Life After 50: Opportunities From Uncertainty for Corporates in the U.K.

S&P Global Ratings
Written By: Paul Watters
S&P Global Ratings
Written By: Paul Watters

(Editor's note: The views expressed here are those of S&P Global Ratings Senior Director Paul Watters, adapted from a speech he gave at the 2017 Annual U.K. Corporate Treasurers’ Conference on May 16, 2017, in Manchester.)


  • Significant uncertainty over (at least) the next two years will prevail as negotiations over Brexit with the EU play out, with some risk of no agreement.
  • Our base-case view, however, is for an orderly transition to a new comprehensive relationship with the EU, albeit requiring a transition phase to finalize and implement future arrangements.
  • Meanwhile, there is a real opening for U.K. business to develop closer trading relations with faster-growing non-EU economies.
  • This will require increased commitment to public and private investment and R&D in the U.K., given the likelihood of lower FDI into the country.
  • The development of a highly skilled workforce will become even more important, as will the ability of companies to recruit necessary employees overseas.

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