Today the Export Department launches its Brexit Risk Assessment, a unique framework designed to help UK-based SMEs identify and reduce or mitigate the risks their businesses face as a result of the Brexit process.
The UK government and its EU counterparts are almost half way through the two-year negotiation phase that will result in the UK’s departure from the EU, and we are still no clearer as to what the outcome of these negotiations will be. In my mind, one thing is certain, a hard Brexit is in no-one’s interest and is more down to political posturing than a reflection of reality. However, regardless of the end deal, things will change for businesses in the UK, and SMEs will be harder hit than their corporate neighbours when it comes to increased red tape, burdensome administration, and process changes that affect cash flow and working capital.
Brexit needn’t be all doom and gloom. Handled properly, and with sufficient government funds invested in supporting our businesses expanding internationally, the future could be bright, but it will take time. And however bright the future may be, we will encounter a phase of disruption and flux before we get there.
Large corporates have already started to analyse the risks to their operations, many have already implemented changes to safeguard their interests. However, amongst the SME community their remains a worrying sense of inertia, almost a “we don’t know what is going to happen, so best we just wait and see” kind of attitude. This is a dangerous strategy. With the best will in the world, the frictionless trade we enjoy with the EU presently, will not continue without Single Market and Customs Union membership and free movement of people; three key criteria the UK government says it will not comply with.
So, from 29th March 2019, we will start to see changes that have the potential to affect at the very least customs procedures, export documentation, product country of origin, services place of supply, VAT registrations and payments; ultimately having significant implications for an SME’s administrative functions, supply chain, bottom line, and cash flow. SME owners and managers have a duty to investigate how these changes will affect their operations in the UK, the EU and the rest of the world, and put in place contingency plans to limit the impact.
This is where the Export Department’s Brexit Risk Assessment comes in; it is uniquely designed to incorporate all of the potential problematic areas for SMEs post-Brexit. Using this framework we can predict and calculate the specific risks to your business based on your current international trade, and then recommend ways in which you can mitigate this risk. We require no more than a half-day of your time to conduct a fact finding exercise with you, we then present you with a detailed report incorporating analysis of your risk exposure and how this can be managed so as to limit the impact on your business.
For further information see – Brexit Risk Assessment. Should the Brexit Risk Analysis be of interest to you and you want to better understand how you can safeguard your company’s interests, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 01793 493468 or email us at [email protected].