Brexit

Deadline, Delay, Repeat!

Peter Legge Peter Legge

The UK Prime Minister, Theresa May has been in talks with the EU for the past week. Her deadline for returning to Westminster and outlining the results of these negotiations has been pushed for another fortnight to 12 March – coincidentally on the eve of the Spring Statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The uncertainty of how Brexit will pan out and the prospect of a ‘No Deal’ lingers on.

One thing is certain; this week will have plenty of political drama that we will no doubt see brought to life again on Netflix in the future. Wednesday (27 February) is being billed as ‘high noon’, where Labour’s Yvette Cooper and the Conservative’s Oliver Letwin are to propose an amendment to seek an extension to Article 50, if a deal is not agreed by 12 March!

It is now likely to come down to the wire at the end of March. The most likely outcomes remain either a No Deal (cliff edge Brexit at 11pm on 29 March) or a last minute deal on the Withdrawal Agreement that includes an extension to Article 50 and allows some details to be ironed out.

On Friday, the Irish government issued a draft ‘Brexit Bill’ that outlines the plans for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit south of the border. Read more on their plans here.

With less than five weeks to go, we have outlined the five things businesses should consider doing to plan for a ‘No Deal’ scenario:

  1. Apply for an EORI number from HMRC – if your business plans to import or export goods with the EU; and
  2. Apply for the transitional simplified procedures for imports that reduce the amount of information you need to give in an import declaration when the goods are crossing the border and allow you to defer payment of customs duty; and
  3. Communicate with your employees using a robust and effective engagement plan to maintain their focus and trust; and
  4. Talk to your suppliers and understand what materials or products may increase in cost or potentially be delayed; and
  5. Open up communication with your customers – review your immediate sales pipeline and identify any potential hiccups.

It is not yet too late to start planning.

We have been working with clients from a wide range of sectors, covering all aspects of Brexit planning, such as developing, stress testing and implementing Brexit plans; reporting on Brexit risks and opportunities; assessing Brexit impact on deals; Brexit-proofing data protection; supporting relocation of operations; getting your tax and customs Brexit ready; helping you expand into new markets; preparing for market turbulence by reducing costs; and developing your employer proposition.