Upcoming Events

CALENDAR VIEW
LIST VIEW

Breakfast Club

BritCham Brexit Debate: Should Britain leave the EU?

At a special Brexit Debate organised by the British Chamber of Commerce Singapore (BritCham) today, participants were asked to indicate how they would vote at the upcoming EU Referendum. Two mock polls were conducted – one before and another at the end of the debate – which saw an a third of the participants shift their votes from remaining to voting to leave. The earlier consensus indicated that 75% of participants planned to vote for the UK to remain in the EU.

BritCham Brexit Debate

The debate, which was held at the Raffles Hotel, outlined the arguments for both sides. Over 150 BritCham members and guests listened to the opinions of the panel and learnt about the potential implications of either result from the upcoming EU Referendum on 23rd June 2016.

Mr. Mark Worthington, Managing Director of Bell Pottinger and the moderator for the event, said:

“It is clear how significant this is as a moment in British, European and World history.”

British Chamber of Commerce Singapore Brexit Debate 2016 - Mark Worthington

Mr. Simon Baptist, Global Chief Economist at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) gave an outline of the key issues and polling trends to date. The EIU expects the vote to be won by the remain campaign and indicated that should the UK vote to leave, the economic shock could lead to a 6% drop in GDP below the EIU’s non-Brexit baseline forecast.

British Chamber of Commerce Singapore Brexit Debate 2016 - Simon Baptist

According to a small sample survey carried out over the last month by BritCham and introduced by Dr. Bicky Bhangu, President of the Chamber, 56% of members would vote to remain and 36% would vote to leave, with 8% still undecided with less than 2 weeks to go and 1% who would not vote. This is in line with findings of the British Chambers of Commerce in the UK whose published survey last month put the remain vote at 54%, leave at 37% and undecided at 8%, again with 1% choosing not to vote. This was a 7 point shift towards the leave vote on their earlier survey in February (source: http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/press-office/press-releases/bcc-eu-survey-business-vote-tightens-as-referendum-campaign-heads-to-the-finish-line.html).

British Chamber of Commerce Singapore Brexit Debate 2016 - Bicky Bhangu

The argument for leaving the EU was articulated by Mr. Richard Whittall, Fund Manager at Alltus Capital who outlined both the political and economic arguments for Brexit:

“(The UK) joined a Free Trade Zone in 1975 which has little by little become more of a political organisation…. According to the House of Commons Library between 2010 and 2015, 59% of UK legislation has come from Brussels… We are impotent to change Europe, but much worse, we are impotent to stop them changing us.”

British Chamber of Commerce Singapore Brexit Debate 2016 - Richard Whittall

Richard also elaborated on Britain’s abilities to arrange their own Free Trade Agreements, given that in 40 years within the EU no such agreements have been made with major countries such as China, India, Russia and the USA.

In contrast, the argument for remaining in the EU was made by Mr. Paul Landless, a Partner at Clifford Chance:

“There is going to be a serious economic aftershock if we leave… The question is can we afford to leave? ...  Obama has already told us that we will be at the back of the queue (for a trade agreement) if we leave.”

British Chamber of Commerce Singapore Brexit Debate 2016 - Paul Landless

Paul went on to explain that Britain would have to replace 53 existing Free Trade Agreements and spend several years extricating themselves from existing contracts while experiencing various political changes. The uncertainty of what will happen is a major factor in this voting decision.

After the debate a second mock poll was conducted which indicated a shift towards the leave campaign, although vote for Britain to remain in the EU still held the majority.

British Chamber of Commerce Singapore Brexit Debate 2016 - Mark Worthington

The BritCham Breakfast Club was sponsored by The Fry Group.

 

About the Moderator

 

Mark Worthington is a career media and communications expert and heads Bell Pottinger’s Singapore office as Managing Director. He supports clients on Financial and Corporate Communications and Public Affairs strategies. He also advises government ministries and departments on strategic communication initiatives.  

Mark’s media expertise is grounded in first-hand knowledge. He is a former BBC News Correspondent with more than 10 years of national and international journalism experience in Asia and Europe. He was trained on the BBC’s prestigious news trainee scheme and has also worked as an international Television News Producer for TBS Japan.

