While Brexit continues to pose significant headaches for UK businesses, many are also keen to focus on the opportunities ahead for increased global trade, Santander research shows. 

The latest Santander Trade Barometer shows that since Brexit, 58% of aspiring international businesses are keener to trade with the UK, indicating that Brexit could be the catalyst for increased international trade. Click here to read more. 

In conjunction with the European Council meeting this week, Santander UK released the Santander Brexit Webinar. It was hosted by John Carroll, Head of International & Transactional Banking who was joined by George Bridges (Lord Bridges of Headley) - former Brexit Minister and Peter Foster - Public Policy Editor for The Financial Times who spoke in their personal capacity on the latest developments on the negotiations. The discussion focused on the EU position post covid, political context – the EU position post covid-19, the UK political context and topics on regulation, divergence, state aid and fisheries and the support for SMEs and corporates. John also shared some of the key findings from the new Autumn 2020 Santander Trade Barometer research report and how Santander can support our clients in getting ready for the new trading environment. 

What has become clear is that even in the most optimistic scenario, any deal will increase the barriers to trade with Europe. This is a real concern because our latest Trade Barometer cited that UK SMEs still see Europe as their biggest growth market. It's also especially problematic because bureaucracy was cited by SMEs as the biggest barrier to trade.

But problems require solutions - once there's clarity on a deal we'll be offering training programmes and partner delivery to deal with new regulations, as well as offering a dedicated all-in “setting up in Europe” package for companies of all sizes needing to access the EU market differently. It's not a question of Europe or not, it's about trade driving growth and jobs for UK SMEs - wherever that trade may be…”  John Carroll, Head of International & Transactional Banking, Santander UK. 

Click here to listen to the webinar.