Giving evidence this week to the Exiting the European Union parliamentary committee, ICAEW regional director for Europe Martin Manuzi gave stark warnings regarding the impact of a no-deal Brexit on the UK economy, saying it ‘raises very serious concerns. It is damaging, it’s disorderly’.
He warned of ‘creating the most testing and challenging financial reporting and corporate planning environment that we have had for many years’, adding that: “It is likely that we may well see a flurry of profit warnings from companies finding themselves in completely unprecedented circumstances.” He went on to not that a systemic loss of confidence would have macro-economic impacts, not least on the government’s tax take.
Addressing the direct concerns of the accountancy profession itself, Manuzi said: “We will lose legal certainty in regard to professional recognition of UK qualifications.” He noted that EU legislation basically means there is no need to requalify when you move countries but that under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules there is no such agreement.
Manuzi said: “The UK is removing itself from a comprehensive system of working together with all other European regulators for audit and audit professions on a whole range of issues in terms of who is approved for audit, who can own audit firms, how those audit firms are inspected, how they’re allowed to support the admission of securities on another regulated market.”
Warning of a ‘legal void’, Manuzi pointed out that under a no-deal scenario: “UK auditors will no longer be considered European auditors.”