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Are you prepared for Brexit?

Now that Brexit is getting real, it is vital for you to stay informed about what happens next and how it affects your business.

Below you are able to download our FBCMB regional tube maps, where you can find your sector line and see the issues that will affect you on each stop. You will travel through zones covering international standards, EU rules, opportunities, people and trade. On each step of this journey you will need advice and our team are on hand to provide it.

   

 

Your big question is how you will do business in the short term in the event of no deal, in the medium term during any transitional period between Brexit and the entry into force of a new UK-EU trade agreement, and in the long term under the new trade agreement?

It is already clear, however, that you or those you supply are not going to enjoy the same access to the EU's Single Market under a trade agreement as you do while the UK is a member of the EU.

The main threat you face is uncertainty about the outcome. Nonetheless, you need to assess the impact of a worst-case-scenario Brexit now, in other words without any withdrawal agreement in place, and have in place contingency plans which are flexible enough to respond to developments in the negotiations.

Download our briefings if you are in:

Agriculture

Manufacturing

Automative and Aviation

Leisure and Hospitality

Our team can help you with all that you need in four steps:

  1. Information - You need to have procedures in place to ensure you are well-informed about the Brexit process. Relying on press reports won’t be enough. Understanding and forecasting the likely impacts are fundamental to your Brexit strategy to gaining early competitive advantage. FBC Manby Bowdler will give you with a tailored service which monitors progress, analyses published documents, and identifies the impacts for your business the moment they become clear.
  2. Preparation - Prepare for Brexit with and without a deal. To do so, businesses should carry out a Brexit legal impact assessment followed by a Brexit commercial impact assessment. These will form the baseline of any contingency measures. To be Brexitproof, FBC Manby Bowdler’s online survey can help you legally and commercially. Sign up here.
  3. Action - Based on this survey, you should decide what contingency plans you need and when they should be activated. You might be marginally or massively impacted. Contingency measures could include setting up alternative supply chains, identifying new customer markets, or re-skilling employees. FBC Manby Bowdler has been at the forefront of advising clients on the commercial implications of Brexit. We have the experience to help you devise and implement contingency measures for your business, and stress-test them against a range of Brexit scenarios, whatever industry you operate in.
  4. Influencing - The best way to avoid a Brexit that damages your business is to influence the outcome yourself. Brexit provides an opportunity to do that, which businesses should exploit more. FBC Manby Bowdler has the benefit of advisers in Brussels and London. We can devise and implement policy advocacy strategies to influence the course of further Brexit negotiations, the negotiations on a new trade agreement and build long-term regulatory compliance strategies, including relationship-building with key influencers and government authorities.

Our team of experienced sector specialists has examined the potential impact of the Brexit in your sector. Peter Wilding, our Brexit Director, is able to provide in-depth analysis on the political, policy and legal implications of Brexit, and translate what they mean for manufacturing, agricultural and hospitality clients. He has an expert understanding of how each piece of the jigsaw of EU policy and legislation fits together, an insider’s knowledge of the political and administrative processes of the negotiations, and considerable experience of how UK legislation is enacted. Few other lawyers have a background so suited to giving Brexit advice.

 

Brexit And Property - Carry On Regardless?

It's fair to say many businesses and individuals involved in property awoke on Friday 24th June with a sense of foreboding. 

Regardless of one’s politics and views on the EU, it seemed clear that the referendum result would - at least in the short to medium term - lead to uncertainty, loss of confidence and, in turn, a property crisis writes FBC Manby Bowdler's David Grove

The immediate signs were not good. The FTSE crashed and the Pound collapsed. However both quickly recovered and the economic indicators, for the most part, suggest that there is currently little ongoing adverse impact on the economy. But what of the future? 

There has been no shortage of column inches and pub chat spent in assessing the impact, both current and likely, of the Brexit vote. Many may feel that the topic has been exhausted, but I thought it might be worthwhile spending a little time trying to asses the impact on Property in the UK. 

On the face of it, we have found little impact to date. The first couple of weeks suggested some nervousness on the part of both buyers and sellers, landlords and tenants, but that nervousness seems, for the time being at least, to have dissipated. There may have been some cooling in the prime London market but that seems to inhabit a world different to much of the rest of the UK and probably needed some of the froth knocking off it. 

Property funds such as those operated by Aviva, Standard Life and M&G Real Estate hit the headlines when they had to suspend trading shortly after the vote, in the aftermath of a rush of monetary withdrawals. The problems facing those funds were, however, in some part structural (it is difficult to operate a ‘liquid’ investment – allowing immediate monetary withdrawals – when the underlying asset - i.e. property - is far from liquid). 

Lenders remain ‘open for business’. Their criteria remain substantially stiffer than those operating in boom times of the pre-2008 crash but there is little sign at the moment that the Brexit vote has hardened their attitudes to lending. 

Many commentators were predicting the ‘top of the market’ and an end to price rises in the commercial market anyway. If there is a lull in the market, it will be difficult to assess whether this is as a result of the Brexit vote or would have happened regardless.

In the residential market there was a notable immediate impact, and the number of first-time buyers in particular fell, although the fact that the referendum coincided with the quiet ‘holiday months’ of the summer may have contributed to that. Since then, the residential market seems to have largely recovered. Sellers continue to sell, buyers continue to buy, and prices continue to rise, although perhaps the rates of increase have slowed a little. 

Business does not like uncertainty. Making decisions on substantial capital expenditure (for instance the purchase of a new property, or the expansion of an existing one) are made more difficult and many business will prefer to ‘wait and see’ what the future holds before committing to such expenditure. The problem facing Business is that Brexit looks like it may be at least two and half years away – and most business decisions cannot be put on hold that long. 

That, and the favourable impact on the Pound’s devaluation for exporters, may explain the apparent limited impact to date – businesses simply cannot ‘sit on their hands’ waiting for unknown consequences of something that will happen in some years’ time. 

There will soon be pressure from higher import costs as the lower value of the Pound feeds through. As we move closer to the actual withdrawal from the EU, and ‘reality looms’, I suspect that we will see more nervousness and a downturn in markets. Of course the level of the impact will depend upon the negotiated terms of the exit and, despite anyone’s best guesses, no one knows how that will play out. 

My personal view is that we will see a dip in the Property market as we near the exit date - whether purely short term or in the longer term will depend upon the precise exit terms and, more importantly, the view of those terms taken by the individuals and businesses in the UK. 

Having said that, I was wrong in my assessment of the immediate impact of the vote – and I stand more than prepared to be proved wrong again!




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