ranging consequences.
In our March 2017 report ‘Till Brexit Do Us Part’ we examined the findings of our Brexit survey of more than 400 leaders of mid-market businesses. It captured a mood of resilience and level-headedness in British business. Market sentiment also revealed an unsteady confidence about a trade deal and concern about the lack of guidance, resulting in many businesses feeling unable to make contingency plans.
Since the report, the formal Brexit process has started and we have seen some of the key documents that will define the first stages of the negotiations. Our analysis of these EU’s documents reveals a fundamentally different outlook between the UK and the EU27. This is more than a matter of politics. Legal structures have already been put in place that will obstruct progress towards a trade deal or take too long to change.
Following the General Election in June 2017, we now also have the added uncertainty of a hung Parliament. Despite this, the deadline for Brexit remains unaffected. The UK still has to conclude a trade deal by 29 March 2019 or face a hard and chaotic Brexit.
The prospect of a completed trade deal at the end of the Brexit timeframe now looks increasingly remote.
Read our latest Brexit update for more information on the direction of the first phase of negotiations, and
how forward-thinking businesses can start planning