Brexit global insights

The UK's decision to leave the European Union has far reaching implications for business and governments around the world. We are committed to supporting organisations manage the uncertainties and present our insights and expert opinion here.


We have identified four overarching global themes from the UK’s decision to exit the European Union, all of which impact international businesses and organisations with operations in the United Kingdom and European Union.

  • Economy and trade
  • Tax, regulation and legislation
  • People
  • Organisational strategy
Woman working in break-out area

Economy and trade

With a number of unknown factors at play, confidence in the UK economy could be shaken and instability in worldwide financial markets as well as a potential decline in investment will be a concern. In addition, once the UK Government invokes Article 50 to leave the EU, the UK and EU need to jointly consider whether the current free trade area will continue – and the UK’s participation in external EU trade deals will also need to be considered. Businesses themselves may be impacted by uncertainty in trading environment, and will need to review their financial positions, consider their options and investments, and assess their business relationships with existing – and new – trading partners.

Guy in street

Tax, regulation and legislation

As part of the exit process, the UK will have to amend and replace existing EU legislation with Acts of Parliament enforceable under UK law. The EU itself is likely to undertake a number of reforms of its own operations, legislation and regulations which will in turn affect how businesses can operate within the EU. It is expected that this process may take up to 10 years and during that time, businesses operating within the UK and EU will need to understand and apply the new regulations and legislation that impacts them.

Woman in chair


The free movement of people has been a cornerstone of the European Union and has played an important role in business. Although nothing will likely change for at least two years, negotiations on the UK's access to the Single Market will impact the immigration status of employees across both the EU and UK in some way. Businesses will need to consider the pipeline of skills and talent within the resident labour market for all companies operating in these regions and, in turn, how this impacts medium- to long-term business goals.

Top performing sectors

Organisational strategy

Organisations will need to adopt strategies and ensure they have adequate resources to respond to the uncertainty brought on by the anticipated changes in the market. They will need to ensure they manage their capital and talent, comply with regulation and legislation and communicate with stakeholders. As the exit negotiations progress, businesses operating in the UK or in the EU may seek advice on restructuring their operations, in using M&A to acquire an operational presence in an advantageous location, to defend against a hostile takeover if their share price falls, or in negotiating new business and trade relationships.

Timeline: Brexit is a process not an act, with a long period of negotiation

Brexit related events

Political events in the EU

‘The global impact of the UK’s decision to leave the EU will last for some time. But each element of a Brexit will come into sharper relief as we move forward, and uncertainty will give way to new market realities and real opportunities. As a global organisation, we are committed to helping our clients work toward this future, embracing the challenges and seeing potential.’

Bob Moritz

PwC International


Related content

Visit our Ireland EU Referendum site

The UK public have voted to leave the EU. What's happening now?

Visit our Luxembourg EU Referendum site

The UK should remain a member of the European Union?

Visit our US EU Referendum site

What now for US companies?

For further country EU Referendum sites, please click the tab at the top right of the page.


Contact us

Melanie Butler
Partner, PwC UK, PwC's Global Brexit Response Centre
Tel: +44 (0)20 7804 5158

Mike Davies
Director, Global communications
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7804 2378

Emma Thorogood
UK Director of Communication
Tel: +44 (0) 207 213 8593

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