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  • BDO Focus on BREXIT


21 July 2016

After months of fiery debate, public letters, and damning statistics, the argument over Britain’s potential exit from the European Union – commonly known as Brexit – on June 23rd came to a head. BDO is looking at the how the lead up to the EU Referendum will impact different sectors.

Telecoms, Media and Technology

As the dust settles after the referendum vote, and although confusion will remain on the timing and direction of any Brexit negotiation, tech companies and policy makers will simply get on with their work achieving their business objectives. This briefing, prepared with the assistance of external advisers, seeks to provide an initial overview of how various TMT services subsectors might be affected by Brexit, the daunting domestic legislative challenge the UK will face on exiting the EU and the wider impact of Brexit on the EU agenda for TMT services. It represents best efforts at predicting the situation in the first weeks of July 2016.

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Energy and Natural Resources

The UK will continue to determine its own energy mix, as is the case today. However the UK Government will need to determine whether a new balance is required and deal with the consequent impact, primarily on renewables and nuclear. Oil and gas prices will continue to be set on international markets; and the UK will continue to need to trade energy with its European partners, not least to make up for its own power shortfall.

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Financial Services

Beyond the short term response of markets, a Brexit triggers important questions about London’s position as Europe’s financial centre and the UK-based financial industry’s long-term ability to access the European single market. A loss of the EU ‘passport’ would have a profound impact on the sales and distribution strategies of financial firms located in London. In this briefing, prepared with the assistance of external advisers, we provide an overview of how various financial services subsectors might be affected, the daunting domestic legislative challenge the UK will face and the wider impact of Brexit of the EU agenda on financial services. It represents best efforts at predicting the situation in the first week of July 2016.

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Real Estate and Construction

Although Brexit, should it come to pass, will likely have no impact on the UK’s largely devolved rules on property ownership and rental, or on land registration or transaction taxes such as stamp duty, it will affect a number of areas in the UK where EU rules apply. These would include energy efficiency, environmental restrictions on planning and development, infrastructure funding, procurement and employment amongst others.

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International Trade

The UK exports 45 per cent of its goods and services to the rest of the European Union accounting for £223bn of trade in 2015. As a result of the UK’s membership of the EU, these exports did not attract any tariffs for access to the EU single market. Overall, UK trade with the EU represents approximately 12.6% of UK GDP whereas EU trade with the UK represents in aggregate, just over 3.1% of the GDP of the other 27 EU Member States although there are considerable variations within those countries. Meanwhile, the UK currently imports over 53% of its goods and services from the EU giving a net trading deficit of £61bn in 2014. Regardless of the outcome of the various political processes, it is clear that even in a post-Brexit environment, the EU will continue to be the world’s largest market and the UK’s biggest trading partner.

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These publications have been prepared by the regulatory and public policy team of the BDO Global Office, but they have been written in general terms and should be seen as broad guidance only. The publication cannot be relied upon to cover specific situations and you should not act, or refrain from acting, upon the information contained herein without obtaining specific professional advice. Please contact the appropriate BDO Member Firm to discuss these matters in the context of your particular circumstances. Neither the BDO network, nor the BDO Member Firms or their partners, employees or agents accept or assume any liability or duty of care for any loss arising from any action taken or not taken by anyone in reliance on the information in this publication or for any decision based on it.