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Everything you ever wanted to know about Brexit – but didn’t have time to read

January 2017 • Brexitby Panagiotis Asimakopoulos

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There are few issues more challenging for the City of London and the financial services industry than the impact of Brexit. Yet there are few things less enticing than the prospect of reading the many dozens of often dense reports that have been written on the subject. We’ve read, translated and summarised nearly 50 reports on the implications of Brexit, so that you don’t have to. We’ve tried to boil down the essentials of each report, strip out the jargon and legalese, and cut back on the repetition and context to provide a short and accessible summary of the debate.

Download the full report here

In the interests of challenging preconceptions and stimulating debate, we have started our summary with the minority of reports that paint a relatively positive or optimistic future for the City of London and financial markets post-Brexit. It’s interesting to note that only one of these ‘optimistic’ reports attempts to quantify the short term impact of Brexit on the City (warning that financial services exports to the EU could fall by up to 50%).

It’s also interesting to note how the focus of the reports has shifted over time: the early reports from before the referendum and shortly afterwards focused on the advantages of staying in the single market and retaining passporting. But after a few months, most reports shifted their focus towards some sort of access to EU markets based on equivalence and the need for a transition period.

This report is broken down into five parts:

* A 10-point summary of the ‘optimistic’ argument

* A 10-point summary of the ‘pessimistic’ argument

* A one sentence summary of every report in our sample

* A summary of the main points in each of the ‘optimistic’ reports

* A summary of the main points in each of the ‘neutral / pessimistic’ reports

The report is not intended to be read in one sitting. If you read nothing else, read the 10-point summaries of the optimistic case and the pessimistic case for Brexit. If you’re interested in the full range of views, read the one sentence summary of each report. And if you’re still going, read the full summaries of each report. We hope that it provides a useful summary of the range in different views and perspectives on the impact of Brexit, and acts as a reference to the vast (and growing) body of reports that have been written.

There was a wide range in the depth and quality of the reports, and to be clear, these summaries do not represent the views of New Financial. Condensing a 50 or 100 page report into a few bullet points is a challenge, and we apologise to any organisations and authors who feel that their report or views have been misrepresented. There were many reports that we read but chose not to include in this summary, mainly because we felt that they didn’t add to the debate.

Please send any queries (and any additional reports) to Panagiotis Asimakopoulos at panagiotis@newfinancial.eu

At New Financial, our main interest in Brexit is on its potential impact on the development of bigger, better and more efficient capital markets in Europe. We are hosting a series of events this year on the different perspectives on Brexit in different countries, and will be publishing more research throughout the year.

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