Brexit in Review: Exit Strategies, European Meetings and More

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By Joe Sapp & Gregg Talley

The world continues to react to the shocking news that the UK has voted to remove itself as a member of the EU.  What a painful breakup it will be – the growing uncertainty it will bring to world markets and of course the EU itself.  Could the UK be the first domino to fall in what could be a larger re-alignment of world power as other European nations look to do the same?

As we continue to see how this situation plays out, a key question continually comes into my head, “what is the exit strategy for the UK, for those involved?”  As news spread that David Cameron would resign, I could not help but think this all seemed to be a plan gone wrong.  Who would have thought this would have been the path forward for the UK?  Was this his exit strategy all along? To back away if the vote went the opposite direction?

As you look at the growing number of “Leave” leaders backing away from earlier statements about the benefits or the plan to make this happen, I keep thinking, just how well was any of this thought out? All of the effort into convincing a nation that this is the path forward and in the wake of this momentous vote, it seems there is a vacuum of leadership.

From a meetings perspective the reduced value of the GBP makes the UK immediately more affordable. But a host of issues tied into the exit will impact meetings in the UK. Ease of border crossing for EU attendees will vanish. Tax issues will remain a headache. The UK remains the world’s fifth largest economy and a cultural powerhouse, so there will still be a desire to be there for meetings and events. But the uncertainty of the next few years will have repercussions for those considering a “European” destination.

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Joseph Sapp

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