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|Comment: Brexit & Article 50: A deal that will change the course of the UK|
|Wednesday, 29 March 2017|
“Theresa May’s plans to start Britain’s withdrawal process from the EU will set off a series of tough negotiations. The complexity of Brexit poses unique challenges, with overall sentiment and fiscal numbers continuing to paint a mixed picture: although forward-looking indicators are still reasonably strong, they have deteriorated since the start of the year and, simultaneously, inflation has registered its highest reading since Q3 2013. In this vein, it’s far too early to realistically assess the potential political and economic impact of Brexit – a real bone of contention will be the controversial departure bill, which may well see the UK pay in excess of £60 billion to officially leave the EU. With negotiations about future EU-UK trade relations expected to take longer than the two years available, it is likely that an interim agreement will have to be struck, and we do not expect full independence to be secured until the 2020s at the earliest.
“The public’s interest will focus on what kind of deal Theresa May can strike with the EU, especially as the President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, has reinforced his position that the UK will not be able to ‘have their cake and eat it’. The EU still seems to have the upper hand in the upcoming negotiations, but a disorderly Brexit would also hurt the remaining 27 members of the bloc (although not as badly as the UK). From an economic perspective, the UK is actually performing just as well as it has done since before the country voted to leave the EU, but it’s unlikely that this strong growth will continue throughout 2017. Politically, events in Europe over the next few months could have an impact on negotiations; elections in France and Germany, should they unexpectedly go the way of anti-EU parties, will likely destabilise the two powerhouses’ control over the European bloc. For now, the priority is to start developing official plans for the UK’s departure from the EU. Businesses must monitor the uncertain and fluctuating economic situation that is to be expected over the next few years, and mitigate risks as best they can.”
Markus Kuger, Senior Economist, Dun & Bradstreet
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