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BREXIT 3: AN UPDATE – WHERE TO NOW?

BREXIT 3: AN UPDATE – WHERE TO NOW? 

The UK’s new Conservative-led government now has a clear parliamentary majority of 80 seats to enable it pass into law the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (the ‘Deal’) by the deadline of the 30 January 2020.

So it would seem the result has brought some clarity.  Or has it?    

On the 12 December 2019 the Conservative party won Britain’s General Election with a large majority and thus with it the power to fulfill their pledge to secure parliamentary approval of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement by Christmas and leave the EU by 31 January 2020.

Despite the positive initial reactions of capital and currency markets, as well as they party’s election slogan “Get Brexit Done”, this isn’t the end of the matter. That is because the Withdrawal Agreement contains only the legalities around the divorce of Britain from the EU. It does not cover the future relationship.

So in fact, this is probably only the end of the beginning of the Brexit process. Prime-Minister Boris Johnson now has until December 2020 to agree a favorable forward-looking trade deal with the EU. Although he has until 30 June 2020 to ask for a further extension of Britain’s regulatory transition (standstill) period with the EU, Mr Johnson insists he will not ask for any extension. If a deal is not reached, Britain would then revert to World Trade Organisation tariffs and rules (i.e. a ‘No Deal’ or Hard Brexit).

Thus we are likely looking at another cliff edge deadline. Trade deals historically have taken years to deliver, but there are only some 6 months until the 30 June deadline. Perhaps because negotiations are not starting from scratch (it being a case of altering trade arrangements that are already in place) the PM must presumably be confident that a deal can be reached within this time, and is said to be looking as the so-called “Canada-plus” model.

 

SO WHAT IS “CANADA-PLUS”? 

Under Canada’s free trade deal with the EU (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement – CETA), Canada is not a member of the single market – so Canadian products are still subject to border checks. The deal eliminates all tariffs on the majority of goods, but does not extend to financial services, which is about 7% of the UK economy. The EU could decide to place greater barriers on Canadian trade with European countries, but Canada is free to strike trade deals with other countries. CETA took seven years to negotiate. It came into effect in 2017, and will be fully implemented within seven years.

 

THE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT REMAINS UNCERTAIN, BUT THE POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT IS TRANSFORMED

To a significant extent the economic and business backdrop to all of this remains as it was before the general election. Uncertainty and the fear of the consequences of a “hard” or no-deal Brexit remain relevant. Yes, we are getting Brexit, but what sort of Brexit? According to official figures released by the Office for National Statistics earlier in November Britain’s economy grew at the slowest annual rate in almost a decade. Year-on-year growth in the three months to end-September slowed to 1% from 1.3% in the second quarter. But the economy avoided a recession by growing 0.3% in the third quarter.

What has however altered considerably is the UK political landscape. After Theresa May’s disastrously misjudged election of 2017, the administrations of Mrs May and Mr Johnson were unable to assert policy direction over various factions representing incompatible views. That has changed. A comfortable parliamentary majority should to enable the traditionally moderate Mr Johnson to plot a judicious and reasonable Brexit course which ought to be in the interests of all parties. This probably underlies the positive initial reactions of the markets. However, as of the time of writing in December 2019, there remains no clear route map as to how this will be achieved.

THE BACKGROUND FACTS

In a referendum in the UK held on 23 June 2016, a 3.7% majority of citizens voted for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. Following a vote in the UK House of Commons (Parliament), on 29 March 2017 the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom wrote to the European Council President Donald Tusk formally triggering the process to leave the EU. The letter invocated Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and began the two-year countdown to Brexit. The deadline for leaving the was set at 11pm on 29 March 2019.

Two years of negotiations proceeded between the UK and the EU resulting in a) the ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ (e.g. the divorce settlement) and b) the ‘Political Declaration’ (the broad shape of the future political and trading relationship between the UK and the EU). These two documents have become known as the ‘Deal’.

During this period in 2017 Theresa May called a General Election in order to increase the governments majority of MPs (Members of Parliament) in the House of Commons and bolster support for the eventual ‘Deal’. The opposite happened and the government lost its overall voting majority in the House of Commons and thus its ability to pass legislation without coalition support. According to UK law Parliament must approve the Deal (the two documents) – before it can be enacted. However, the Deal has been rejected 3 times by the House of Commons as the government can no longer command a majority amongst MPs.

