Last night i attended a Brexit conference led by Louise Harvey, a UK delegate inside Brussels. Here are my take away notes:
1) Trying to make the UK into some sort of tax haven (Singapore) is only serving to piss the Germans and the rest of the EU27 off- they actually think we're bluffing and we are only suggesting this route to try and get a better deal.
2) There are other more pressing EU issues they are focused on- Russia,rise of populism, migration, political turkey, Greece, fake news etc
3) Maintaining key Euro values drives all decisions
4) The EU/Canada agreement is one that could set an outline/template for the UK- this is going to take approx 10 years though- we are massively underestimating how quickly a trade deal will be completed.
5) Outside the EU, the UK will rely on passporting into other countries- we are now a 3rd country
6) The worry for financial service firms is now that the UK sits outside the remit of EU law
Overall, the picture was pretty bleak..... fortunately the panel discussion that followed was a stark contrast and the mood was somewhat lifted!!
Britain’s 27 EU neighbours have sent a clear, consistent message this week on what they think Brexit should look like. For the government in London, it is a politically unpalatable notice: don’t expect any favours for leaving the EU.