There is no doubt that many of us are heartily tired of the drawn-out Brexit debate, and yet we should not ignore this topic completely.

Opinion seems to be hardening for the so-called “hard” Brexit: where we leave at the end of October 2019 with no agreement. Ignoring the political arguments, this would have an impact if you are in business as none of us will be isolated from the changes to our trading terms with the EU after this date.

Businesses that trade directly with EU customers and or suppliers will hopefully have contingency planning in hand based on a thorough risk assessment. This article does not have space to consider the planning options in detail but affected importers and exporters should get their ducks in a row as a matter of some urgency.

And even if you do not trade directly with the EU, your UK suppliers or UK customers may do so, and this may have a direct impact on your business if supply chains are disrupted or prices are increased to account for tariff changes.

It is instructive that the only detailed advice offered by government is to outline what we should do if a “no-deal” scenario occurs. In the conclusion to a publication published December 2018, the Department for Exiting the European Union said:

Our communication with businesses and the wider public about a no deal scenario will increase as we approach our exit from the EU.

As a responsible government we have spent more than two years carrying out extensive preparations for all scenarios, including no deal.

We recommend businesses now also ensure they are prepared and enact their own no deal plans.

The full report “UK government’s preparations for a “no deal” scenario” can be viewed online at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-governments-preparations-for-a-no-deal-scenario/uk-governments-preparations-for-a-no-deal-scenario#conclusion.

If you need help to revisit this issue and refresh your contingency planning, please call asap. The clock is very definitely ticking.

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Paul Johnston

I'm Paul Johnston, owner of Bourne Accountancy, based in Caterham Surrey, offering a broad range of accountancy and specialist tax services to businesses and personal clients. My philosophy is always to do my utmost to provide friendly, courteous and efficient service.

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