Brexit stage left

Tredinnick, Luke and Laybats, Claire (2017) Brexit stage left. Business Information Review, 34 (2). pp. 70-73. ISSN 1741-6450


On the 29th of March 2017 the British government invoked article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union, triggering a two year period of negotiations before Britain exits from the European Union. Hardly in doubt since the outcome of the national referendum, Britain’s eventual exit from the political and economic union is now all but certain.

Brexit will have a profound impact on economics, trade and international relations not only within Europe but globally, as the changing relationship between several of the globe’s major economic powers ripples across the international economy. It is unclear what kind of compromise if any will emerge over the next two years; lurking in the background of negotiation is the spectre of World Trade Organisation trading rules and punitive trading conditions - a looming cliff edge beyond which the UK plummets out of existing treaties. Nevertheless what Brexit means for business in the UK and beyond has become clearer in recent months, and what it means is prolonged uncertainty. The shape of the final settlement will likely evolve during the years and decades following Brexit itself. Uncertainty itself is becoming the defining context of international business in the wake of the British referendum vote, and business success over the next decade may come to turn on management of uncertainty and mitigation of risk.

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