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INTRODUCTION...................................................................................................... 2
Malaysian Economy............................................................................................ 2
United Kingdom economy................................................................................... 5
BREXITS IMPACTS ON MALAYSIA.........................................................................10
TRADE............................................................................................................... 10
TOURISM........................................................................................................... 11
OUTWARD INVESTMENT TO THE UK.................................................................12
INWARD INVESTMENT FROM THE UK................................................................13
TERTIARY EDUCATION....................................................................................... 14
BRITISH PENSIONERS IN MALAYSIA...................................................................16
CONCLUSION....................................................................................................... 17
REFERENCES........................................................................................................ 19

Malaysian Economy
Malaysia is a highly open, upper-middle income economy. Malaysia was one of 13 countries
identified by the Commission on Growth and Development in its 2008 Growth Report to
have recorded average growth of more than 7 percent per year for 25 years or more.
Economic growth was inclusive, as Malaysia also succeeded in nearly eradicating poverty:
the share of households living below the national poverty line (USD 8.50 per day in 2012)
fell from over 50 percent in the 1960s to less than 1 percent currently.

From an economy dominated by the production of raw natural resource materials, such as tin
and rubber, even as recently as the 1970s, Malaysia today has a diversified economy and has
become a leading exporter of electrical appliances, electronic parts and components, palm oil,
and natural gas. After the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998, Malaysia continued to post
solid growth rates, averaging 5.5 percent per year from 2000-2008. Malaysia was hit by the
Global Financial Crisis in 2009 but recovered rapidly, posting growth rates averaging 5.7
percent since 2010.

Though poverty is less than 1 percent, pockets of poverty remain and income inequality
remains high relative to other developed countries: Malaysias gini coefficient of income
inequality stood at 0.41 in 2014, compared with 0.31 and 0.33 in the Republic of Korea and
Japan (both as of 2010), for example. Real income of the bottom 40 percent of households
increased by an average 6.3 percent per year between 2009 and 2012, compared to 5.2
percent for the average household, suggesting the benefits from growth were being shared.

Malaysias near-term economic outlook remains overall favorable, despite some risks. The
economy has diversified from commodities and the Government has taken steps to broaden
the revenue base by introducing a Goods and Services Tax in 2015. Short-term risks include
further declines in oil prices and oil related taxes that still account for around 17 percent of
public revenues, although this is partially compensated by the removal of fuel subsidies in
2014. Other risks are related to the volatility in capital flows from the normalization of US
monetary policy. The long-term sustainability of this favorable outlook hinges on structural
reforms to strengthen medium-term fiscal planning, and to boost capabilities and competition
within the economy.

Accelerated implementation of productivity-enhancing reforms to increase the quality of
human capital and create more competition in the economy will be key for Malaysia to secure
a lasting place among the ranks of high-income economies. Malaysia has been working to
address these challenges. In 2010, Malaysia launched the New Economic Model (NEM),
which aims for the country to reach high income status by 2020 while ensuring that growth is
also sustainable and inclusive. The NEM includes a number of reforms to achieve economic
growth that is primarily driven by the private sector and moves the Malaysian economy into
higher value-added activities in both industry and services.

Malaysia Economy Data

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Population (million) 29.1 29.5 29.9 30.3 30.8

GDP per capita (USD) 10,282 10,883 10,785 10,737 10,222

GDP (USD bn) 299 316 324 340 298

Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %) 5.3 5.5 4.7 6.0 5.0

Consumption (annual variation in %) 6.9 8.4 7.3 7.0 6.0

Investment (annual variation in %) 6.4 19.0 8.2 4.8 3.7

Industrial Production (annual variation in %) 2.4 4.2 3.4 5.1 4.5

Unemployment Rate 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.3

Fiscal Balance (% of GDP) -4.7 -4.4 -3.8 -3.4 -3.2

Public Debt (% of GDP) 50.0 51.7 53.0 52.7 54.5

Money (annual variation in %) 14.7 9.7 7.7 7.5 2.9

Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop) 3.0 1.3 3.2 2.7 2.7

Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %) 3.2 1.7 2.1 3.1 2.1

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Inflation (PPI, annual variation in %) 12.0 -0.2 -2.4 1.3 -7.5

