Opinion: Brexit Spells Ppportunity for MD, Which Should Recruit British CEOs

Britons voted to leave the European Union (EU) last week.  The United Kingdom’s (UK) departure from the EU could spell opportunity for Maryland.  Nervous UK investors seeking new homes for their capital should find one in Maryland.

Many British companies actively supported the departure from the EU.  On May 15, 300 British CEOs signed a letter to The [London] Telegraph newspaper stating that “Britain’s competitiveness is being undermined by our membership of (sic) a failing EU.”

Others worry about EU retaliation against the UK for the exit vote.  In a June 3 speech, JPMorgan CEO Jaime Dimon (who opposed UK exit from the EU) reportedly told UK staff that “[in] a bad scenario, and this is not the worst-case scenario, trade retaliation against Britain by countries in the European Union is possible …”

A stable haven

Either way, the UK/EU pull-out points to opportunity for Maryland.  We should engage the new British dynamic and offer our state as a stable haven for nervous UK investors.

In fact, many British companies are already in the US.  According to a 2016 report from the private-sector Organization for International Investment (OFII), the UK is the “single largest foreign investor in the US.”  OFII puts the 2016 UK share of U.S. investment at $449 billion (seewww.OFII.org), or 15% of the total.  There is plenty of room in Maryland for more.

The stability of our market and our nation’s network of existing trade agreements could be a lifeboat for British capital now facing uncertainty as London and Brussels decouple.