Is your business prepared for Brexit?

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020. 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 during the commencing transitional period.

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:

  • What your business should do in the event of a no-deal Brexit?
  • How will the transitional period between Brexit and the entry into new UK-EU trade agreements affect you?
  • How will any long-term new trade agreements affect you?
  • What contingency plans will you need in place for each potential Brexit Scenario?

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

We've also developed FBCMB sector specific regional tube maps, where you see the potential threats and issues which will affect your business. The 'lines' include 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.

It is already clear, 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 did while the UK was 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 and have in place contingency plans which are flexible enough to respond to developments in the negotiations.

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. 

  3. 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, 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 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. 

May obtains Halloween deadline for Brexit

11/04/2019

At midnight last night Brexit was given a stay of execution until Halloween – just hours before Britain’s second departure date was due on April 12. Peter Wilding, FBC Manby Bowdler’s Brexit Director, takes a look at what it means for the Midlands business community.

Deadline: Halloween 

Just hours before Britain's second departure date was due on April 12, the grim jury of 27 European member states took pity on the condemned and gave May 203 extra days on death row. 

The question is what will happen now? Is the Midlands business community doomed to wait for Godot? For a Brexit that is anticipated but might never come?

Amazingly, the first thing that will happen is that MPs will vote for the extension today and then promptly vanish for a two week Easter break. 

Signs of Brexit life will only be glimpsed in the desultory, bottom-sniffing talks droning on between the Tory and Labour leaderships in their quest for a cross-party agreement. 

This will not occur. Not least because the Government cannot accept a customs union or single market solution and survive. 

Nor can Labour endorse the Brexit of a party in deep electoral trouble and a Government they want to topple. 

So will the Prime Minister just carry on banging her head against the brick wall of Parliament in the hope, sometime before October, of getting a majority of one for her benighted Withdrawal Agreement?

That is certainly her style. And also her predicament. For nearly three years political inflexibility and party loyalty have been her modus operandi. 

But doing everything possible to prevent her party splitting has denied her the flexibility for creative, cross-party alliance-building. What is more it has failed. Now her party will not follow her just as the opposition will not save her.

Which means that another political crisis is set to explode, the result of which is more likely than not to lead to a general election in October or another referendum later in the year. 

May's Maydays

The thing is you must never lose sight of the three political heart-attack events underpinning the Brexit endgame and the effect it will have on the people May hopes will drag her deal over the line. 

The first will be the May 2 local election. The Conservatives, defending the 5,500 seats won on the day of their victorious 2015 General Election, will be slaughtered. 

Expect the government to lose up to 2,000 of the councillors who are not only fervent Brexiters but keep their withering party going.
The second with be the zombie European elections just three weeks later at which the Conservatives themselves expect to lose half of their current MEPs. 

These political bloodbaths will trigger a furious nervous breakdown in a governing party which has no money, no direction and no loyalty. 

Rampaging ex-councillors will demand the Prime Minister's head. Though May normally just ploughs on regardless, the Halloween deadline mortally wounds her. As one MP told me, "After this, what is May actually for?".

Follow the leader?

Which is why following the recent battles over the backstop and the extension, the next - and third event - is the leadership. 

Already MPs circle Westminster, running books on the favourites and seeking favours over coffee from them. 

To date, the money is on the former Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab pitching for Tory members' votes against who? Health Secretary Matt Hancock. 

With May told to fall on her sword, here comes the final battle for the Tory soul. The hope is to get all this over by the party conference. 

If Raab wins having thrown red meat to the crowds quite uneatable to the modernising band around Hancock, then expect deselections and defections.  

If the Tory tribe cannot unite around one candidate to lead a government which by then cannot command a majority then expect a vote of no confidence. 

Tory summer blood-letting will have got them no further in squaring the Brexit circle. They will be prey to the final coup de grace, prompting an October general election. 

But, but, but...

And yet, in the unlikely event that wider heads prevail can some deal be done to avoid all this and just get that damned Withdrawal Agreement through? 

The problem is not with the text of the divorce itself but the fear of what a Raab would do to the non-binding words of the political declaration attached to it should he cling to power.

As no parliament can bind its successor, I can only see opposition parties voting for the deal contingent on a new referendum. 

Otherwise, by 2022 the Britain they want to govern might have already signed up to a future trade deal which paves the way for the economic and social upheaval still the stuff of Rees-Mogg's dreams. 

So, in the words of Ronald Reagan my bet is that "you ain't seen nothing yet." And that the chances of October passing without a Brexit are high. Between now and then anxious businesses and fed up families can only expect a Halloween endgame of tricks without treats.

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. If you would like to discuss any issues with Peter, please call him on 07901 008220 or email peter.wilding@fbcmb.co.uk.  

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