Policy Interest Rate (%) 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.25 3.25

Stock Market (annual variation in %) 20.7 0.1 7.0 10.8 -1.3

Exchange Rate (vs USD) 3.17 3.06 3.28 3.50 4.29

Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop) 3.06 3.09 3.15 3.27 3.91

Current Account (% of GDP) 10.9 5.2 3.4 4.3 2.9

Current Account Balance (USD bn) 32.6 16.4 11.2 14.5 8.8

Trade Balance (USD billion) 40.5 31.1 22.4 25.1 24.0

Exports (USD billion) 228 228 229 234 200

Imports (USD billion) 187 197 206 209 176

Exports (annual variation in %) 14.4 0.0 0.4 2.4 -14.6

Imports (annual variation in %) 13.5 5.0 4.9 1.4 -15.8

International Reserves (USD) 134 140 135 116 95.3

External Debt (% of GDP) 56.7 62.3 65.6 62.9 65.1

United Kingdom economy

The economy of the United Kingdom is the fifth-largest national economy in the world
measured by nominal gross domestic product (GDP) and ninth-largest in the world measured
by purchasing power parity (PPP), comprising 4% of world GDP. It is the second-largest in
the European Union by both metrics. The UK has been the fastest growing economy in the
Group of Seven (G7) for four consecutive years, with 2.2% year-on-year growth in the
second quarter (Q2) of 2016.

In 2015 the UK was the eleventh-largest exporter in the world and the sixth-largest importer,
and had the second-largest stock of inward foreign direct investment and the second-largest
stock of outward foreign direct investment. The UK is one of the world's most globalised
economies and is composed of (in descending order of size) the economies of England,
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The service sector dominates the UK economy, contributing around 78% of GDP; the
financial services industry is particularly important, and London is the world's largest
financial centre. Britain's aerospace industry is the second- or third-largest national aerospace
industry depending on the method of measurement. Its pharmaceutical industry plays an
important role in the economy and the UK has the third-highest share of global
pharmaceutical research and development. The automotive industry is also a major employer
and exporter. The British economy is boosted by North Sea oil and gas production; its
reserves were estimated at 2.9 billion barrels in 2015. There are significant regional variations
in prosperity, with South East England and southern Scotland being the richest areas per
capita. The size of London's economy makes it the largest city by GDP in Europe.

In the 18th century the UK was the first country to industrialise and during the 19th century it
had a dominant role in the global economy. From the late 19th century the Second Industrial
Revolution was also taking place rapidly in the United States and the German Empire; this
presented an increasing economic challenge for the UK. The costs of fighting World War I
and World War II further weakened the UK's relative position. In the 21st century, however, it
remains a great power with global strengths and an influential role in the world economy.

In 2008, the UK entered the Great Recession during the financial crisis of 200708, its first
for nearly two decades and its longest and deepest recession since World War II. Since 2013,
the UK has been in a nascent economic recovery and is firmly in expansion territory. The
economy is now (Q1 2016) 7.7% bigger than its pre-crisis peak and 14.8% bigger than its
lowest point in 2009. However, the UK's current account deficit is the highest since records
began and the highest by GDP in the developed world.

Government involvement in the British economy is primarily exercised by Her Majesty's

Treasury, headed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Department for Business,
Innovation and Skills. Since 1979 management of the economy has followed a broadly
laissez-faire approach. The Bank of England is the UK's central bank and its Monetary Policy
Committee is responsible for setting interest rates.

The currency of the UK is the pound sterling, which is also the world's third-largest reserve
currency after the United States dollar and the euro and also one of the ten most-valued
currencies in the world.

