The special relationship post-Brexit: A reality check

Uncertainty over Brexit has created problems for British businesses as they prepare for the UK’s exit from the European Union. Brexit has also forced firms to look beyond Europe to new markets and new competition. President Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK will thrust the ‘special relationship’ and the two countries’ trade ties into the spotlight. Both the Trump Administration and Conservative leadership candidates hoping to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May speak of negotiating a comprehensive UK-US trade agreement, but the reality is that a deal may be more challenging to reach.

The US is Britain’s second largest trading partner behind the EU, making commerce between the two countries pivotal to a successful post-Brexit economic strategy. Portland conducted a survey of senior decision-makers from UK businesses to better understand their level of preparedness following Britain’s exit from the EU. What follows is an analysis and reality check of the challenges the special relationship is likely to endure post-Brexit.

Portland’s report finds that a majority of UK business sectors are unprepared to defend their interests in the US post-Brexit. The preparedness matrix also shows which sectors will be the most impacted by US policy changes and whether they’re prepared to protect their business after Brexit.

While businesses feel optimistic over the future of UK-US trade relations, the results of our survey demonstrate that firms will need help navigating the complex political and economic landscape that will shape the future of British-American trade. We stand ready to assist companies on both sides of the special relationship through our offices in London and Washington, DC.

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