The imperative for business leaders to implement Brexit planning grows.

The considered view from Brussels today is that Brexit talks are well and truly stalled.  The UK will need to make a bigger offer before the EU will agree to move talks onto a trade deal. Furthermore, discussion about any transition arrangements have not yet started.

Brexit Secretary, David Davis, said he is hopeful of getting a deal done in the first three months of 2018.  However, a number of sources are reporting that should the stalemate is not broken by December, the EU will wait until next year rather than try to force the issue.

An extraordinary meeting of EU leaders, scheduled to be held in Brussels on 23 February 2018, represents the last practical opportunity to give the green light to trade and transition talks – but is highly dependent on more concessions have been made

Meanwhile, the British government - under pressure from the pro-Brexit lobby - will now be perceived as further widening the gulf with Brussels.  It has, this week, unexpectedly hardened its stance on 2 key issues: the severance date with the EU – now to be enshrined in law for March 2019 - with or without a deal; and a stark “take it or leave without a deal” ultimatum to UK MPs - who have been demanding a vote on the severance conditions ahead of that final date.

The direct consequence for UK and Europe business leaders – who have to answer to regulatory authorities and shareholders for the well-being of their organisations – is reflected as increasing numbers announce they will begin to implement a “worst-case” (no agreement and no transition) scenario from early next year.  This imperative is now the only option for responsible Boards and Executives.

John ShuttleworthComment