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Preparing for Brexit

Negotiations around the UK’s withdrawal from, and future relationship with, the European Union continue to be one of the dominant features of the UK political landscape.

The UK’s impending departure from the EU will bring change for businesses of every size and sector across the country.

Since the referendum in June 2016, many in Westminster have been distracted by Brexit labels and ideologies. The Chamber Network is far more concerned about the practicalities for business communities across the UK. Since the decision to leave the EU, the BCC has campaigned for answers to the pragmatic concerns of business.

Businesses communities across the UK have their own views on the nature of the future relationship between the UK and EU, but all want clarity on how they can operate with their nearest trading partner.

The UK government and the European Commission must focus on the future trading relationship – and swiftly conclude a deal that minimises further adjustment costs and that answers the many practical questions that trading businesses still face, including who they can hire, how much VAT will they have to pay and what checks they have to comply with in the future.

While some companies are already planning for the challenges and opportunities ahead, Chambers of Commerce believe that all firms – not just those directly and immediately affected – should be undertaking a Brexit ‘health check’, and a broader test of existing business plans.

While the final settlement between the UK and EU remains to be agreed, there are steps that firms of all sizes can take now to start planning for the future. Our Business Brexit Checklist below will help companies consider the changes that Brexit may bring, and help to plan at both operational and Board level.

The BCC has also published the two-dozen top real-world questions being asked on Brexit by businesses across the UK, where clarity is urgently needed so that firms can plan their trade following the UK’s departure from the EU.

As negotiations progress, Chambers of Commerce will be assessing progress against these questions. To date, businesses have had some assurances on the status of EU nationals in the UK workforce and on the industrial standards regime – hence the ‘amber’ ratings for these two issues.

If your business would like advice on planning for Brexit, please contact your local accredited Chamber of Commerce.

Read our latest Brexit research

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