EU companies downplay Brexit fallout, says survey

2018-02-13 02:33:16 GMT2018-02-13 10:33:16(Beijing Time) Sina English

Despite often bad-tempered divorce negotiations, a majority of European businesses believe that EU-UK ties will continue without major disruption after Brexit, a survey revealed on Monday.

The surprising result came in a poll of 2,500 "senior decision makers" by the FTI consulting firm, which underlined that business leaders could be overly complacent to the dangers of Britain's divorce from the European Union.

"We see fluctuations between countries and sectors but on the whole this is a surprisingly upbeat response," said John Maloney, head of FTI Consulting's Brexit task force.

The survey noted widespread optimism among the recipients, with a majority of firms confident future relations will keep free movement of people and oversight by the European Court of Justice. This is surprising as London has stated its firm intention to curb free movement and end the EU court's jurisdiction over Britain.

The survey said that businesses are making light of tensions, with the EU and Britain at loggerheads over the terms of a transition period after Brexit and big unknowns on relations.

"The results hint at a misreading of the political reality," said FTI's Hans Heck, a former Dutch diplomat.

A split existed on the fate of Britain's access to the EU financial sector. FTI said 71 percent of UK firms believed access will be retained, compared to 59 percent in Germany and 51 percent in France.


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