22 September 2016
When the UK’s decision to leave the EU was announced on 24 June 2016 it sent shockwaves through the world which has resulted, amongst other things, in unprecedented political change, turbulent currency markets and a number of questions for businesses.
Whilst it remains unknown both when the UK will invoke Article 50 and what the new arrangements with our neighbours on the continent will be, using the resources and knowledge available to us now, businesses should take the time to plan for the post-Brexit world.
What can businesses do just now?
Step 1 – Due Diligence
Initially, time should be taken to assess the various aspects of the business to ascertain which aspects are particularly exposed to risks linked to Brexit. Matters to consider may include:
- The business conducted by any subsidiaries which are located out with the UK;
- The location of suppliers to the business and any potential affect emerging from possible new tariffs and other trade barriers;
- The fall in the value of sterling;
- Commercial contracts which are reliant on particular EU legislation or free movement of goods; and
- Employees who are reliant on the freedom of movement.
Step 2 – Analyse
Once information has been gathered, businesses should take time to identify the risks which they face and how these risk may vary, depending on the outcome of the post Article 50 discussions. However, it is important that businesses also take time to identify any business opportunities which may arise from Brexit.
Step 3 – Mitigate and Strategise
When faced with uncertainty, as we are now, adopting and implementing strategies to mitigate any risk identified as arising from Brexit (or indeed, maximise any opportunities) is necessary. In the coming months and years, businesses should consider which issues they may wish to raise with Government, whether directly or indirectly through trade associations. In addition, consideration should be given as to whether businesses should seize the moment to review existing or new contract terms so as to safeguard against potential trade or regulatory changes.
Step 4 – Engage with Stakeholders
It is important to keep open channels of communication with all stakeholders, whether it be staff, shareholders, customers or suppliers as regards any steps being taken in light of Brexit.
BTO is aware of the importance of these issues to our clients and we are taking steps to ensure that we keep abreast of any information as and when it becomes available.
Contact: Emma Barclay Solicitor firstname.lastname@example.org T. 0141 221 8012