Grant Thornton: UK votes to leave the EU – advice and scenario planning

The people of the UK have taken the decision to leave the European Union. What happens next – and the implications for businesses and organisations in the UK – is less clear.

It is now up to the UK Government to decide on what economic relationship it would seek to replace our current EU membership. To provide an overview of the available options, Grant Thornton sets out the possible models the UK may look to negotiate.

Read the full document here: Looking ahead: A new relationship with Europe?

How does the UK go about leaving the European Union?

The referendum doesn’t formally trigger the leaving process – this is done by invoking Article 50, which outlines the process a country must use to withdraw from the EU:

A two year period of negotiations begins when the UK government formally notifies EU Council President Donald Tusk of the UK’s intention to leave the EU (the timing of the notification is within the gift of the UK government) – Negotiators may want some time to prepare the ground with EU leaders and may wait at least 6 weeks, the legal period for legal challenge to the result, before triggering.
During the 2 year period:

  • EU law still applies, including free movement and paying EU membership, until a deal is made or time runs out.
  • The UK cannot participate in discussions of the European Council regarding its withdrawal. The power balance during this period is deliberately weighted towards the remaining 27 EU countries.

Andrew Duff, a former Liberal Democrat MEP, who helped draw up Article 50 notes: “The EU could not allow a seceding state to spin things out for too long. The clause puts most of the cards in the hands of those that stay in.”

Read the full document here: EU Referendum: the mechanics of leaving

Scenario planner

There will be a wide range of dynamic factors at play over the coming months and years that will affect the impact on your organisation. Grant Thornton has produced a prediction of how these could pan out. This is a provocative scenario to help business planning; it should be noted that the reality may be very different.

Read the full document here: Scenario planner – Impact of Brexit and assessing the impact and developing plans

View the Grant Thornton UK LLP profile here