The UK is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the European Union (although it has
voted to leave), the G7, the G8, the G20, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation
for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Bank, the World Trade
Organisation, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the United Nations.

United Kingdom Economy Data

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Population (million) 63.3 63.7 64.1 64.5 64.9

GDP per capita (USD) 41,049 41,436 42,366 46,412 43,890

GDP (USD bn) 2,598 2,640 2,715 2,994 2,850

Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %) 2.0 1.2 2.2 2.9 2.3

Domestic Demand (annual variation in %) -0.2 2.1 2.4 3.4 2.3

Consumption (annual variation in %) 0.1 1.8 1.9 2.5 2.7

Investment (annual variation in %) 2.0 1.5 2.6 7.3 4.1

Exports (G&S, annual variation in %) 5.8 0.7 1.2 1.2 5.1

Imports (G&S, annual variation in %) 0.6 2.9 2.8 2.4 6.3

Industrial Production (annual variation in %) -0.6 -2.8 -0.8 1.3 1.0

Retail Sales (annual variation in %) 0.0 0.6 1.4 4.0 4.5

Unemployment Rate 8.1 8.0 7.6 6.2 5.4

Fiscal Balance (% of GDP) -7.7 -8.3 -5.6 -5.6 -4.4

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Public Debt (% of GDP) 81.8 85.3 86.2 88.2 89.2

Money (annual variation in %) 3.0 5.5 5.4 6.2 5.9

Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop) 4.2 2.7 2.0 0.5 0.2

Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %) 4.5 2.8 2.6 1.5 0.0

Inflation (PPI, annual variation in %) 4.7 2.1 1.3 0.0 -1.7

Policy Interest Rate (%) 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50

Stock Market (annual variation in %) -5.6 5.8 14.4 -2.7 -4.9

Exchange Rate (vs USD) 1.55 1.63 1.66 1.56 1.47

Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop) 1.60 1.59 1.56 1.65 1.53

Current Account (% of GDP) -1.7 -3.3 -4.5 -5.1 -5.2

Current Account Balance (GBP bn) -27.4 -54.7 -77.9 -92.5 -96.2

Trade Balance (GBP billion) -93.5 -106.5 -115.2 -123.1 -125.4

International Reserves (USD) 79.3 88.6 92.4 95.7 119

Source: Bloomberg


Brexit (and its early variant, Brixit) is a portmanteau of "Britain" and "exit". It was derived
by analogy from Grexit. The term Brexit may have first been used in reference to a possible
UK withdrawal from the EU by Peter Wilding in a Euractiv blog post on 15 May 2012. Brexit
is an abbreviation for "British exit," which refers to the June 23, 2016, referendum whereby
British citizens voted to exit the European Union. The referendum roiled global markets,

including currencies, causing the British pound to fall to its lowest level in decades. Prime
Minister David Cameron, who supported the United Kingdom remaining in the European
Union, announced his plans to step down in October 2016, as a result.

In 2012, Prime Minister David Cameron rejected calls for a referendum on the UK's EU
membership, but suggested the possibility of a future referendum to gauge public support.
[18][19] According to the BBC, "The prime minister acknowledged the need to ensure the
UK's position within the European Union had 'the full-hearted support of the British people'
but they needed to show 'tactical and strategic patience'.

Under pressure from many of his MPs and from the rise of UKIP, in January 2013, Cameron
announced that a Conservative government would hold an inout referendum on EU
membership before the end of 2017, on a renegotiated package, if elected in 2015.

The Conservative Party unexpectedly won the 2015 general election with a majority. Soon
afterwards the European Union Referendum Act 2015 was introduced into Parliament to
enable the referendum. Despite being in favour of remaining in a reformed European Union
himself, Cameron announced that Conservative Ministers and MPs were free to campaign in
favour of remaining in the EU or leaving it, according to their conscience. This decision came
after mounting pressure for a free vote for ministers.In an exception to the usual rule of
cabinet collective responsibility, Cameron allowed cabinet ministers to campaign publicly for
EU withdrawal.

