Can consulting manage Brexit?

theConsultant.eu has a new focus — Brexit.

For the foreseeable future it will be devoted to the threats and opportunities Brexit presents.

It remains a forum for Europe's management consultants to share news, gossip, opinion and analysis as they and their customers across the continent face up to the perilous challenge of the UK's decision to leave the EU.

It is edited by Dave Madden, once a management consultant and long-time editor of Management Consultant International and The Accountant. Contact The Editor on +44.1270 812774, +44.7821 901580 or editor@theconsultant.eu.

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news in brief

NI businesses lobby MPs

A who's Who of Northern Irish business and civic leaders wrote to Westminster MPs and the government over the weekend demanding that they avoid a no deal Brexit, and implicitly damning the Democratic Unionist Party's Brexit position.

Data breaches will cost FS firms

Financial services firms need to ensure they do not breach data rules in the event of a no deal Brexit or risk a fine of up to 4% of turnover, says EY. The warning comes as EY launches a guide for financial services firms around last minute preparation for no deal. EY's own polling last month found almost a quarter (24%) of FS firms see the issue of data transfers as one of their top three worries around Brexit.

Growth stagnates as Brexit looms

Private sector growth stagnated in the quarter to February, according to new data from The CBI, as firms "brace" for Brexit. Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said: "Economic momentum is ebbing away as consumer confidence weakens and businesses brace themselves for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. More and more companies are hitting the brakes on investment and day-to-day business decisions are becoming increasingly problematic."

Fitch downgrades UK over no deal

Credit agency Fitch Ratings has issued an emergency notice on the UK's status, placing the UK's 'AA' Long Term Foreign and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) on Rating Watch Negative). The RWN reflects the heightened uncertainty over the outcome of the Brexit process, Fitch says, and an increased risk of a disruptive no deal Brexit. It believes that no deal would lead to substantial disruption to UK economic and trade prospects, at least in the near term.

EY moves control to Brussels

EY is to shift its European legal entity from London to Brussels, to keep itself in line with EU audit regulations and licensing arrangements after Brexit. A new legal umbrella group — EY Europe SCRL — will have legal control of some 40 operations across the continent, including its UK member firm.