Brexit is all across the news. Particularly so in the last week. Whilst the goal post of the leaving date continues to move (the deadline is set for the 31st October at time of writing), Brexit is a real issue for businesses of all sizes.
Whether we leave the EU with or without a deal, one thing is for sure. Businesses need to be ready and to have an effective plan in place which details how they see their business operating once Brexit is finalised in order to ensure business continuity.
What implications could Brexit have for UK businesses?
Brexit could affect many areas. Many of which are well incorporated in to the way UK businesses operate. These include areas such as:
• Supply chains (and supply chain resilience)
• Border controls and customs – including the time it takes for goods to pass through customs checks
• Rights of UK and EU citizens to work in each other’s territories.
• Regulations and trade agreements
• Data obligations
Is your business involved in trade with the EU? Do you rely on imported goods from the EU? Do you employ EU citizens? These are just a few examples of the types of questions you need to be planning for. If you answered yes to any of these questions then your business continuity will most likely be impacted by Brexit. The current state of play will be different and anything which alters the environment that your business operates in can impact you business continuity. This is particularly the case if you fail to plan ahead and for a variety of eventualities.
For example, if you are a manufacturer, have you detailed where all your components come from? How would you operate if it became more difficult or timely to get hold of these components from an EU supplier? Have you thought about how a fall in the value of the sterling could impact your business? Or how employment law in the UK may change in relation to workers employed from EU countries?
Whilst the uncertainty of Brexit is what is causing business the biggest headache, it mustn’t be used as a reason not to plan. In fact planning for a range of scenarios and outcomes is most likely the best stance to take. This means that your business will hopefully be in the best position to respond and importantly, to be flexible to embrace and respond to any changes. Therefore supporting your business continuity.
The government has recently launched a Get Ready for Brexit campaign, urging businesses to prepare for when we do leave the EU. You can find a checklist on their website here, which should help you understand what you need to do to get ready for Brexit.