We live in a time of unprecedented uncertainty in the business world. There are many things changing and some of those changes and related impacts, especially in and around Brexit, are not clear at the present time. One thing is certain, the decision to leave the EU will have significant implications for UK businesses doing business with and within the European Union
What does Brexit mean for UK businesses?
With the political landscape ever changing as we approach the UK’s exit from the EU, we will look to update this page as often as possible.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal in place, it’s likely that the cost and administrative burden on doing business with the EU will rise. It may also rise even if we do leave with a deal in place, it depends on what the deal is, of course.
Remember that it is not in anyone’s interest to imposing punitive measures (and to an extent neither side can even if they wanted to) but we may well be subject to WTO tariffs.
Currency fluctuations are the enemy of business planning. The value of the pound dropped immediately after the referendum result and has struggled during recent stalled negotiations and political uncertainty in the UK . A continued weak pound may be good news for foreign companies looking to invest in UK businesses and for exporters but it also means that import prices will rise and that has an effect on both businesses and consumers.
There are a vast number of EU rules that cover areas such as product specifications, food quality, labelling etc through to employment law and environmental standards. The UK has agreed to keep versions of some of these regulations on a very similar basis to the current EU standards but in some areas, what is being proposed is not at all clear, even at this proximity to the exit date.
Businesses trading with the EU will need to be aware of proposed changes to laws pre and post Brexit and understand how it affects their industry as well as the ability to trade from Europe inbound towards the UK. At rhw we will be keeping a close eye on this area and will look to advise our clients.
How can rhw help business clients?
rhw are not anymore immune to Brexit uncertainties than our clients. Where we can offer business advice in this area based on our own experiences then we will. We monitor developments very carefully and have our own views on what is likely to happen.
Given that we are already well into 2019 the landscape regarding the free movement of people, goods and services is still not at all clear! The political dialogue (or lack of any consensus) within UK politics and between the UK and Europe means that everything continues to be in a state of flux.
The likely end result for the UK’s trading relationship with Europe is still very unclear. Business owners need to be planning for a number of different scenarios. We are doing so already at rhw.
Obviously, if you can develop new trading relationships with parties inside the UK and also outside the EU then that would be a great idea but do not ignore your existing EU contacts. They will still be there whatever the outcome of Brexit.
Even in the present confusing environment it is well worth remembering that there is a huge amount at stake for some very large companies alongside the more talked about national interests. The pressures to ensure that all sides end up with a workable and largely friction-free trading relationship is huge and cannot be ignored. Brexit cannot be ignored.