Brexit – the dust has settled a bit so where are we now?

The dust has, to an extent, settled following the EU referendum in the summer.

So what are financial leaders now making of the current interim situation, as we wait for Article 50 to be triggered (and watch gripping legal action unfold to determine who has the power to make this decision)?

It’s fair to say that most UK financial leaders are worried about the impact that Brexit is going to have on the business environment and only a handful think that now is a good time to be taking financial risks.  The general consensus among the Big 4 accountancy firms is that business growth is still possible as long as businesses adapt to the changing environment, and what a lot of change happen we are seeing across the world at the moment…

The UK’s eventual departure from the EU is bound to lead to some headaches across Europe too.  Dealing with the UK could mean increased complexity and costs following the introduction of regulations between the UK and EU nations.

With regard to recruitment, this is highly likely to be impacted in several ways by Britain’s vote to leave the EU.  Here’s how:

  • With restrictions on migration being one of the largest promises by the Vote leave campaign, any industries requiring specialist skills could be stuck with many hard to fill vacancies should this restriction ever actually be implemented. The Professional body for Recruitment, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) have expressed that Brexit is highly likely to mean a challenging time for British businesses and the UK labour market.  Maintaining access to the right candidates is will be essential.
  • Should the UK end up more isolated from Europe following negotiations with the EU, there is a risk of reduced investment into the country which will, almost certainly, lead to job losses. The accountancy and finance industry will see itself particularly damaged if major finance employers relocate key financial departments to continental Europe, such as had been suggested by HSBC earlier in the year.
  • It is true that every threat can be seen as an opportunity – and we have seen swathes of “Brexit” departments being set up that have bolstered jobs in certain fields. A public sector boost is almost certain, with the administration of Brexit falling firmly into this sector.

For many businesses the immediate impact of this historic decision will be limited as major changes won’t happen until Article 50 is triggered and then perhaps not for 2 years.  So we wait to see how this journey will unfold…

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