An increasing number of British businesses are launching start-ups, opening branches or re-locating their headquarters outside the UK in preparation for the UK's break away from the European Union. City a.m. reported this week that as many as 14 per cent of companies are considering one or more of these options. Business confidence has improved in the UK and entrepreneurs are generally confident that this year will be better than last year, especially in light of the easier access to money enabling growth plans to be put in place. The question of how to manage European trade and clients is in the minds of all businesses that have Europe as a market.
Brexit may have been an unexpected and for some an unwelcome outcome, however, in the long run it may be the kick-start that British business needed to be more ambitious and reach into Europe and create a tangible presence in the country and markets that they actually want to do business in. The question of acquisition of European talent, something that promises to be a sticking point, is immediately resolved. The leaked Cabinet report will do nothing to stem the British exodus to Europe; predicting a negative impact on practically every sector makes disheartening reading.
Regardless of the predictions and best guesses and the worst case scenarios that are being scoped in nearly all news and social media across the country, business life will have to carry on, companies across Europe and the UK will not want to see their profits recede. Trade is a two-way street and businesses across Europe are just as dismayed as those in the UK to see their potential commercial market damaged by the UK's decision. There often appears to be scant agreement between business and politics and EU businesses do not wish to have eye-watering tariffs imposed on any commercial dealings simply because the EU overlords are intent on punishing Britain.
There are without doubt some positive steps that can be taken to soften the Brexit blow and there is no time to waste in doing so, particularly when it is unclear what the results of the current talks between the UK Government and the EU will look like. The eventual outcome may not be particularly advantageous and it may also come so late that there is no room for any practical action to be taken. There are quite a few practical considerations that should be addressed now in preparation for the EU free future, some of which include finding out the nationality of your employees, it would be a major calamity to discover too late in the day that a key employee is about to whisked back to his or her place of birth in the middle of a crucial project; revisit your supply chain, every entrepreneur should be aware of whether there are any weak links that could pose a problem and create disruption. There is no guarantee that border and other procedures will operate smoothly immediately after Brexit, companies will need to develop contingency plans covering a number of eventualities in case systems fail and things go wrong.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.