World News: 13:16 GMT Monday 12th February 2018. [EQS Group via SPi World News]
DGAP-News: FTI Consulting SC GmbH / Key word(s): Study/Study results
Are business leaders overly complacent in preparing for Brexit as trade negotiations begin?
These findings are published today by FTI Consulting, the international business advisory group, in a new survey of over 2,500 senior decision makers undertaken by its Brexit Taskforce (see full report @ http://www.fticonsulting-emea.com/insights/reports/brexit-boardroom).
Confidence remains robust with business expecting the UK to retain tariff free access for goods, free movement of people and ECJ jurisdiction. Greater uncertainty exists over whether the UK will retain financial passporting rights. However the next few months will be critical. Business expects clarity by the summer to be able to make key commercial and investment decisions as they plan for the future.
The survey, which points to an expectation of a 'soft Brexit', covers what business thinks will happen in the negotiations, the expected impact and how they are preparing themselves for the outcome. Eight out of ten respondents said their company had established a dedicated Brexit team to manage the consequences and identify the opportunities.
John Maloney, head of FTI Consulting's Brexit taskforce said: 'We see fluctuations between countries and sectors but on the whole this is a surprisingly upbeat response. This creates a paradox: business remains confident in a good outcome despite the level of uncertainty. It's surprising since trade negotiations have yet to start and we have no confirmation as to what the transition will look like. Given the low level of outreach to policymakers who will represent businesses' interests in a challenging series of negotiations, is this confidence misplaced?'
While the survey shows that 68% of firms feel prepared for Brexit, with 85% of respondents either 'very satisfied' or 'slightly satisfied' regarding their Brexit response to date, only 40% said they were dealing with supply chain issues. Surprisingly only 24% were focussed on engagement with policymakers. This suggests that far too few are preparing sufficiently in a process that could become quite bruising as both sides seek a robust and comprehensive trade deal.
Hans Hack, FTI Consulting Brexit taskforce member and former Dutch diplomat said: 'The results hint at a misreading of the political reality. Certainty remains in short supply, with little prospect of companies getting comfort on the future trade agreement any time soon. The British Government has clearly stated that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, and the EU has clearly stated it will not let the UK cherry pick a trade deal. There will be some winners and some losers, assuming we even come to a deal. This could hit some sectors quite hard.'
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