Brexit: Five things we learnt last month - July
A round up of last month's biggest Brexit news.
1. ICAS Brexit Tracker results published
Britain’s finance leaders are getting gloomier about Brexit. That’s the key finding of a UK-wide survey of top finance professionals, by ICAS.
The ICAS Brexit Tracker, in association with leading law firm Brodies LLP, shows that the membership’s views on the effect so far, and the likely outcome once the UK leaves the EU, have become slightly more negative in the past three months since Article 50 was triggered.
On average, the sentiment regarding the experience of Brexit so far was slightly more negative (-9, compared with -6 in March, a fall of 7% in optimism). Expectations regarding the likely impact of Brexit on the individual and their organisation, once the UK has left the EU, were also gloomier (-14, compared with -10 in March, a fall of 10% in optimism); and for the likely impact on the UK economy, even more so (-16 compared with -13 in March, a fall of 13% in optimism).
2. FCA warn firms may have to take action
Major city firms may look to implement their own contingency plans if the UK and EU fail to reach an agreement on the terms of Brexit by the end of the year, the FCA has said.
The City regulator’s Chief Executive Andrew Bailey said that City firms may be likely to take steps such as moving staff out of the country to protect their operations when Brexit comes into effect in March 2019.
“By the end of this year, their plans tell them that in order to have things in place, they’ve got to implement them,” said Bailey.
3. Brexit: The view in Ireland
Ireland needs a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK, at least covering cross-border trade in agriculture.
That was the message from a joint Brexit Briefing held by ICAS and Chartered Accountants Ireland in Dublin.
The main presentations were given by Brian Keegan, CAI Director of Public Policy and Taxation, Mike McKeon, ICAS Vice-President and Chair of our Brexit Advisory Group, and Eoin O’Shea, FCA and Barrister at Law.
Ireland has a huge reliance on the UK: UK visitors represent 40% of Ireland’s tourism, 55% of Ireland’s fuel imports and 41% of its food imports come from the UK, and almost half of its agricultural exports go to Britain or Northern Ireland.
Reference was made to an estimated 30% drop in Ireland-UK trade if there is no EU-UK trade deal.
4. UK and US will start trade talks
The UK will hold talks with the US over a potential post-Brexit trade deal.
As it stands, the UK will not be able to sign any new trade deal before it has officially left the EU.
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said: "The [UK-US trade and investment] working group is the means to ensure we get to know each other's issues and identify areas where we can work together to strengthen trade and investment ties."
5. Starting salaries jump as result of Brexit vote
British workers have experienced a rise in their pay packet when starting new permanent jobs, according to a survey.
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said that its survey found that the businesses are finding it challenging to hire staff in the wake of the Brexit vote, and are boosting starting salaries in order to draw in new recruits.
The survey also found that starting salaries have risen at their fastest pace since 2015.
Tom Hadley, REC Director of Policy, said: "With fewer people currently looking for jobs, employers are having to increase starting salaries to secure the talent they need.
"Existing skills shortages are being exacerbated by Brexit. For example, demand for accountants and other financial roles has increased recently as organisations try to protect themselves against economic uncertainty."