What Brexit really means for UK-UAE trade

Jonathan MacPherson, deputy chairman and COO, British Business Group Dubai and Northern Emirates, says don't believe everything you read
What Brexit really means for UK-UAE trade
Britains Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during the Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum in Birmingham on March 28. (DARREN STAPLES/AFP/Getty Images)
By Jonathan MacPherson
Thu 30 Mar 2017 03:11 PM

The news articles have already started – what Brexit could mean for families vacationing in Europe this year - 50 things to watch out for when the Prime Minister pulls the trigger on Article 50 or Brexit-voting regions 'most at risk from its economic effects'.

There is going to be a great deal of uncertainty that comes with Prime Minister Theresa May’s triggering of Article 50. Over the coming weeks and months there will be more headlines and articles from media sources speculating about outcomes with very little firm evidence to back up those claims. 

The reality is, nobody can say what is actually going to happen through the negotiations and beyond to the point where the United Kingdom actually exits the European Union. That uncertainty should not prevent us from being prepared, but why not be prepared for the best scenario rather than speculate on what might be the worst?  After all, we do have a UK government at the helm that is looking to secure the best deal it can for Britain. 

Tim Fox, chief economist and head of research at Emirates NBD, pointed out recently that countries in the EU export about £70 billion more to the UK than the UK sells to the EU, making the EU countries’ dependence on the UK just as significant as the other way around. In particular, Germany is exposed to Brexit, having one of its largest trade surpluses with Britain. That suggests the EU has a vested interest in ensuring the deal is a good one for both sides.

While those exit negotiations with the EU get under way, the United Kingdom is also preparing to be an open, outward facing trading nation looking to do deals across the world that benefit British brands and the UK economy.

Those trade deals include looking at expanding on existing relations in the GCC and particularly, the UAE. As the fifth-largest national economy in the world and a major contributor to every international process, the UK is more than capable of maintaining its status as a significant trading partner with the UAE and wider Gulf.

UK-UAE trade will continue to thrive and grow whatever the UK-EU negotiations deliver and after 30 years of operations in the UAE, the BBG will continue to work with the UK and UAE governments to provide support, counsel and advice to British businesses here and to those seeking to establish a commercial foothold in Dubai, the UAE and the wider region.

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