The UK is due to leave the EU at 23.00 GMT on Friday 29 March, 2019.
This date can be extended if the UK and all EU members agree, but it remains the key milestone and has been put into British Law. In the time leading up to this date, the UK and EU continue to negotiate the new terms of their relationship. If agreed, there will be a transition period until at least December 2020 for companies to implement the changes.
So one of the main questions when it comes to Brexit is how does it affect trade and in turn, how will Brexit affect your business?
In broad terms, and outside of niche industries such as farming or medical research, the following areas of business will likely have to be examined and potentially revised once the UK leaves the EU, largely because the UK will no longer recognise institutions that oversee these areas, or will no longer be a part of the EU free trade area.
How long will it take for my business to adapt?
It’s currently not possible to say but according to the YouGov survey, businesses in the UK reported that they anticipated spending an average of 15 months preparing, while countries in the EU reported an ideal period would be nine months. Although It’s likely much of this adaptation for businesses will take place in the transition period across the 2019 and 2020.
My business is based in the UK and only has UK customers. Will I be affected by Brexit?
There are virtually no businesses in the UK that won’t affected by Brexit. The question is one of degree and all businesses should examine their processes. While Brexit also presents many business opportunities, it’s likely Brexit will affect businesses in many subtle ways that will take some forethought to plan for. For example, you might be a car maintenance business serving only UK customers, but the replacement parts you require might not be manufactured in the UK, so you may need to source new suppliers to avoid possible delays and extra costs involved with potential customs duties, or plan these delays and fees into your existing procedures.
How will Brexit affect businesses? Final thoughts
There’s no doubt that preparing a business for Brexit continues to be difficult due to the current uncertainty. In all likelihood, this situation isn’t likely to change until the transition period ends in December 2020 (assuming a soft Brexit occurs). However, there’s a surprising amount of information available to help you prepare. Making good use of it can mean the difference between being ready for Brexit and being left behind