Sir Graham Watson, former Leader of the ALDE group in the European Parliament and member of APCO's International Advisory Council, spoke about the consequences of a potential Brexit during an event hosted at APCO Worldwide’s Paris office earlier today.

sir graham eventThree weeks ahead of the referendum vote in the UK, Sir Graham addressed representatives of the business community in Paris at an event organized by APCO, as part of its Matins Kepler breakfast series. Sir Graham Watson provided his insights on the current debate in the UK and the potential political and economic impacts of Brexit on the EU.

Although the event was held under Chatham House rules, we posed three quick questions to Sir Graham Watson after the event:

  • Do Brits really want to leave the EU?

    No. But many do not understand why it exists, how it works and what impact it has.

  • What could Brexit potentially mean for companies based in the UK?

    Every respectable study shows damage to the UK's economy, primarily through loss of foreign direct investment. This will hit companies which trade beyond the UK.

  • To your eyes, what would be the potential impact of a Brexit on the EU institutions?
    Initially there might be a sense of relief about losing a difficult partner. But I fear that a change in the balance of arguments may lead other member states to feel less comfortable in the EU, thus upsetting a sometimes delicate balance.

For additional perspectives on how the world views the possibility of Brexit we recommend reading this article, in which Sir Graham and Christian Murck gives a global perspective on the UK referendum.  Murck is an expert in East Asian studies with more than 30 years of experience in finance, public affairs and foreign business operations.

Claire Boussagol

Claire Boussagol, chairman, Europe and managing director of APCO Worldwide’s Brussels office has 26 years of experience providing strategic counsel and managing complex EU and French public affairs and communication assignments. Read More