Getting ready for Brexit

Getting ready for Brexit

It’s been a tumultuous three years since the UK public voted to leave the European Union. Brexit was originally scheduled for 29 March 2019 and we worked for many months before then with clients who had significant import or export activities to plan for any possible No-deal scenario.

The general view was that a Withdrawal Agreement would be finalised or that Brexit would be delayed. With so little apparent preparation at that time by the Government for a No-deal Brexit, the most common solution was to ensure additional levels of stock were warehoused in convenient locations to avoid any disruption at ports in the weeks following 29 March 2019.

Brexit Day was of course delayed and we saw extraordinary events in the House of Commons as Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement was voted down three times, eventually by an historic margin. After Boris Johnson’s elevation to the Premiership, the political temperature in favour of a No-deal (if necessary) increased significantly with the current UK Government insisting we would leave the EU at the end of October 2019.

As it happened, although the UK managed to renegotiate the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement to revise the customs arrangements for the Irish border issue and downplay UK commitment in a range of other areas, a further “flextension” was agreed to 31 January 2020.

Of course, no one can be sure what will happen. We’re continuing to work with clients who still see appropriate preparation for a No-deal Brexit as essential to their business risk management strategy.

The No-Deal Default

As things stand at the end of October 2019, the UK will leave the European Union without a deal on 31st January 2020.

With a General Election now set to be held in the UK on 12 December 2019, it’s looking increasingly likely that some resolution will be reached before a No-deal Brexit. Whether that’s a new Conservative government pushing through the Johnson deal, or a Labour administration putting the deal and the entire question of Remain/Leave back to a referendum, remains to be seen. It’s likely to be the most unpredictable election for generations and could still return a hung Parliament.

How can you prepare?

For those who have recently started to wrestle with No-deal planning, we have prepared a risk assessment tool to either use internally, or to ask us to make an initial assessment of the likely impact of a No-deal Brexit on your business.

Contact our team today to find out more –

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