The UK’s decision to leave the EU will cost its economy at least £183bn ($240bn) in lost M&A activity over the next four years, according to a recent report by international law firm Baker & McKenzie. It expects M&A activity to drop by 33% in 2017.

The report also detailed how the global M&A market might face an M&A activity deficit of £0.75tr ($1.6tr), although this volatility could be mitigated by a swift post-Brexit agreement.


The EU referendum has had largely negative effects on the EU as well, with eurozone GDP also now projected to be lower over the next few years and M&A activity in Europe (not including the UK) expected to drop by 40% in 2017, under the most adverse circumstances. Stemming these losses would require a swift and orderly exit, because under such fast-track circumstances there is only an 8% expected decrease in M&A activity in Europe.

Although the effects of the UK leaving the EU will be wholly negative, the report also stresses that it will not cause the same severe impacts of the global financial crisis of 2008. “In the last few days we have seen evidence that the M&A market in the UK won’t come to a crashing halt, even if it won’t be at its previous pace,” said Tim Gee, a London M&A partner at Baker & McKenzie.