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07/20/2016

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Hi Margaret. I am an HR professional in London. Your article reproduces a lot of speculation in newspapers and blogs in recent weeks. In truth, we do not know when we will leave the EU, and the negotiations over economic and trade rights has not begun. Indeed, it is generally accepted that the PM has delayed starting direct discussion precisely because we do not have a plan or agreed objectives.

The short-term concern here is that the UK economy will slow down, but we have been in good shape recently. In better shape than several EU nations. The UK remains and will continue as a major pool of professional talent, and we will not harm ourselves by putting up barriers to skilled talent that wants to move here. Some international banks will move work and staff elsewhere in the EU, but it is unlikely that other US businesses will move substantial operations from UK. They may think about it, but only that.
If you have European operations in your organisations, look carefully at the reaction of EU countries to Brexit, more so than the actions of UK politicians. The EU needs the UK as an economic and political ally, despite our intent to leave. We are one of the few net contributors to the EU budget. It is their reaction to Brexit that will be more interesting in the long term.

Paul, thanks so much for sharing another angle on this. It's so great for us at Compensation Cafe to find that we have a wide group of readers. And, you're right to point out that there are far more business partners to be affected by the move than the UK.

Until the British government votes to move ahead with Brexit, though, I think you'll agree that we live in a world of speculation with few absolutes to count on. But, as you alluded to, Theresa May has committed to moving forward on Brexit and the British economy continues to be a target of speculation, so I continue to encourage my colleagues in the U.S.to realize that just 'cause the general vote is over, there are important follow-on issues, especially if you have non-U.S.employees. (Yanks have a way of being very U.S.centric, and at the moment we have a great excuse with all our own political distractions.)

In addition, if there were ever media outlets that you can rely on to be committed to responsible journalism, they would be the BBC, The Guardian and The Financial Times. They don't have their own crystal ball, but their insights are one of the reasons I enjoy hanging out in your neighborhood! I had a great trip.

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