Because of this stalemate on the 14 March 2019, the Government sought permission from the EU to extend Article 50 and agree a later Brexit date and then on 20 March 2019 the Prime Minister wrote to European Council President Donald Tusk, asking to extend Article 50 until 30 June 2019.

Following a European Council meeting the next day, EU27 leaders agreed to grant an extension comprising two possible dates: 22 May 2019, should the Deal gain approval from MPs; or 12 April 2019, should the Deal not be approved by the House of Commons. The Deal was again rejected and so on 2 April 2019, the Prime

Minister announced she would seek a further extension to the Article 50 process and at a meeting of the European Council on 10 April 2019, the UK and EU27 agreed to extend Article 50 until 31 October 2019 (Halloween in the UK).

This extension period bridged across the dates for the election, across all EU member states, for Members of the European Parliament. UK elections for representation at the European Parliament took place. The Conservatives suffered heavy losses in these elections piling pressure on the PM to resign. Eventually Theresa May bought the EU deal bill before parliament for the 3rd time and it was again defeated. Theresa May resigned as party leader and consequently Prime Minister on 24 May 2019.

Boris Johnson was elected as the new Conservative party leader and therefore Prime Minister on 23rd July 2019. He pledged to renegotiate the “deal” and leave the EU before the deadline of October 31st.

Opposition members of parliament had previously passed legislation requiring the Prime Minister to as the EU or an extension to the leave deadline of 31 October if a deal hadn’t been passed by the UK parliament by 19 October.

While a new deal was negotiated, and parliament voted in favour of proceeding the bill through the parliamentary process, Boris Johnson removed the bill and pushed parliament to agree to a general election instead. It was widely suspected the reason for this was that further analysis of the bill would generate a range of amendments that would either water down its effect or make it un-passable. A deal was therefore not approved by the 19 October and the EU agreed to extend the deadline to 31 January 2020 and Britain headed towards a General Election that was held on December 12 2019.

Sources: 
Labour party 2019 manifesto
Conservative party 2019 manifesto
Liberal Democrats 2019 manifesto
Brexit Party 2019 manifesto
The Financial Times
BBC News
The Week

CONTACT DETAILS


AGN has wide national strength in the UK.
Follow the link below to see the list and contact details of all firms that are ready to help  you:

SEE ALL UK FIRMS

Learn more about UK Nationwide Coverage: https://uk.agn.org

 

6 Hays Lane, London Bridge, London SE1 2HB, United Kingdom

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AGN International Ltd is a company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales, number 3132548, registered office 6 Hays Lane, London Bridge, London SE1 2HB, United Kingdom.
AGN International Ltd (and its regional affiliates; together “AGN”) is a not-for-profit worldwide membership association of separate and independent accounting and advisory businesses. AGN does not provide services to the clients of its members, which are provided by Members alone. AGN and its Members are not in partnership together, they are neither agents of nor obligate one another, and they are not responsible or liable for each other’s services, actions or inactions.
AGN United Kingdom is a collective name referring to the separate and independent members of AGN International Ltd in that geographic area from time to time.
AGN United Kingdom is not a person or entity and has no legal status. No trade is carried out in this name, and it has no capacity to enter into contracts or commitments of any sort.

Copyright © 2019 AGN International Ltd, All rights reserved. You are receiving this because you are a member of AGN International Ltd

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Is the global recession late?

Consumer Confidence  

Consumer confidence is often cited as the bell weather of economic future-gazing. The prevailing level of confidence impacts peoples (business and consumer) economic decisions – e.g. their spending activity. We asked our panel if over the last 12 months they had witnessed consumer confidence crashing to a low point, if it had weakened, remained the same, increased or reached a new peak.

 

For entire results of the survey read https:https://www.agn.org/AGN/INTL/MO/KnowledgeContent/_docs/AGN-GBV-RECESSION-Oct2019.pdf

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AGN BOB – Brexit: uncertainty is the watchword, but investment opportunities still exist!AGN BOB – Brexit: uncertainty is the watchword, but investment opportunities still exist!

