In a room in Brussels today two men will sit down together to start a process that will have significant and lasting implications for businesses in the north, north-east and throughout the UK.
After a year of speculation, argument and anticipation, UK Brexit Secretary David Davis, chief European Union negotiator Michel Barnier and their respective teams will finally get down to the business of the formal discussions leading to Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
The first session is expected to run all day and generate little more than a schedule for further talks on priority issues. Already heralded as “one of the most complicated negotiations in history,” Whitehall civil servants are said to have identified 700 issues of administrative overlap to fix before Brexit can be achieved.
A rather more rapid outcome is expected when shareholders have their say on Standard Life’s planned merger with Aberdeen Asset Management on Monday. The deal requires the backing of at least 75% of Aberdeen shareholders and 50% of Standard Life investors, but experts believe it will be given the all clear.
City events in the week ahead include final results from the Berkeley Group on Wednesday and a trading update from travel company Saga on Friday. The Office for National Statistics releases the latest public sector net borrowing figures on Wednesday.
For tourism businesses there is a gentle reminder from the organisers that time is running out for nominations for the north-east industry’s annual “Oscars,” the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards (ACSTA). The closing date for entries is June 30 and details on how to enter are available online on the ACSTA website.