Is your business prepared for Brexit?

We know that the uncertainty around Brexit has made it difficult to know how to prepare. But the countdown to Brexit is on, and our expert team will help you to put practical steps in place to make sure your business is ready for 31st October 2019.

Led by Brexit expert Peter Wilding, our expert 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 expert 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 when Britain leaves the EU.

Take our interactive Brexit quiz

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 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.

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.

  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 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.

Take our interactive Brexit quiz

How to survive Brexit

24/04/2019

It might have been delayed, but Brexit is still a very real issue for everyone in business. Our Brexit Director Peter Wilding – a leading expert on the UK’s relationship with the EU – gives his tips on how to survive until the new deadline of October 31 without losing business

So, how do you like your local florist? Flowers always beautiful, fresh and reasonably priced? These are the most local of local businesses, 15,000 in all – almost one in every town in the country, 90% of which are run by no more than two people. 

One in four florists have no employees, and 66 per cent employ between one and nine. Just 10 per cent of the £2.25bn spent by the British public on flowers is produced here in the UK today. All this and the added burden of dealing with a product that essentially loses its quality within a few days.

Well, I wonder if the long reach of Brexit has found its way into their thinking. Because it should have done. In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal on Halloween this year then seven immediate hits on day one are:

A 12% hike in price: WTO tariffs would be added to flower and plant costs via the wholesaler 

More red tape 1: each shop would have to register as an importer using the  “Procedure for Electronic Application for Certificates” (PEACH) for fulfilling a number of important requirements when importing plants or fruits and vegetables into England and Wales

More red tape 2: each shop would need to provide pre-arrival notification using  PEACH 

More red tape 3: each shop would need to make sure a controlled consignment enters the UK with a phytosanitary certificate issued in the country of export (or re-export)

More red tape 4: each shop would need to upload scanned copies of the phytosanitary certificate and other relevant documents (for example bill of lading, cargo movement request, or delivery company invoice to the PEACH 

More red tape 5: each shop would need to supply the original copy of the phytosanitary certificate within 3 days of the consignment reaching the UK via post

Red tape 6: each shop would need to plan for 3 day notice periods for imports

But, of course, it’s not just the florists. As against 0% tariffs today, importing or exporting dairy products will cost 35% more, sugars & confectionery 21%, animal products 15.5%, fish products 11.8%, cars 10% and fruit, veg and our flowers and plants 12%.

So prices will rise. But so will other costs. Such as compliance. A report by the Institute for Government estimates that 180,000 British companies will need to make customs declarations for the first time after Brexit. The additional administration required to cope with this task is expected to cost UK traders around £4 billion a year. The number of annual entry customs declarations is expected to increase by 1.5 million and the number of exit declarations by 5 million once the UK leaves the EU Customs Union

Add onto this other barriers to trade, like sanitary and phytosanitary issues or just jobsworth protectionism and soon we’re talking a serious and unavoidable amount of friction, resulting in additional red tape and consequent price rises. 

All these cases offer a very clear contrast between the relatively straightforward procedures enjoyed by British and European businesses today, and the risk of much more cumbersome and costly customs and compliance procedures that could become a reality after Brexit.

What can you do?

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. 

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.

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.

One approach for minimising the burden of increased customs declarations for European and British companies is based on two pillars – self-assessment and simplified procedures. These benefits should at the very least be extended to Authorised Economic Operators (AEO), whose status is obtained on the basis of a detailed analysis of the products, procedures, and partners in order to ensure that imports, exports and customs procedures will be handled in line with customs regulations. Consequently, customs should adopt a process-oriented approach to these procedures as opposed to transaction-based approach. This approach should be applicable for as many companies as possible. 

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. 

So with 190 days to go and any number of political outcomes possible, it’s time to get ready. It is entirely possible that within the next few weeks Theresa May might resign, forcing a Conservative leadership election which leads to Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, declaring that a no deal Brexit is his aim and moreover the will of the 100,000 Conservative members who put him into No10. 

FBC Manby Bowdler will give you a tailored service which monitors progress, analyses published documents, and identifies the impacts for your business the moment they become clear. If you’re a florist or a car manufacturer, this is the way to become Brexitproof. 

If you would like to contact Peter or the rest of the Brexit advisory team to discuss any of the above please call 01694 724440, 07901 008220 or email peter.wilding@fbcmb.co.uk



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