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Comment by Nick Greenstock, Managing Director, Gatehouse Advisory Partners

05 July 2017, 22:09 CET
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The inconclusive UK election on June 8th 2017 has served to deepen consternation over the Brexit process.

Any confidence in the likely shape and direction of the negotiation has withered along with the Tory majority. And as the complexity of the process has become clearer, so the limited capacity and capability of scrutinising bodies, particularly in Parliament, has been exposed.

Gatehouse facilitated forums with a large number of UK-based businesses last week, to understand their Brexit thoughts and plans. The major points are captured below:

  • Most UK businesses are still scenario planning, but few are into contingency planning. The size of the challenge, and inconsistencies within the government on priorities and declared timeframes, have left most uncertain on their strategy (and well short of any implementation).
  • There are strong concerns about the UK's competence to manage the process – both in terms of the capacity/capability of the Brexit team, and on the party-political imperatives (not economic rationalism) influencing the UK's negotiating stance.
  • Brexit is already beginning to affect business. There is some evidence of investment in UK opportunities being withheld, and all attendees cited issues in attracting and retaining talent (in response to the UK's immigration stance, with the announcement on EU citizens' rights deemed to have been unnecessarily late).

Nick Greenstock, Managing Director, Gatehouse Advisory Partners, says:

"Businesses have every right to be disoriented by the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit process and the weakness of the minority Government. But the lack of current scrutiny on the Government approach to Brexit means business will need to find more of a voice."


Gatehouse is a geopolitical advisory firm, established in 2010 by Nick Greenstock, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, and Sir David Manning. Gatehouse helps clients develop their capacity to interpret and forecast political, social and market trends, and allows them to identify the critical issues, assess the implications and develop policies to reduce risk or capitalise on opportunities.

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