 
 
 

About the Speakers

 

Dr Bicky Bhangu is the current President of the British Chamber of Commerce Singapore. Since 2014, Dr Bhangu has been serving on the Chamber board and sat on various committees such as the Executive Committee and External Affairs.

Bicky is the current Director of Singapore at Rolls-Royce, Chairman of the Institution of Engineering Technology (IET), Engineering Fellow of the IET and a Chartered Engineer. Bicky served as the Chairman for Aerospace Industry Skills and Training Council (ISTC) supporting WDA to oversee the skills development for the Singapore aerospace industry (2013-2015). He is serving the Singapore Maritime Port Authority (MPA) as select committe member for R&D investment in green port technologies.

Bicky has a BEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Nottingham, an MSc in Control Systems, PhD in Advanced Machines and Drives from the University of Sheffield and an MBA in Technology Management. Bicky is an Adjunct Professor at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

 

Simon Baptist is the Global Chief Economist at The Economist Intelligence Unit. He is responsible for providing intellectual leadership for the EIU’s coverage and for managing a global team of economists, consultants and editors. As Managing Director for EIU’s Asia consultancy arm, Simon works with governments to design and assess the impact of public policy, and with companies to drive successful strategy and operational performance in Asia.

Simon is an experienced economist who has previously spent time as a lecturer at Oxford University and as an economics consultant advising many governments, multinational corporations and international organisations around the world. He holds a doctorate in economics and degrees in economics and science.

Paul Landless is a partner in Clifford Chance's Singapore office who specialises in exchange and OTC-traded derivatives and other financial market products including structured notes, securitisations, repackagings, securities lending and repo and leads the financial markets team in Singapore and South East Asia. 

He regularly advises on both global and local regulatory developments affecting the financial markets, particularly for global and regional banking groups, insurers and asset managers. Paul has worked in the London, Hong Kong and Singapore offices and helps lead the ASEAN Focus Group and Philippines Focus Group.

 

Richard Whittall has been a Fund Manager at Alltus Capital since 2003. 

Prior to this Richard worked for Jardine Leming and Boyer Allan Investment Management firms in London, before relocating to Singapore in 2008 with a move to FPP Asia.

Speakers (s):

Bicky Bhangu - President, British Chamber of Commerce Singapore

 

Simon Baptist - Chief Economist, The Economist Intelligence Unit

 

Paul Landless - Partner, Clifford Chance

 

Richard Whittall - Fund Manager, Alltus Capital

Moderator:

Mark Worthington - Managing Director Singapore, Bell Pottinger Asia

Date:
Tue, June 14, 2016
Time:
07:15 AM - 09:30 AM
Venue:
Raffles Hotel 1 Beach Rd, Singapore 189673
218 are attending this event. Click to view list
ATTENDANCE FEE
ATTENDEEPRICE (INCLUDES 7% GST)
Member$ 50.00
Non-Member$ 85.00
Supporting Partner
$ 65.00
  • No-shows will be billed.
  • No invoice will be issued for payment processing. A tax receipt will be issued upon request and receipt of payment.
  • No cancellations/refunds after 12 noon
SPONSORED BY
PARTNER/SUPPORTING ORGANISATIONS
COMMENT
VIEW COMMENT
CALENDAR VIEW
LIST VIEW
Speaker (s):

Bicky Bhangu - President, British Chamber of Commerce Singapore

 

Simon Baptist - Chief Economist, The Economist Intelligence Unit

 

Paul Landless - Partner, Clifford Chance

 

Richard Whittall - Fund Manager, Alltus Capital

Moderator:

Mark Worthington - Managing Director Singapore, Bell Pottinger Asia

Date:
Tue, June 14, 2016
Time:
07:15 AM - 09:30 AM
Venue:
Raffles Hotel
1 Beach Rd, Singapore 189673

ADD THIS EVENT TO YOUR CALENDAR

218 people are attending this event. Click to view list
BACK TO TOP