LONDON (Reuters) - Moody's credit ratings agency said on Wednesday it expected Britain and the European Union will eventually strike a deal that preserves most - but probably not all - of their current trading relationship after Brexit.
"However, such an agreement would likely take years of negotiation, and there are clear downside risks," Colin Ellis, Moodys chief credit officer for Europe, said in a statement.
"Substantial new tariff or non-tariff barriers, in particular, would have an adverse impact on UK sectors that trade extensively with the EU market."
Earlier on Wednesday Prime Minister Theresa May filed formal Brexit divorce papers, pitching Britain into the unknown and triggering years of uncertain negotiations that will test the cohesion of the European Union.
Reporting by William Schomberg, writing by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken