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Mazars' Managing Partner calls for Transition Plan for EU States most at risk from Brexit PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 September 2017
Mark Kennedy, Managing Partner at Mazars in Dublin, is calling for a transition plan for the EU States that will be worst affected by Brexit. Kennedy considers a hard Brexit increasingly likely, with major consequences for key Irish sectors such as agribusiness, tourism and distribution.   

As a practicality Kennedy is suggesting that Ireland, along with other countries facing strict rules on debt and state aid, are given latitude in a looser fiscal framework. Ireland in particular should be given wriggle room on debt repayments, so that investment can be maximised in threatened sectors and in regional infrastructure, boosting development and job creation and mitigating the dangers of a hard Brexit to the Irish economy.

Says Kennedy; "Despite the constructive tone adopted by Mrs. May in her speech in Florence, significant uncertainties remain. She appears to have ruled out both the EEA model and the more traditional Free Trade agreement in the longer term and to seek to extend membership of the single market for a two year transition period. While this is positive, there may be little appetite in Europe to extend the trade benefits of membership for two years without the UK complying with all of the membership "package", including financial and legal jurisdiction elements.

"This means that the Trade elements remain uncertain until more concrete proposals are detailed. Similarly, while the speech was conciliatory on the issues of Finance and recognition of the ECJ, the actual basis of any agreement remains obscure."

In a recent pre-election debate between Angela Merkel and her SPD opponent Martin Schulz, Brexit was not mentioned once.

Says Kennedy; "Europe appears to have moved on. Now we need a new debate, within the Union, about how to contain the damage Brexit will bring to economies such as ours ,where key sectors will need leeway and time to adapt to its consequences".

Kennedy applies to Brexit the lessons learned during the process of German reunification, a similarly totemic event. Despite the challenges posed, the wider context was to find a supportive economic formula that assisted the enlarged Germany in a period of transition.

Mark Kennedy also says UK financial firms are ready to enact contingency plans in early 2018. Even if a soft Brexit were to result from late stage political reconciliations, firms that have planned ahead will not unwind plans to relocate across the EU.

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