In a speech to the House of Commons on 22 February 2016, Cameron announced a

referendum date of 23 June 2016 and set out the legal framework for withdrawal from the
European Union in circumstances where there was a referendum majority vote to leave, citing
Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Cameron spoke of an intention to trigger the Article 50
process immediately following a leave vote and of the "two-year time period to negotiate the
arrangements for exit."

The result was announced on the morning of 24 June: 52% voted to leave and 48% to remain.

United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016

Choice Votes %

Leave 17,410,742 51.89

Remain 16,141,241 48.11

Valid votes 33,551,983 99.92

Invalid or blank votes 25,359 0.08

Total votes 33,577,342 100.00

Registered voters and turnout 46,500,001 72.21

Source: Electoral Commission[42]

Supporters of Brexit based their opinions on a variety of factors, from the global
competitiveness of British businesses to concerns about immigration. Britain has already
opted out of the European Union's monetary union -- meaning that it uses the pound instead
of the euro -- and the Schengen Area, meaning that it does not share open borders with a
number of other European nations. "Out" campaigners argued that Brussels' bureaucracy is a
drag on the British economy and that European Union laws and regulations threaten British


When the result was announced, other than the plunging currency, world oil prices also
tumbled by more than 6%. Experts opine that the reason why the world oil prices took a
tumble could be due to risk aversion more than fundamentals.

In Asia, Tokyo stocks slid by more than 8% and Japans Finance Minister Taro Aso called an
emergency news briefing.

However, according to Credit Suisse in a report in the New Straits Time prior to the
announcement of the referendum result, Asian exports do not rely heavily on UKs demand.
Therefore, any direct impact on the regional economies ex-Japan would likely be small with
the exit from the EU.

This is because the bilateral trade significance between UK and Malaysia has declined since
the 1990s. Year-to-date, the UK has only contributed 1.1% to Malaysias total trade and
ranked 17th out of 240 trading partners.

Businesses that may be vulnerable to Brexit are commodity and business processing exports,
said economists Dr Santitarn Sathirathai and Michael Wan. Malaysia, along with Thailand
and Vietnam, are agricultural and processed food exporters to the UK, while Malaysia and
Vietnam also export mining products.

The exit could result in Britain being less attractive export destinations in the eyes of
Malaysian businesses, due to the possible weaker economy. This remains to be seen.

However, the sliding currency could mean cheaper British products for Malaysians.

Total Trade by Major Countries, January 2016, percentage shares

Source: Department of Statistics Malaysia

In uncertain economic times, one of the luxuries that people let go of, is vacation. In 2015,
we saw the arrival of 401,019 tourists from the UK, while in the first quarter of 2016, we saw
a hike in that number by about 2.4% compared with the same period last year.

As the summer holiday in the UK approaches, will we be seeing an influx of British tourists
to Malaysia?

This can be unlikely, as the British are assumed to be more careful with their finances,
especially with falling currency, and hence foregoing long vacations.

We can expect a lower number of tourists from the UK in the coming months, but it probably
will not affect tourism revenue in Malaysia significantly as the majority of the tourists
coming to Malaysia are from the Southeast and Northeast Asia regions.

Brexit was hailed by Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), as the
UKs independence day. Though experts do not foresee drastic change for Malaysia, things
are not expected to be rosy in the UK.

The IMF predicted the worst-case scenario could see the British economy sink into recession
next year, and the overall economic output to slide 5.6% lower than the 2019 forecast, and
unemployment to rise above 6%.

In this unprecedented moment, Britain will be the first country to exit the EU, since its
formation. However, the referendum would not be an automatic exit for Britain as a member.

