On Friday, 29 March 2019, the Institute for Law and Finance hosted our 5th Brexit Event in partnership with Deloitte. This was held on the initial date of the UK’s exit from the European Union, however there have and continues to be delays as the British Parliament fails to agree on a withdrawal agreement and possible exit strategies.
The afternoon began at 3 p.m. with 70 participants joining a workshop held by Christian Klöppel, Director for Service Design & Innovation of Deloitte, where the participants formed work groups and covered a Brexit related topic. Each group brainstormed the Chances & Challenges of Brexit in relation to the UK, the EU, the FSI Inbound or Outbound and the global FSI perspective. Each group was able to discuss their topic, their concerns and their predictions of what may happen next.
At 5 p.m. the Lecture started and Dr. Friedewald welcomed the participants on behalf of the ILF.
Dr. Mathias Hanten of Deloitte introduced our first Speaker Dr. Zimmermann, Member German Bundestag, Deputy Chairman German-British Parliamentary Group, Germany. His "High Noon – How will the political Brexit journey continue?", discussion on personal experiences from inside both the UK’s and Germany’s parliament were extremely insightful highlighting concerns in Germany from a broad range of his constituents.
The successive speakers were introduced by Deloitte’s Director Research Dr. Alexander Börsch.
Dr. Alexander Thiele, Ph.D. University of Göttingen, Germany, delivered the second talk on "Brexit: Political and Legal Implications for the European Union". This presentation was filled with humor and hope of a resolution in the near future, avoiding a long delay to Brexit and the possibilities of revoking Article 50 entirely.
Adrian Crampton from our host partners Deloitte, Germany discussed "Brexit from the Perspective of German Business", and gave a statistical overview of Brexit implications for German business from industries including automotive, trade and consumer goods. A surprising figure (correct in Feb 2019) stated 31% of German businesses have not yet implemented a Brexit plan but planned to do so and 13% had not prepared a plan at all. As of the lecture date a No Deal Brexit is looking most likely.
The final talk was from Dr. Jasmin Koelbl-Vogt, Board Member Citigroup, Germany on "Brexit–related topics from a Bank's Perspective". She had a pragmatic approach to Brexit which can only be described as "fail to prepare, prepare to fail". From the Leave victory a hard Brexit strategy was envisioned from Citigroup and Dr. Koelbl-Vogt delivered her expertise in their planning across the UK and Europe for such an eventuality.
Our final segment of the day was a panel of our speakers discussing their topics followed by questions from the audience regarding personal queries on Brexit, its implications on local businesses and what may be going on in the UK parliament as each day we move closer towards the new Brexit date(s).
The evening ended with finger-food and drinks where the participants of the afternoon were able to socalise in the special setting of the Gästehaus of Goethe University.