Law firm White & Case has published research suggesting that while many financial organisations across Europe are concerned about a potential Brexit, few have taken actively prepared themselves.
In How prepared is industry for the possibility of a Brexit, the law firm notes that 52% of respondents to its questions were “very” or “quite” concerned about the possibility of a Brexit from a legal point of view.
Meanwhile, some 91% of German bankers interviewed believed that a Brexit would put UK trade with the EU at risk.
According to the summary of the research: “Very few respondents identified any benefits of a Brexit in business terms and a far greater number had concerns regarding its effect on the single market and the UK’s ability to influence regulation going forward.”
“The popular perception that, once outside the EU, the UK would be able to dispense with unwanted regulation and red tape was roundly dismissed by 84% of our respondents, who thought that, like it or not, in or out, the UK would, to a large extent, have to play by Europe’s rules.”
The research also finds the suggestion that many international companies would reconsider their presence in the UK, were a Brexit to lead to the disappearance of ‘passports’ used to access the single market.
“Firms from non-EU countries are only offered limited cross-border access to EU markets on strict conditions. Only EEA membership provides for full access to the Single Market, but it also involves accepting all the relevant EU rules. Currently a lot of non-EU companies enter the Single Market via subsidiaries in London and there is a significant risk that these companies would relocate to an EU member state in the event of a Brexit.”