The exit process will probably take a minimum of two years, with Leave campaigners
suggesting during the referendum campaign that it should not be completed until 2020
when the next scheduled general election will be held.

Whether Britain will really benefit from its exit from EU will remain to be seen, but it is
likely that any direct impact on Malaysia would be minimal.

Due to the UKs popularity with international students, many Malaysian property investors
are looking to invest in student accommodation in the UK.

Table 1 : International Students in UK 2014-2015

Source: UK Council for International Students Affairs

Non-EU students in HE

Higher degree (research) 29,565 2,850 32,415

Higher degree (taught) 108,875 10,285 119,160

Postgraduate other 3,145 3,570 6,690

First degree 135,695 3,625 139,320

Other undergraduate 6,750 7,670 14,425

Total non-EU 284,010 28,000 312,010

In fact, Malaysians make up one of the biggest investors in the property market in the UK,
especially institutional investors such as the Employees Provident Fund, Retirement Fund
Inc. (KWAP) and Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT).

According to Virata Thaivasigamony, director of Cornerstone International Properties, a

property real estate investment firm, 73% of overseas Malaysian property investors in 2015
have gone into purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) due to its 8% yields.

However, with the risk of recession post-Brexit as predicted by the International Monetary
Fund (IMF), experts are worried that the faltering economy would badly affect property
prices, thereby hindering the ability to construct more homes, and also allowing overseas
investors to buy property at a lower value.

This could be good news for new Malaysian property investors with holding power, who are
looking to break into the UK property market. With the lower currency exchange rate and
also lower housing prices, it could be time for these investors to start shopping for a good

However, if this does happen, it will not be favourable to existing property owners. In light of
the possible recession, property investment can be difficult, either in rental or in sale.


In quarter one of this year, the UK contributed RM1.9 billion of foreign direct investments
(FDI) or 9.3% of the total FDI stock. We saw an increase of 54.1% compared with the same
period last year.

In the same quarter, the EU was the largest contributor to Malaysia at RM30.3 billion (39.0%
of total FDI stock), a rise of 21.8% from last years figure.

Experts do not expect Brexit to affect the FDI in Malaysia, as it involves medium- to long-
term factors. However, MIDF Research predicts that it will significantly impact portfolio
investments like stocks, bonds, treasuries in the short term.

We opine that Brexit has marginal impact on the economic fundamentals of Malaysia but
more on financial markets due to negative sentiment. In the wake of Brexit, investors have
fled to safety, which means the dollar, yen and bunds (German bonds), causing yield to
plummet, MIDF told The Sun Daily. This can already be seen with the performance of the
stock market, where we saw a large net outflow of portfolio capital for the past eight weeks,
averaging above RM1.0 billion.

The UK remains one of the top education destinations for Malaysians, and the world in
general. According to UNESCO statistics, the UK is ranked #2 in the top 20 countries for
international students, with a total of 427,686 international students.

Which are the top 20 countries for international students?

Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics, July 2014
Destination country Total number of students
1 US 740482
2 UK 427686

Which are the top 20 countries for international students?
Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics, July 2014
Destination country Total number of students
3 France 271399
4 Australia 249588
5 Germany 206986
6 Russia 173627
7 Japan 150617
8 Canada 120960
9 China 88979
10 Italy 77732
11 South Africa 70428
12 Malaysia 63625
13 South Korea 59472
14 Austria 58056
15 Netherlands 57509
16 Spain 55759
17 United Arab Emirates 54162
18 Singapore 52959
19 Egypt 49011
20 Saudi Arabia 46566

Malaysians are attracted to tertiary education in the UK, which contributes to the rise in
property investment in the country.

Though Brexit will unlikely affect the quality of the education offered to students, the sliding
sterling can be beneficial to many parents who are paying for tuition fees in Sterling that
was about 6 times to the Malaysian ringgit last month.

