UK’s ‘readiness for change’ rating boosts Brexit hopes


Britain has been ranked 10th in global index of the nations most ready for political and economic change, easing concerns the UK will struggle to deal with financial uncertainty caused by Brexit, according to a major international study.

The Global Change Readiness Index produced by KPMG examines 30 indicators across 136 nations, gauging countries’ ability to deal with upheaval, the Telegraph reports.

The index considers factors including the flexibility of labour and financial markets, adaptability of government fiscal policy and the versatility of a country’s workforce.

The UK was ranked highly in enterprise potential, coming seventh overall, and in societal robustness, where it placed eighth. Government capability was also strong, rating 13th.

“Our country’s spirit of entrepreneurialism, mastery of technology and renowned business environment all point to a long-term, collective, ability to rebuild our economy after Brexit,” said Karen Briggs, head of Brexit at KPMG.

The UK was one of only two major nations rated as being most capable of responding to “shock” financial instability and political uncertainty in the top 10. The only other leading economic power to feature was Germany, which was placed ninth.

The findings come as a boost amid claims that the UK may struggle to adapt among financial uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiations.

Whilst the report claimed that smaller European countries including Switzerland (1st), Sweden (2nd), Denmark (5th) and the Netherlands (7th) were more prepared for change than the UK, the report’s findings showed that the UK could cope better with change than larger global heavyweights such as the US (12th), Hong Kong (13th) and France (20th).

The UK also ranked highly in sub-indicators including economic openness (5th), business environment (6th) and financial sector (6th). Scoring high in these categories is suggestive that the UK is more prepared for the financial volatility of Brexit than originally anticipated.

Ms Briggs added: “As the UK gets to grips with Brexit, some business leaders have become deeply pessimistic, seeing only the potential jeopardy and upheaval that lies ahead.

“Of course, the risks of Brexit are manifold and very, very real.  Indeed many require attention with the greatest sense of urgency.  But this study offers a more rounded perspective.

“I hope every business leader is looking not just at the risks of Brexit but also the opportunities.”