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Breakfast & Brexit

Updated: Mar 24, 2020

By Ken Mark, freelance writer.

On February 25, the BCCTC hosted a networking breakfast meeting outlining opportunities and challenges for Canadian and British businesses in the wake of the United Kingdom’s BREXIT referendum. It marked its departure from the EU on January 31 and now faces an 11-month transition period.

Since the UK is no longer a member of the EU, trade officials in both countries must now move quickly to establish new trade and investment rules to replace those that Canada has enjoyed since signing Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union in 2017.

Terry Johnson, CEO of although UK born believes he was destined to become a Canadian since the principal of his college at Oxford had served as the UK’s high commissioner to Canada.

He has high hopes that firms on both sides will move quickly to strengthen and widen existing business links. Besides Canada, it is likely that UK businesses will also revive their interest in dealing with its former overseas colonial markets as well. At the same time, he outlines that BREXIT has unsettled traditional economic relations within the United Kingdom. Top-most is the “Irish Question” -- moving goods from Northern Ireland which is part of the UK to the Republic of Ireland, a member of the European Union. At the same time, many firms in Scotland seek to maintain their existing EU trade and investment ties.

Al Parsai, CEO of Parsai Immigration Services outlined that BREXIT’s impact on the movement of executives and workers in both directions should continue more or less as before. However, he cautioned that there may be future bumps in the road for applicants on both sides will be busy updating relevant immigrant legislation and rules. As well, applicants must remember that immigration officials ultimately control the decision and its timing. Consequently, he reminded the audience to respond to queries truthfully and avoid misrepresentation or misleading or incorrect facts in both oral and written responses.

His best-selling handbook, 88 Tips on Immigration To Canada offers more detailed tips on how to prepare a proper and persuasive application.

Carlos Pang, a wealth advisor with Bank of Nova Scotia’s International Investment Advisory Group, told the audience not to panic amid the current rumblings in today’s financial markets. While avoiding offering any comments about where they are heading, he stressed the importance of taking a longer term view and discussing with their advisors how cope with the current global uncertainties.

Martin Buckle, BCCTC Treasurer, closed the event after a lively discussion.


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