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Brexit and its broader economic implications

by MK Khoo, 14 Jun 2017

The UK triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on 29th March 2017 to leave the EU customs union. What follows will be two years of negotiation on the terms of UK's exit.

Possible implications and uncertainties:

1. Currency - it is still unclear as to whether the outcome of Brexit has been fully priced-in for the sterling pound.

2. Twin deficits -UK's fiscal deficit is expected to worsen due to government spending increase. UK's trade deficit is likely to deteriorate resulting from the increase in tariff and non-tariff barriers with the EU.

3. UK Bonds – There is a high percentage of foreign ownership of sterling denominated bonds currently. Any lightening of these holdings is likely to increase funding cost.

4. London's position as the banking hub for Europe may be at risk. Big international banks have announced plans to relocate significant headcounts out of the UK.

5. London house prices could experience downward pressure with rising supply and rents falling.

6. UK's tax revenue is likely to be hit as high paying finance jobs leave London.

7. As negotiations proceed, the prospect of a 'Hard' Brexit will weigh heavily on business and consumer sentiments.

Amidst great uncertainties on the future of the UK, there's nevertheless a silver lining after Brexit. That is, UK may yet once again become a global trading nation.


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