May 2019

BREXIT: UNCERTAINTY IS THE WATCHWORD, BUT INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES STILL EXIST! 

The Brexit leave date has come and gone and the future of the UK relationship with the EU is plagued with uncertainty which looks set to continue – but with a new deadline of Oct 31 2019.  

MORE OF THE SAME – WHAT TO SAY TO BUSINESS LEADERS? 

The UK Prime Minister’s resignation only serves to confirm the now familiar message to business i.e. that they must continue to plan for uncertainty:

  • In the near term, consider exposure to possible disruptions in movement of good/services for both suppliers and customers, model scenarios of price changes (whether through logistical costs, tariffs & taxes or exchange rate movements) and consider if changes in mobility of people might impact the workforce or customer base.
  • Thereafter, think about scenarios for the possible opening up and closing down of opportunities in various markets, how the competitive landscape might alter and, perhaps in addition to planning for the downside, consider what upsides might present themselves?


UPSIDES?  WHAT UPSIDES?!

So what ‘upsides’ can there be to any of this? Well, there are a few unusual pockets of investment opportunity that remain and flourish!  There are also some that could benefit from some forms of Brexit.

Prime property – only a no deal Brexit, the default position if nothing can be agreed, will endanger the UK property market, particularly in London and the major cities. The Heathrow expansion, HS2 and the completion of Cross Rail all provide reasons for optimism for carefully selected property investment.  Some property prices are presently settling as the machinations of the Brexit negotiations continue, but strong rental demand in certain prime areas is likely to remain high, so value for money could be had, especially if buying in foreign currency if sterling falls.

Advertising and Creative Industries –  UK remains a key world hub for some industries. The IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) Bellwether Report for q1 2019 stated the balance of advertisers reporting increased marketing budgets grew to +8.7% compared with +0.0% in Q4 2018. Significant growth was reported across all categories aside from market research, sales promotions and direct marketing. Reason here for optimism about investment opportunities in the sector, but also for the UK economy at large.

UK Equities – A weaker pound means companies that are major exporters enjoy a relative advantage because its products become cheaper overseas – many of the FSTE 100 and 250 fit this bill. There’s also a profit boost when this money is repatriated. This is why the stocks that have tended to be strongest this past year have been big exporters, leaving many domestic U.K. stocks looking quite undervalued.

The UK Tech Sector – European investment in the British tech industry surged last year as the sector shrugged off Brexit uncertainty. Cash injected from Europe jumped to a record high of £1.89 billion in 2018, up from £1.66 billion in 2017 according to new data from law firm Penningtons Manches. The EU remains confident in the long-term prospects of the sector in the UK, the firm said, as the value of deals involving at least one EU investor rose to £1.53 billion, from £1.26 billion in 2017. driving the city’s digital infrastructure and preparedness for a connected future.

 

THE BACKGROUND FACTS…AN UPDATE!

Click here to have a better understanding on the evolution of Brexit arrangements.
CONTACT DETAILS


AGN has wide national strength in the UK.
Follow the link below to see the list and contact details of all firms that are ready to help  you:


SEE ALL UK FIRMS

AGN International Ltd is a company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales, number 3132548, registered office at 24 Greville Street, London EC1N 8SS, United Kingdom.
AGN International Ltd (and its regional affiliates; together “AGN”) is a not-for-profit worldwide membership association of separate and independent accounting and advisory businesses. AGN does not provide services to the clients of its members, which are provided by Members alone. AGN and its Members are not in partnership together, they are neither agents of nor obligate one another, and they are not responsible or liable for each other’s services, actions or inactions.

This communication is generic in nature, for general information only and does not constitute professional advice. It should not be relied upon in arriving at any decision, and no responsibility is accepted. Salient facts should be verified and professional advice should be taken before taking or refraining from any course of action.

Copyright © 2017 AGN International Ltd, All rights reserved. You are receiving this because you are a member of AGN International Ltd

NOTE TO AGN MEMBERS:

IS THIS RELEVANT TO YOUR CLIENTS? Share it!

