Brexit in the Boardroom: The View from Business | FTI Consulting

Brexit in the Boardroom

The View from Business


With the Brexit deadline of 29 March 2019 now looming, the reality is starting to hit home for business. In phase two of the negotiations, discussions have turned to the UK’s trade arrangements and what the transition period will look like, while much uncertainty and speculation still remains. But what do European business leaders think about Brexit, and what are they doing about it?

In our latest survey ‘Brexit in the Boardroom: The View from Business’, we spoke with over 2,500 leaders of large businesses across four major EU economies (France, Germany, Spain and the UK) to better understand how their organisations are reacting to events and planning in this time of high uncertainty. Our survey revealed some interesting findings, including:

Timing: 75% of firms expect clarity on the UK/EU relationship by June 2018 at which point ‘irreversible changes’ will be made to their business planning.

What kind of Brexit: 65% of all respondents believe there will be tariff free access for goods, 52% believe the ECJ will still have jurisdiction, and 59% that there will be free movement of people.

Response of business: 85% of UK firms have established Brexit response structures, with 84% in Spain, 82% in France and 80% in Germany. However notably only 40% are focused on dealing with supply chain issues and just 24% are planning to engage with or influence policy makers.

Overall the survey results seem to indicate that businesses are feeling relatively confident that the eventual deal struck will be relatively “soft”. Yet with much still to be determined around the outcomes of Brexit, and our results indicating that much is still to be done for businesses to be ready, we consider: is this sentiment overly optimistic?

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