As Brexit approaches, the key components of the eventual deal are still far from being decided: the Salzburg summit of EU leaders in mid-September rejected the UK government’s so-called Chequers agreement, with the UK now required to deliver an alternative proposal in time for the next EU summit in mid-October.
As the old British expression puts it, "there’s many a slip between cup and lip" and the possible routes to an eventual agreement (or the lack of it) are numerous, with both through-roads and potential dead-ends. Even if all EU members can be persuaded to agree to the Brexit deal, there is still uncertainty around the UK political landscape – and what might happen if the ruling Conservative party found itself with a new leader, or were the UK parliament to reject the Brexit agreement that the UK government offered to it.
This report is intended to explore the various Brexit scenarios that we think are still possible at this time. Three scenarios are essentially market-friendly (at least in the medium term) as they would allow discussions around key Brexit details to be pushed back. Deferring Brexit conundrums to a transition period does not of course guarantee their easy solution. We give these three scenarios (see pages 3 to 5 for the details) a collective probability of around 65%.
Conversely, we think that the probability of the "Hard Brexit" scenario is around 35%. We then present economic and market forecasts based around the main "market-friendly" scenarios and the alternative "Hard Brexit" scenarios. The forecasts for the latter must be, by their nature, only tentative.
We think that investors trying to anticipate the Brexit end-result are likely to have to continue evaluating these scenarios for some time: many twists and turns are likely along the way. But we hope that these scenarios provide a framework to help you approach this complex issue.
To download a PDF of the full report, please click here.