Even with the official commencement of the Brexit process – as finalised by Prime Minister Theresa May’s signature on the letter to trigger Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty today – Bank of Singapore’s (BoS) chief economist Richard Jerram is certain that a deal for the UK to leave the Union is “almost impossible”.

“To reach an agreement on such a complicated issue as market access – a new trade deal – in such a short time frame is hard to imagine,” expounds Jerram in an economics research report on Wednesday, noting that the UK is “not well-placed to bear the costs of a messy exit” given its large budget and trade deficits.

Unrealistic schedule

For starters, Jerram notes a challenging timetable for the exit to occur given EU’s intention to come to a deal on the UK’s bill for exiting first, before discussing residency rights of EU citizens …