Robert Peston on the biggest Brexit risk to the UK economy

Exit from the EU disrupts UK strategy for enticing international business

Robert Peston has told Portfolio Adviser the UK economy will suffer from Brexit in the short to medium term as multi-national businesses put investment on hold.

In a video interview filmed at PA Spring Congress (see above), the ITV News political editor said the most worrying thing facing the domestic economy was profound uncertainty over the UK’s departure from the European Union and the effect this is likely to have on external investment.

This is because government ministers have spent the past 30 years travelling the world telling multi-nationals to come to the UK as a base for access to the world’s biggest market – the European single market – which has made the UK unusually dependent on those businesses, Peston said.

He added: “Inevitably, therefore, when the costs of doing business with that single market is set to rise and indeed when there are such profound uncertainties, those businesses invest less. That is for me the biggest concern about the outlook for this economy.”

However, he said the UK financial services industry will continue to be a “world leader”.

Peston was the keynote speaker at PA Spring Congress. In his speech he said he believes the UK will end up with a no-deal Brexit, not on 29 March but a month or two afterwards. He said markets have been massively underestimating the risk of a no-deal Brexit.

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