Copy the contents above the line and share with your clients using your own firm branding. Or simply forward this mail. You must include a legal disclaimer to this communication, it can be the one provided above or your own firm’s legal note.

SEND US BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES

Let us know if you are aware of a business opportunity and we will make a BOB out of it. Contents must be current, with a recent change or development, internationally / foreigners relevant.
Make it short, must be a conversation opener, your contact details will be attached for those that need extended information.

 

AGN International Ltd, 24 Greville Street, LONDON, EC1N 8SS, United Kingdom

Email Us | Visit Website |

excellent
connected
individual

AGN International Ltd is a company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales, number 3132548, registered office at 24 Greville Street, London EC1N 8SS, United Kingdom.
AGN International Ltd (and its regional affiliates; together “AGN”) is a not-for-profit worldwide membership association of separate and independent accounting and advisory businesses. AGN does not provide services to the clients of its members, which are provided by Members alone. AGN and its Members are not in partnership together, they are neither agents of nor obligate one another, and they are not responsible or liable for each other’s services, actions or inactions.
This communication is generic in nature, for general information only and does not constitute professional advice. It should not be relied upon in arriving at any decision, and no responsibility is accepted. Salient facts should be verified and professional advice should be taken before taking or refraining from any course of action.
Copyright © 2017 AGN International Ltd, All rights reserved. You are receiving this because you are a member of AGN International Ltd

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AGN BOB – Live PPP Opportunities in Lebanon

February 2019
LIVE PPP OPPORTUNITIES IN LEBANON…
Lebanese government opens up billions of dollars of FDI infrastructure opportunities for investment, via new Private Public Partnership opportunities!
This could be of interest to AGN member firm clients, in the following sectors;
• Property developers
• Construction companies
• Waste and water treatment
• Transport
• Infrastructure
• Energy

The enactment by the Lebanese government of Law No. 48 in 2017, created an exciting opportunity for property development clients and investors. The law enables the development of Private and Public Partnerships (PPP). A PPP, is a business model for the development of public infrastructure projects.

Essentially a PPP allows governments to concentrate on their regulatory and social policy role, while the private sector is free to invest funds and leverage its expertise in developing projects.

The Lebanese government has plans for about 250 projects which include transport, water, and power sectors. The aim to raise growth, to between 6% and 7% a year. Projects include:
• 2 x New airport terminals (an express way)
• 2 x New port projects
• Dam and waste water projects
• Data Center facilities
• Hazardous waste and recycling plants

GREAT BUSINESS CONDITIONS
Lebanon has a growing economy, low levels of unemployment, and an educated workforce with the highest literacy rate in the Arab world. It’s expected to see a 2% growth in GDP in 2018, with GDP forecast to reach $55bn by 2030. It already attracts $2.1bn of foreign direct investment. So, it’s a relatively straight forward market to operate in.

A foreign investor can establish a business under the same conditions to those of a Lebanese national, provided that the business is registered in the Commercial Register. Foreign investors can generally establish a Lebanese company, to participate in a joint venture, or establish a local branch or subsidiary of their company without difficulty. Additionally, a foreign non-resident chairman/general manager of a holding, or an offshore company is exempt from the obligation of holding work and residency permits.
CONTACT DETAILS
If you or your clients would like to know more about how to make an investment in Lebanon, or how their particular product or service might be relevant to the burgeoning PPP environment, or indeed if they are interested more generally in doing business in the lucrative markets of the Arabian-peninsula, then please make contact:
SERHAL NASSAR & COMPANY
Contact Person: Zalpha Nassar
Phone: (+961 1) 338448
EMail: info@serhalco.com
Website: www.serhalco.com

