Ekta Wadhwa in conversation with Neeraj Chawla and Lata Gullapalli.
Britain has left the European Union on 31 December 2020 and with that, the 50-year relationship with the EU has changed forever.
Ekta speaks to Lata Gullapalli, and Neeraj Chawla.
Lata is an experienced investment banker based in London, who has spent more than twenty years specialising in mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring and capital raising. She has worked in South Asia, Russia and the U.K. She is an MBA from INSEAD in France and a chartered secretary and chartered financial analyst (I).
Neeraj Chawla is the Managing Director of Universal Data Services and is also based in London. He is a business owner with over 20 years experience in the transport of express parcels, cargo and air freight from Asia and the USA to the UK and Europe.
The focus of the discussion is the effect of Brexit on business.
Since he specialises in customs brokerage and freight transportation he thinks it is a very profitable foreseeable future for his company.
He believes his companies and others like his can take advantage of the opportunity the UK has, to enter trade deals with other countries in the world to the benefit of the UK.
Lata does point out that the UK has a trade deal with the EU and has to honour the terms therein. So the process of having new trade deals will have to be within the purview of the existing deal or delayed to after this one expires.
Lata describes at length and with examples how, even though financial services comprise half of the trade surplus of the services exported by the UK to the EU, financial services and data have been left out of the Brexit trade deal negotiations. It is hoped the EU and the UK will discuss and reach agreements on these in the coming three months.
That makes it a virtual limbo for banks to continue their businesses as usual. Especially since earlier, the EU was a single market, so the transactions were done as in one country, with the whole range of services covered by the banks. And now with equivalence replacing passports, it is to be seen how the approval process will work.
About £1.2 trillion of assets have been moved to the EU. Settlement systems are agreed to be in place until 2022.
While Neeraj is upbeat on the business being on an accelerated growth because the UK can engage in trade deals with other countries, Lata, is less enthusiastic, particularly, as we have left with a deal with the EU which means a level playing field, which cannot be changed without repercussions.
It will be interesting to see how the future markets and economic pathways play out for both the EU and the UK.
While Lata and Neeraj have different points of view, on one hand, they both, as professionals, believe they must approach the future cautiously and with optimism. There is hope for the U.K.