At the time of writing, the ringgit was at 5.5586 to the pound. If the currency continues to
slide, Malaysian parents may be able to gain a respite from the sliding ringgit.

Table 2 : Top Non EU Countries sending students to UK

Source: UK Council for International Students Affair

Country 2014-15 2013-14 2012-13

China (PRC) 89,540 87,895 83,790

India 18,320 19,750 22,385

Nigeria 17,920 18,020 17,395

Malaysia 17,060 16,635 15,015

United States of America 16,865 16,485 16,235

Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region) 16,215 14,725 13,065

Saudi Arabia 8,595 9,060 9,440

Singapore 7,295 6,790 6,020

Thailand* 6,240 6,340 6,180

Pakistan 7,295 6,665 7,185


Ranked as one of the top 7 best places to retire by the, Malaysia is
one of the most popular destinations in Asia for expats and retirees from the UK.

The Malaysian government has been welcoming expats for long-term stays in the country,
with the My Second Home (MM2H) programme launched in 2002.

Since its launch, the programme has encouraged almost 20,000 expats to settle in the former
British colony. The MM2H has no age restriction, which makes it a popular long-term visa
for retirees.

The British state pension system allows pensioners to receive their pension abroad. Although
the pension paid is not subject to income tax in Malaysia, it is still affected by the currency

With the possibly continuous downward slide of the sterling pound due to Brexit, British
Table 3: Top 10 countries involved in MM2H
pensioners in Malaysia can expect a much smaller retirement income moving forward.

Measuring the possible impacts of a Brexit on the economic development in Europe is
extremely difficult because nobody knows how the relations between the UK and the EU
would be organized after a Brexit. Therefore, we worked with different scenarios. In the most

favourable case for the UK, the country would receive a status similar to Norway or
Switzerland. If so, there would be only minor increases in non-tariff barriers, but the cross-
border trade between the UK and the remaining EU-27 would remain exempt from tariffs
(soft exit). In the most unfavourable scenario, the UK would lose all trade privileges arising
from EU membership (isolation of the UK).

What are the economic consequences of these different scenarios? In each case, leaving the
EU would increase prices for British exports and hence reduce the level of economic
activities and production. Furthermore, prices for imported goods and services would rise for
British consumers and companies. Both developments would reduce real GDP in the UK. The
extent to which a Brexit would lower economic growth in the UK depends on the degree of
trade reduction with the EU. In the soft exit scenario, our simulations conclude that the
British real GDP would be about 0.6% lower in 2030 compared to what it could have been if
the UK had remained in the EU. The full effects of trade policy measures occur 10 to 12
years after they are introduced. Therefore, all our calculations provide long-term effects
which arise in 2030. In the isolation scenario, the UK would be hit harder. In that case, we
calculate a real GDP which is about 3% lower in 2030.

On the positive side, the UK would save its annual payments to the EU budget. In 2013, the
net contribution to the EU was around 0.5% of the British GDP. Compared to the calculated
losses in real GDP, even in the most favourable case these savings do not compensate the
reduction in real GDP due to less trade activities. Hence, in economic terms the UK would
not benefit from leaving the EU.

Less cross-border trade activities are not only harmful to economic development of the
United Kingdom, but to economic growth in the entire EU and the rest of the world. For the
EU-27 (EU without the UK), we calculate GDP losses between 0.1% (soft exit) and 0.36%
(isolation of the UK) in 2030. These losses would differ significantly within the EU:
Ireland would be hit particular hard due to the strong economic ties with the UK. The
calculated losses for Ireland range from 0.8% with a soft Brexit to almost 2.7% in case of an
isolation of the UK. Other countries with losses above the EU-27 average are Luxembourg,
Malta, Cyprus, Belgium and Sweden. In addition, the remaining 27 EU countries will have to
compensate the missing British payments to the EU budget. According to our calculation,
Germany and France are supposed to increase their annual gross payments by 2.5 billion
and 1.9 billion respectively.


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