Is your business prepared for Brexit?

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020 and entered an 11 month transition period. The UK and EU agreed a deal that governs their relationship from 1 January 2021 onwards. 

We know that the uncertainty around Brexit has made it difficult to know how to prepare, but our expert team will help you to put practical steps in place to make sure your business is ready for the UK’s new relationship with the EU. Our team of Brexit advisors offer in-depth analysis on the political, policy and legal implications of Brexit and how it will affect your business.

We specialise in a wide range of sectors and can help to answer big questions about Brexit and the preparations businesses should make, including:

  • How will the entry into the UK-EU trade agreement affect you?
  • How will the entry into any further UK-EU trade agreements affect you?
  • How will any long-term new trade agreements affect you?

Our team of advisors can provide bespoke assessments of your business, including:

  • Assessing how your business could be affected by Brexit
  • Providing personalised practical plans to ensure your business is ready

A major challenge you face is complying with the terms of the UK and EU deal. Importing and exporting to the EU, travel, hiring and data have all changed. The deal is also not fully comprehensive and further issues, notably relating to the provision of services, are still to be fleshed out.

Our team can help you with all that you need in two 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.

2. Action - 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, whatever industry you operate in.

Our team of experienced sector specialists has examined the potential impact of Brexit in your sector and can provide an in-depth analysis on the political, policy and legal implications of Brexit, and translate what they mean for manufacturing, agricultural and hospitality clients. We have 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.

Brexit: Where we are...


You are not alone if you feel bewildered by Brexit. The latest developments mean talk of delays, extensions and a new referendum have dominated the headlines.

Here, FBC Manby Bowdler Brexit Director Peter Wilding takes a look at the current situation and explains just what it all means.

BREXIT: Where we are:

When will this ever end? You can only look on bewildered as the Brexit drama reaches its climax. But the frequent deferrals in this denouement are just armies waiting to pounce for the final battle. This is why 687 hours until Brexit (less than 30 days!) we still don't know:

  • If Brexit will happen on 29 March
  • If we will have a deal
  • If the Labour party will survive
  • If the Tory party will survive
  • How to stop (not delay) no-deal
  • Whether necessary SIs can be passed in time
  • Whether the EU will allow an A50 extension
  • Whether we have to take part in the European elections in May
  • What Jeremy Corbyn's own definitive cast-iron position is on 2nd referendum
  • What the second "Brexit" in "Brexit means Brexit" means
  • What the ERG are thinking?!?

But this is a battle when all sides are still plotting the best chance of winning. It was always likely that February and March 2019 would be the time when those who want deal, no deal or no Brexit would have their best chance of success. It was always probable that these final weeks of the article 50 process were going to provide Brexit’s high-noon moment. And that is precisely where we find ourselves now. That’s true on all sides, whether pro- or anti-Brexit. A battle cannot be infinitely postponed. Brexit must either take place on 29 March or not. If it does take place, Brexit's first business day is April 1st when the long term trade policy discussions which will affect all in the West Midlands begin.

Key question one: Can May's deal win?

This week, fearing that more Conservatives could revolt over her refusal to rule out no deal, May managed to buy a bit more time from the Tory party by her concession that the 29 March deadline may be missed and that the article 50 process may have to be extended if the government loses its plan B vote on 12 March.

May’s entire Brexit strategy is now being kept alive by two things. The first is her consistent leaning to the right in order to keep Conservative MPs onside behind her Brexit plan. The second is her hope that the attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, can agree some form of legal wording with the EU to enable him to change his advice that the Northern Irish backstop could be legally permanent. And if Cox gets the form of words that May craves, it will be the only change from the plan A on which May was trounced in January. That doesn’t automatically mean that the 118 Tories who voted against plan A will not vote for plan B either. If he does change his advice, 100 DUP and pro-Brexit Tories may be persuaded to back the deal, meaning it would only take 20 rogue Labour MPs to get May over the line. Britain will leave on March 29th. But it surely means that if May loses on 12 March, and especially if she loses badly, she will have no plan C to put in its place, except extension.

Key question two: Extension. How and for how long?

Yet the extension of article 50 is potentially a watershed concession. Extending article 50, in other words, would mean having to embrace a new approach to Brexit. The question is how long is Article 50 extended for? Mrs May is going to ask for 2 months, to make a referendum impossible. May’s pretence is that this is just a small matter, a little bit of added time because of unexpected holdups. She talked again on Wednesday of such an extension being short and limited. That is unrealistic. It assumes that the extension would merely be granted for the purpose of ensuring that MPs finally give their approval to a revision of her original plan and for putting this on the necessary legislative foundation.

But it is the EU 27 who decide if and for how long. The French have said any extension must be for a purpose other than can-kicking; the Germans have suggested 21 extra months. The tabloids will be full of treason and betrayal headlines. Faced with a final cliff-edge choice between no deal and a long take-it-or-leave-it extension Parliament may vote for a longer extension, if offered. The political crisis could then explode into two months of upheaving involving a leadership or a general election topped off, to add to the mayhem, by a mandated European election on May 23rd, a contest which could reshape the parties in what would be a proxy referendum.

If May's deal does not get through, this crisis has a lot further and deeper to go before the Brexit story fizzles out.

Here at FBC Manby Bowdler we have a stellar team of experts on our dedicated Brexit Advisory Team who can help you take control of your business whatever the politicians decide over Brexit.

If you would like to contact Peter or the rest of the team to discuss any of the above please call 01694 724440, 07901 008220 or email

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