AGN International Ltd is a company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales, number 3132548, registered office at 24 Greville Street, London EC1N 8SS, United Kingdom.
AGN International Ltd (and its regional affiliates; together “AGN”) is a not-for-profit worldwide membership association of separate and independent accounting and advisory businesses. AGN does not provide services to the clients of its members, which are provided by Members alone. AGN and its Members are not in partnership together, they are neither agents of nor obligate one another, and they are not responsible or liable for each other’s services, actions or inactions.
This communication is generic in nature, for general information only and does not constitute professional advice. It should not be relied upon in arriving at any decision, and no responsibility is accepted. Salient facts should be verified and professional advice should be taken before taking or refraining from any course of action.
Copyright © 2017 AGN International Ltd, All rights reserved. You are receiving this because you are a member of AGN International Ltd
________________________________________
NOTE TO AGN MEMBERS:
IS THIS RELEVANT TO YOUR CLIENTS? Share it!
Copy the contents above the line and share with your clients using your own firm branding. Or simply forward this mail. You must include a legal disclaimer to this communication, it can be the one provided above or your own firm’s legal note.
SEND US BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
Let us know if you are aware of a business opportunity and we will make a BOB out of it. Contents must be current, with a recent change or development, internationally / foreigners relevant.
Make it short, must be a conversation opener, your contact details will be attached for those that need extended information.
________________________________________

AGN International Ltd, 24 Greville Street, LONDON, EC1N 8SS, United Kingdom
Email Us | Visit Website |
excellent
connected
individual
AGN International Ltd is a company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales, number 3132548, registered office at 24 Greville Street, London EC1N 8SS, United Kingdom.
AGN International Ltd (and its regional affiliates; together “AGN”) is a not-for-profit worldwide membership association of separate and independent accounting and advisory businesses. AGN does not provide services to the clients of its members, which are provided by Members alone. AGN and its Members are not in partnership together, they are neither agents of nor obligate one another, and they are not responsible or liable for each other’s services, actions or inactions.
This communication is generic in nature, for general information only and does not constitute professional advice. It should not be relied upon in arriving at any decision, and no responsibility is accepted. Salient facts should be verified and professional advice should be taken before taking or refraining from any course of action.
Copyright © 2017 AGN International Ltd, All rights reserved. You are receiving this because you are a member of AGN International Ltd

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Management Consultancy in Arusha & Zanzibar

The objective of VA Business Assurance Services is to help growing businesses with many consultancy services. The continued training of the professional staff enables the firm to provide assurance services to their clients. The firm makes sure that the request of the clients is responded on time. This auditing and accounting firm is one of a kind and provides with the best possible services to their clients. The risk based audits, ensures proper risk assessment. There may be many management consultants in Arusha, Zanzibar, Tanzania etc, but the consultants of VA Business Assurance Services give impeccable services and help the client company in attaining newer heights.

Management Consultant Services

Some of the management consulting services of the firm are external auditing, internal auditing, tax consultation, management consultation, financial analysis etc. The company works along with their clients to ensure risks of non-compliance of tax laws, and make it a point to minimize the risk if not completely eliminating it. With any change in the government laws, information goes out to the clients about the amendments made and how would it affect their business.

he business management consultants in the firm help the clients to manage the business with utmost ease. The financial analyses is made and presented in financial statements which are annually audited. Modern techniques of financial analytics are introduced for the purpose of auditing. Not all management consulting firms are as well equipped with the various business tactics and strategies. The internal auditing is done really efficiently by an audit team which works full time, planning various ways to improve the status of the company. The certified management consultants of this firm make sure all the strategist is done with precision so that there are no problems in future. VA Business assurance services prepare audit plans, these plans are then presented to the client company authorities for approval. After the audit is approved, it is implemented immediately to improve the prospects of the company.

Management Consultant Training

The firm also provides with management consultant training. It looks forward to increase the capacity of the staff. In-house as well as external training is provided, to improve the quality of the services offered. University graduates with a decent score can join the company post interview. 30 hours of external professional training is given to new apprentices on an annual basis.

All applicable international standards are 100% complied with. The individual performance of every staff is directed towards the betterment of the client company. To attract more clients and to retain the existing ones the firm tries to improve the quality of their services, so that there is no room for error. Attainment of financial sustainability is the prime goal of VA Business Assurance Company. Value added recommendation which creates extra work from retained clients is another service offered by the company. Carrying out various transactions both simple and elaborate needs managing consultancies, and that is where VA business comes to play.

At the year end, both profit as well as loss is shown in balance sheets. To bring about more accuracy in such things, a professional consultant must be appointed, these professional also help in payroll management, which lessens the burden of the client company’s authorities.

