It is no doubt Brexit is top of mind at all times, however following the recent news regarding its potential blockage by Parliament, it is clear the next few months are of crucial importance as the details of the UK’s future presence in Europe unfold. On Thursday 24th November, the Chamber working in partnership with the Ministry of Finance held a conference on ‘Brexit: New Developments and Consequences’.
The lunchtime event, which was attended by over 100 invitees of the Chamber and the Ministry of Finance, saw a panel of experts discussing the implications of the Brexit vote in roundtable format, moderated by James Palmer of H2D Advisory.
The audience was able to benefit from insights offered by various experts from different industries; Sharon Lewis of Hogan Lovells, Guy- Antoine de la Rochefoucauld of Lloyds London and Olivier Campenon, President of the Chamber.
With each speaker having presented themselves and their companies, Mr. Campenon formally opened the proceedings with a presentation working through the Brexit timeline and the immediate effects following the Brexit vote. Despite 15% drop in sterling, the slowing down of house sales and general anxiety, the manufacturing reported a boost in sales.
Also touched upon were the other probable consequences such as the potential referendum for Scotland. Overall, the process in which Britain will leave the EU is somewhat a lengthy process due to span over 2 years due to the ongoing negotiations which must be approved by 20 EU nations.
James Palmer hosted a variety of questions to the panel of experts: the changes faced by the financial passport which allows businesses to establish themselves in one place in the EU, (typically in London), and use that as their headquarters for selling services across the single market; the uncertainty faced by companies; the possibility of the blocking of Brexit following the High Court ruling; and if Brexit really means Brexit. Both Sharon Lewis and Guy- Antoine de la Rochefoucauld drew on their extensive legal and insurance experiences to discuss the impact of the changing situation regarding the financial passport and the implications.
Following extensive debate and discussion expertly led by Mr. Palmer, the floor was opened to the audience for further discussion as we welcomed political commentary and further economic insights from the attendees. The concluding and resounding message of the conference was that Britain was open for business as usual.