Brexit Forum - full house and a great success

IAPA was delighted to collaborate with the UK200Group and present a one-day ‘Brexit Forum’, held at The Cavendish Hotel, London UK on Friday 12 May. 

With much uncertainty regarding how Brexit may affect SMEs, this Forum offered a platform for IAPA and UK200Group members to ask questions and understand in more detail how issues such as trade, taxation and immigration will affect them and their clients.  It also gave the opportunity for firms to receive guidance on how firms can start to adopt a pro-active approach to inevitable change.  

With a full house gathered in London, James Abbott, President of the UK200Group welcomed all and introduced the speakers from leading international accountancy and law firms who delivered presentations on:

  • Preparing your firm and clients for the immigration squeeze. George Koureas, Fragomen LLP, UK
  • Brexit: the view from mainland Europe. Patrick Scanlon, Ferrieres & Co, France
  • Business and Finance: the view from the Republic of Ireland. Neal Morrison, McInerney Saunders, Ireland
  • The impact of Brexit on trade. Liz Ward, Virtuoso Legal, UK
  • Employment Law; likely changes and impact on SMEs. Nazia Aftab, Endeavour Partnership, UK
  • The art of negotiation in a post-Brexit UK. Jonathan Russell, Rees Russell LLP

Above:  Patrick Scanlon presenting on 'Brexit: the view from mainland Europe'

The forum was also delighted to welcome Douglas Carswell who Co-founded @Vote_Leave and until recently was a member of the UKIP party.  Mr Carswell presented ‘UK ex EU; opportunities for SMEs.’  Delegates enjoyed his thought provoking discussions and were pleased to be able to ask questions directly to him about any areas of concern.                                         

The interactive discussions and international viewpoints were warmly welcomed and with plenty of open forums, plenary discussions (chaired by Martin Clapson, IAPA Vice-Chairman) and networking opportunities, delegates were able to freely share their experiences, hopes and fears about Brexit.


Above:  left: Douglas Carswell, right: General Brexit group discussions

Following a Brexit survey distributed to IAPA and UK200Group members, the results (337 responses) were presented by Jonathan Franks, Hillier Hopkins, UK.  Results highlighted key concerns for SME's and delegates valued the opportunity to hear and discuss these summarised thoughts. 

'The day was very beneficial, presenting all insights into Brexit – both pros and cons, touching on many different angles e.g. taxation and immigration. It was a great asset for me to meet many new people from the UK, to enhance my network and understand the British perspectives to Brexit‘  Ozgur Demirdoven, IAPA EMEA Chairman, Turkey.

Following the Brexit Forum delegates were able to network further with an organised walking tour of some of London’s most famous landmarks finishing at the Sherlock Holmes pub, near Trafalgar Square, followed by dinner in the evening.