The Strategist

After-Brexit Britain: Win or Fail?

12/05/2016 - 15:44

The UK Government has published an investment plan for a number of projects, according to which development of infrastructure in the next few years will receive allocated a record amount of 500 million pounds ($ 634 billion), writes Bloomberg.

To implement all the plans into practice, Treasury announced creation of the National Investment Fund of 23 billion pounds. Projects to be financed by the fund include construction of Thames Tideway tunnel (25 km long under Thames, passes through central part of the city), installation of smart devices of electric energy, and modernization of A14 highway in the east of England.

According to Treasury’s representative David Gauke, investment plans demonstrate Government's commitment to provide future British generations with modern infrastructure. It stands at top of the British government plans, which need to reduce backlog of production capacity, and build "fair economy for everyone" in the UK, said Gauke.

Private funding will amount to more than half of infrastructure investments for 2020-2021 years, including development of transport and communication facilities, as Finance Minister of Britain Philip Hammond stated earlier.

In general, improved performance of the British economy through targeted investment is Hammond’s key objective. He outlined this goal in his statement on 23 November, saying that he seeks to prepare the economy for any likely disruption of the country's exit from the European Union structure.

Meanwhile, uncertainty about the UK’s exit strategy has already forced British business to postpone or cancel investment projects for $ 82 billion. Economists of Hitachi Capital advised London to act quickly and decisively, or loss of the economy will only grow.

After the Brexit referendum, British companies have postponed or canceled planned investments of 65.5 billion pounds ($ 82 billion). 42% of companies have already reduced volume of investment programs, as follows from joint research of Centre for Economics & Business Research (CEBR), and British branch of Hitachi Capital investment group. 

22% of top managers pointed fall of the pound sterling as reason for reducing investments. 21% of the respondents explained the decision to cut investment by uncertainty about possible access for British companies to the European single market after Brexit. 21% of respondents said they are afraid of "poor state of the national economy."

"If the situation is not corrected, we expect continuation of impact of these factors on investment projects, implementation of which is scheduled for 2017 and later," - the report cautions.

Medium business is the most pessimistic about the negative impact on Brexit, where 44% of companies reported a decline in volume of investment. As for small business, the rate there was 23% due to fact that they are less vulnerable to changes in market conditions on the macro level.

Economists of Hitachi Capital recommend UK businesses to speed up process of adaptation to the current situation in the markets. Official start of the country's exit from the EU is scheduled only for the next year. On the watch for outcome of negotiations between Britain and the EU, business could start signing new trade relations outside the EU while maintaining free access to the European single market, the report’s authors advise.

"70% of companies are ready to resume investment after they make sure Britain will within the single European market after Brexit. However, they must understand that access to the market and full membership in the alliance are two different things, "- warns CEO of Hitachi Capital Robert Gordon.

Now, Britain is one of the key trading partners of the EU. Total volume of British exports amounted to 290 billion pounds in 2015 (around $ 365.26 billion at current exchange rates).

"Business should not forget that we have taken a strong position in negotiations with the EU on future status of trade relations between the country and the European bloc. We must gather the courage to continue investment programs, and it will be a message for the whole world ", - said Gordon.

According to Gordon, after-Brexit Britain would become economicall prosperity, but the country's government needs "to eliminate uncertainty in their relations with the EU, which does not allow businesses to fully implement their plans."

"The fact that about 75% of companies expressed their readiness to resume investment if the existing problems were solved shows that the UK government should take measures to prevent further losses as soon as possible", - concluded Gordon.