“The dominant perspective among those of us who look at international trade is that Brexit is not a sensible move for the UK.”

Professor Sara McGaughey from the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation spoke to a packed Legislative Council Chamber at Parliament House on March 26, as part of an expert panel discussing Britain’s bitter divisions over Brexit. In her speech, she told the assembly,

According to Professor McGaughey, Brexit “… is going to raise the costs of trading with Europe and deter foreign direct investment into the UK. “

“This is going to damage the UK as a small and open economy in both the short and the long term.”

In the meantime, while the politicians decide, there is all this uncertainty—and uncertainty is fundamentally bad for business.

Joined by co-panelists Dr Frank Mols and Dr Joff Lelliot (University of Queensland), Professor McGaughey revisited the options available to the UK, with reference to some of the fundamentals about trade agreements—the distinguishing characteristic between different levels of integration. She also covered recent research coming out of universities about the uncertainty and the impact that it is actually having.

Topics of the session included: the history of the UK-EU relationship, the referendum, and British political party dynamics (Dr Lelliott); an analysis of the options available to Britain, the impact of uncertainty on trade and investment, and implications for Australia (Professor McGaughey); and the view from Europe, including contingencies and Brexit as symptomatic of wider problems (Dr Mols).

The Speaker of the Queensland Legislative Assembly, Hon Curtis Pitt MP, opened the event, which was presented by the Australian Institute in International Affairs (AIIA) Queensland and the Queensland Chapter of the Australasian Study of Parliament Group (ASPG).

Please click here to access the full Hansard Transcript.