The international business advisers’ view on Brexit

Here, we look at some international business views from the UK200Group Annual Conference on the UK's decision to leave the EU.

At the UK200Group Annual Conference, held in Southampton, international business advisers from across the European Union were invited to share their views on business, with a special emphasis on the UK’s referendum decision to leave the EU. Here, we look at their thoughts.

Conor Mullany, Mullany Walsh Maxwell Solicitors, Dublin

‘Overall, I don’t think Brexit is going to be a good thing for the Irish economy. There are obvious advantages to our financial services sector but the UK is one of our biggest trading partners and for anyone working in export it’s not going to help, especially with the shift in sterling.

If the UK steps out, it gives it more flexibility in terms of tax regimes so it could challenge Ireland in that way. There’s a lot of uncertainty about what the UK is going to do, but ultimately I think the disadvantages are likely to outweigh the advantages’

Marc Marsal, Marsal Abogados y Asesores Tributarios, Barcelona

‘Where I live, in Barcelona, is a very multicultural area and we have a lot of British and US expatriates here, which is beneficial for our IT sector and call-centres.
Some of my clients are now worried that their VISAs may not be renewed and if they did have to move it would not be good for the area.

There are concerns on the coast about the British who have second homes there, who don’t know how they are going to be taxed.

This is a clear problem for the European Union, and it underlines a lack of credibility. From the British point of view, I don’t understand the decision. I think it is a decision that was made emotionally rather than from a practical point of view’

Vittorio Romani, GMR Partners, Rome

‘There are companies from outside the EU who currently have offices in the UK who want to move because they are scared of Brexit from a political point of view, because they don’t know what the rules will be tomorrow. They aren’t looking to move for economic reasons – not at the moment.

The only negative I can see Brexit creating for Italians is if they are importing or exporting goods to the UK – it will be like trading with a country outside of the EU’

Patrick Scanlon, Ferrieres & Co, Paris

‘France is looking to attract investment from companies in markets outside of the EU, but will have to address its social charges to be effective. The French government is currently extending its favourable tag regime for employees moving to France from five to eight years.

I think that France will benefit from Brexit. There will be some margin for businesses that are looking to stay within the EU, whether that’s France or Ireland, Holland or Germany. My view is that there will be at least some benefit associated with remaining a central member of the EU as opposed to being outside of it’

David Macdonald of The Martlet Partnership, based in Worthing, feels the UK is going to try to ensure that the effect of Brexit is negligible, but some European countries may not make that easy.

‘Britain has to consider its tariff position and its tax position,’ he adds. ‘It’s already low tax in comparison to most EU countries, although not Luxembourg, Ireland and Holland, but will undoubtedly continue to seek to attract foreign investment.

‘Inward investment is not going to stop. Brexit is going to make the UK more inward-looking, which I think is not good for young people in today’s global world.’

Commercially, however, Macdonald says he is not sure whether things will change as much as first feared. ‘There have been two very positive things for the government in Nissan and Google’s investments in the UK,’ he adds.

Further reading on international business advisers

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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