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A Further Insight to the Services Provided by VA Business

If you are looking for the best specialists who can provide you with the most suitable business solutions and help you out with all your investment queries then Va Business Assurance Services is your ultimate respite. This company was established in the year 2005 after which it started continuous operations from 2006. Over the years, Va Business has emerged as one of the leading accounting and auditing firm that boasts of a huge client base.

Va Business Assurance Services offers tax consultancy services to potential investors as well as resident companies. The taxes that are supposed to be included are investment income, business income, employment taxes as well as withholding taxes that are entirely managed by the Income Tax Act. Various other taxes are also covered. These include Value Added Tax (VAT), Skills Development Levy and also other levies and taxes that are dispensed by either the local government or individual government ministry.

Tax Consultancy Services at Va Business is further divided into two distinct classes, tax planning related services and tax compliance related services. Let us take a brief insight into these two services:

Tax planning related services – As per this service rule, the clients are always kept up to date regarding the alterations in tax rates and tax legislation, the effect of tax on the planned investments of the client is evaluated, every single client decision is carefully examined before further steps are taken, and also the client is given a reminder for the payment dates of various taxes. It is assured that each client complies with all the taxation laws in order to avoid any kind of penalty or interest.

Tax compliance related services – According to tax compliance services, every compliance requirement that falls under the rules of direct and indirect taxes is covered in order to minimize the risk of tax burden on each client. The various taxes that are taken care of in this particular service are Value Added Tax (VAT), employment tax, corporate tax and withholding tax.

VA Business has an excellent team of well qualified income tax advisors. An income tax advisor updates the clients with tax laws, because clients have no or limited knowledge of the various laws framed by the top authorities. The government budget has a number of effects on the business operation and an income tax consultant makes sure that the client is properly updated with the changes and his or her company acts according to it. They promptly answer the various queries of their clients, and clearly explain the flow of the taxes, for the best tax computation and returns.

You can also avail the services of value added tax consultants, as VA Business has a team of well experienced and highly qualified professionals who are seasoned in this field. The expertise of the value added tax consultants will help the client to pay their taxes on time and in case of delay, the consultants will make sure that the penalty paid is either negligible or none. Providing tax consulting services to prospective investors can bring new opportunities for budding tax consultants. These consultants can work independently or in a proper firm which offer various tax related services.

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External Auditors Help to Run the Business Smoothly

External auditors in Tanzania also assist businesses who have their own accounting team through their auditing services. Here they will assess their client’s financial information to find out the effectiveness of their financial activities. As part of this activity, they will check if financial transactions are taking place properly and if they are in accordance with government laws and regulations. The competence of your company’s accounting team will come to light here. If there are any discrepancies in accounting procedures they will be tracked and brought to light. In case any activities are not up to the mark, changes will be suggested. They also assist in identifying and controlling financial risks. Their internal audit will make a review of your operating activities to determine their economy and efficiency.

 

It is vital to keep track of financial transactions and accounting activities related to them in order to run a business smoothly. If financial transactions and accounting books show discrepancies, you will be held responsible. Taking the services of external auditors helps to keep your books and accounts in order and ensures that all accounting tasks and tax payments are done in accordance with government laws and regulations.

 

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How will the Services of an External Auditor Benefit Your Company

If you are running a business, it is essential to keep track of accounts so that tax payment is carried out on time at the end of every year. Having an in-house accounts team can prove to be expensive, so it is better to take the services of an external auditor in Arusha. They will carry out various auditing and accounting activities, thus freeing you from this task so that you can concentrate on core business activities.

They will perform audits task diligently, using the latest technologies so that your accounting activities are carried out accurately and tax assessment done on time every year. If you already have an accounting team, their team of skilled and qualified accounting experts will highlight any problems in your financial processes and show means of rectifying them.

A Look at External Auditors Benefits

External auditors in Zanzibar perform a variety of accounting activities that is an important for running your business. They will prepare and maintain business accounts, so that you can keep track of income and expenses. At the end of the year, they will assess the amount that has to be paid as tax, looking into the deductions and file tax papers. All the paperwork that has to be completed for tax payment will be prepared by them and submitted. They will also inform you about any changes in tax laws and calculate taxes accordingly.

 

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