The Slovenia Times

2nd Brexit Ambition roundtable: Business is more optimistic about Brexit


In general, panellists were more optimistic about the relations between the EU and the UK since the first roundtable which took place in April 2017. After the general election in Great Britain, where the ruling Conservative Party of Theresa May did not get the expected overwhelming majority, the panellists agreed that there is a greater likelihood of a "soft" Brexit, which is expected to be more acceptable economically to both Europe and the UK.

PwC's Pawel Peplinski, the leader of the Brexit Ambition initiative, estimated that the negotiations would last more than 18 months and that it is in the interest of business that the costs of the UK exit from the EU are as low as possible. Unnecessary costs can only result in reduced competitiveness for both sides. His recommendation to the Slovenian government was to turn Brexit into an opportunity and offer more support to Slovene exporters looking to enter the British market.

Slovenian exporters are concerned about trade barriers

Slovenian exporters expressed their fear of higher costs due to import barriers once the UK leaves the EU, which could result in less orders and exports from Slovenia. Currently, the British market is interesting for Slovene business because its open, but this may change in the future with additional barriers. TPV, a development supplier in the automotive market, emphasised the importance of common regulation and legislation (in the area of materials, safety and driving). Avoidance of double taxation is also crucial, as is the UK's participation in the European Digital Initiative (i.e. Industry 4.0). With regard to additional restrictions, TPV propose the avoidance of additional taxation and barriers, such as additional waiting time at borders, customs duties which will require the need to increase security stock which is an additional cost. Maciej Galant, CEO of BMW Group Slovenia, pointed out that the introduction of customs duties would have a negative impact on the British and European automotive industry and therefore proposes the maintenance of a duty-free trade policy between the EU and the UK. In particular, for the BMW Group, when it comes to the introduction of customs duties, the sale of MINI in the EU will be questioned since they are produced in the UK and because of this, they are free of intellectual property rights, uniform homologation regulations and uniform standards for CO2 emissions.


For Slovene exporters, the most important concerns in trading with Great Britain are the introduction of new regulations on products and services, the introduction of new administrative barriers to trading and customs duties that will burden prices and consequently reduce competitiveness.

Managers expect politicians to engage in negotiations between the EU and the United Kingdom in a constructive, cooperative way, following the principles of common interest and above all, the negotiations must be transparent. Most importantly for the smooth operation of business are stability (political and financial, which also means the stability of the British pound) and the predictability of the European economy.

The next roundtable will take place on 9 October from 9am -11am at Hotel Lev, when the perspective of British business will be shared by Allie Renison (Institute of Directors), Anne-Marie Martin (Council of British Chambers of Europe), Hugh Aitken (Council of British Industry), and many more. More at


More from Nekategorizirano