A world of political worries

Thomas Lake, senior analyst, political risk, BMI Research described 2017 as being ‘an eventful year so far for major economies’.

In his session, World of worries: the global political landscape, Thomas started by focusing on the UK’s general election and what he labelled as Theresa May’s ‘major gamble which failed dramatically’. He pointed to how the election highlighted a major polarisation within the UK electorate. The outcome of the election, suggested Thomas, is that the likelihood of a hard Brexit has declined and the complexity has been magnified.

Thomas then turned his attentions to France which is facing ‘huge issues’ politically at present whilst Germany’s Angela Merkel expected to remain in power but chances of SDP leading the government ‘increasingly unlikely’.

Casting a broader net, Thomas then turned his attentions to the Eurosceptic risk highlighting Itaky’s political landscape as a ‘major risk’. He also pointed at Austria’s snap general election (in October) and how a coalition could be made up of far right Eurosceptics.

Turning his attentions to the US, Thomas said the biggest area of concern at present is the continued Trump presidency. He laid out four likely scenarios – stays; resigns; impeachment; or removal – with the potential likelihood and implications of each being set-out.

Thomas highlighted what he deemed as the major flashpoints – Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific being core. Russia, Trump, North Korea and China all mentioned. ‘North Korea is the most pressing flashpoint,’ said Thomas, ‘conflict would be devastating.’

He rounded the session with questions from the floor, suggesting ‘the polarisation in politics across the world is extreme’. On the subject of Brexit he said it is very much an emotive issue and will never satisfy everyone, hinting that post-Brexit it will still be an area of political influence for many, many years to come.

The IBIS Global Summit 2017 is partnered by 3M, AkzoNobel, Audatex, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Fix Auto World.

The event is taking place at the Meliá Castilla hotel in Madrid, Spain on 12-14 June 2017.