Preparing for the unknown
The British public’s vote to leave the European Union has had dramatic and far-reaching consequences. The reverberations are being felt across the political system, not only in the UK, but throughout Europe and the rest of the world.
In this uncertain environment, many organisations are facing difficult questions. How and when will the UK withdraw from the European Union? What impact will this have? Is there scope to influence the settlement? And how best to communicate with employees about what these issues mean for them?
Portland’s Brexit Unit was established to help clients answer these questions, and ensure that their organisation has the right strategy for approaching Britain’s exit from the EU.
We provide counsel on the implications of Brexit for both British businesses and international firms operating in the UK and around the world. This varies from top-level insight and advice on the political, economic and regulatory implications of Brexit, through to developing a corporate position, and engaging employees, government and media around the settlement.
It is led by Portland’s senior counsellors, supported by a group of dedicated consultants from our London, New York, Washington & Singapore offices.
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Issues mapping and scenario planning – We help our clients review and assess the new policy and political context for each of their issues, determining the level of risk, opportunity and political importance, and their likely profile during the Brexit negotiations. We also carry out detailed war-gaming and scenario planning around major business and political announcements – so that our clients are prepared for whatever happens.
Narrative development and strategic messaging – Successful communication relies on a clear and strong message. This has never been more important than now, as the government begins to grapple with Brexit and the demands of multiple sectors and interests groups. We work with clients to understand your commercial priorities and develop a communications strategy and narrative, ensuring your message is heard by those who matter.
Employee engagement – In a time of uncertainty, many employees will look to their employer for clarity on the Brexit impact. Yet employers may find that they are notable to answer the questions they are asked, or struggle to understand how to support their employees in the best way. Our engagement team advises clients on how to handle these types of issues, and ensures they have a motivated and effective workforce.
Financial services – European financial services regulation provides the legal basis for global financial services companies to ‘passport’ their services across the EU in a streamlined manner. Brexit threatens this and negotiations will define the sector’s presence in the UK over the long-term. Staying abreast of negotiations is key: we work with some of the largest bank and non-bank financial services companies in the world to help them understand the impact of Brexit on an institution and its ability to service their clients.