The effects of the impending Brexit and its impacts on business was in focus at a business networking meeting yesterday. The Bahrain British Business Forum (BBBF) organized their monthly meeting during which BBBF Deputy Chair Paula Boast focused on Brexit.

In her address, Boast deliberated some possible effects of Brexit on the Middle East which could include weaker, more inward-looking Europe, which might affect various initiatives across the region such as sustainability projects, infrastructure, governance guidance and healthcare.

She highlighted that more interventionist, self-interested UK foreign policy in the region could see the UK trying to assert its position in the Middle East to maintain its relevance and influence. Brexit could also mean more volatility in the Middle East markets, with an increase in trade and investment, as well as an increase in inflation. Impacts on imports and supply chain disruptions are also likely.

Practical advice in case of the UK leaving the EU with no deal was given for businesses, as well as for people going to work in the EU.

She further stressed the possible outcomes and consequences of Brexit and the precautions businesses should take to minimise disruption to their business. Some of the expected major impacts include differences in accountancy and auditing, civil legal cases, structuring of businesses, data protection and intellectual rights, public procurement, business travel; visas, passports and border control, employing people, workplace rights and social security.

The presentation also highlighting the immediate impacts of Brexit locally including travel, investments, real estate and retail sectors and concluded with a question and answer session.