In the medium to long term, the change in the relationship between the UK and the European Union "poses a serious risk to exports of Portuguese goods and services, which could result in potential reductions in exports to the United Kingdom between 15% and 26%, depending on the type of future business relationship that may be established. "
This very black view of the relationship between the two countries as of March of next year was repeated by CIP President António Saraiva, this afternoon at the Committee on European Affairs, at a hearing requested by the CDS-PP Parliamentary Group.
That value comes from an in-depth study that the CIP had to do – but that shocks the huge margin of ignorance that still exists in relation to what is going to happen after Brexit. In fact, the economic environment between the United Kingdom and any of the countries that remain in the European Union will necessarily be very different if Brexit is done in a soft way (with agreement) or without agreement.
The study also said that there should be reductions in foreign direct investment flows to Portugal between 0.5% and 1.9% and reductions in remittances of migrants between 0.8% and 3.2%.
But not everything is bad news, according to António Saraiva was able to confirm to the deputies of the Commission. "Confronting the analysis of risks with opportunities is interesting to note that, for two of the sectors that face high or medium high risk levels, there are opportunities that can compensate for these levels of risk. In this situation are motor vehicles and pharmaceuticals ". Not in the British market, of course, but in the markets of the European Union, where competition from the UK will not be so severe.
For other products classified as high risk or medium high, it is also important to highlight that they enjoy protection due to the historical presence in the British market, which can mitigate losses. They will be able, with this competitive advantage, to replace, in the British market flows currently coming from our competitors' European markets. "
In any case, António Saraiva declined to state that "Brexit's impact on the Portuguese economy has a cross-cutting nature: in goods and services, in international trade and investment, in migratory flows and in remittances of migrants, in the tourism and real estate. "
The study presents recommendations regarding the reconfiguration of business strategies and practices and the reorientation of public policies, which António Saraiva was concerned to make explicit to the Commission.
The results obtained justify four lines of recommendations, combining risk mitigation with the empowerment of opportunities. Firstly, the president of the CIP called for "a proactive effort to value the United Kingdom as Portugal's economic partner," which "will make bilateral trade more resilient."
In this framework, "the adoption of business and regulatory practices that foster greater confidence in entrepreneurship will facilitate the relationship with the British market and make Portugal a more attractive destination for investment" is another of the recommendations left.
António Saraiva also had the opportunity to assert himself against the more than foreseeable postponement or extension of the final exit of the United Kingdom, since "from the point of view of companies, this postponement would correspond to prolonging the uncertainty that continues to weigh on them, being essential which was initially limited in time. "