The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has published a list of twenty questions that businesses need urgently answered to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. Anna Tobin reports
The BCC says that many of these unanswered questions reflect fundamental aspects of how companies operate and that the Government is failing to give firms the tools and information they need to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. “In less than 50 days, UK firms could face the biggest change to their terms of trade in over a generation, without the information and clarity they need to navigate their forward course,” explains Adam Marshall, director general of the BCC).
“There is a very real risk that a lack of clear, actionable information from Government will leave firms, their people and their communities hung out to dry. Even those companies trying their hardest to get ready are still in the dark on important matters from contracts through to customs. Many others, who took the decision to wait for the political process to conclude before acting, would face sudden and costly adjustments if a deal is not reached.
“It is little wonder that many firms have been holding back on investment, stockpiling, and even opening offices and moving operations and jobs elsewhere. The imperative remains to avoid a messy and disorderly exit on March 29th, but businesses need answers they can base decisions on, no matter the outcome. The lack of clear, precise answers is now causing real damage to many businesses, and to the wider economy.”
These are the twenty questions that the BCC says businesses need answered in order to effectively prepare for a no-deal Brexit, the links take you to further information on the topics raised in the Ready for Brexit Directory:
- What tariffs will my company need to pay when importing goods to the UK from the EU and the rest of the world?
- When will the UK Government launch an official market access database to provide this information?
- If any trade agreements with third countries are operational on the day after Brexit, what rules of origin will I need to comply with?
- Will I still be able to fly people and/or goods between the UK and the EU after Brexit day – or could travel be disrupted?
- I know I will need to register for an EORI number. How simple will it be for me to register for any other new registration requirements or processes?
- How will my lead times be impacted by new customs procedures?
- Will any of the agreements be rolled over or replaced on a bilateral basis in the event of no deal?
- Will I be able to use any trade preferences with any markets?
- Will there be confirmation that I will be able to continue importing tariff-free goods from developing and least developed countries under the generalised system of preferences (GSP) programme after 31 October 2019?
- Will there be new safety and security requirements and inspections at the UK-EU border that my company will need to deal with? Where will inspections be held?
- What system will I be using to input customs data – will HMRC’s new Customs Declaration Service (CDS) be ready in time for 31 October 2019?
- What procedures will my company face trading between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland?
- Will this be different to operating at any other UK border?
- Will staff spending longer than 90 out of 180 days in the EU be subject to further administration, costs or visas?
- Will my business be able to move skilled staff members between the UK and the EU after 29 March and if so, under what conditions?
- Which regulator will be overseeing my business after 31 October 2019 and what rules do I need to follow?
- Is the UK government going to charge businesses for the creation of new regulatory agencies in the UK?
- If my company is in dispute with another in the EU, what form of resolution and means of redress will be available to my business after 31 October 2019?
- Will my business have to pay mobile roaming charges in the EU after 31 October 2019?
- Will my business continue to be able to hold and transfer data and personal information without any interruptions after 31 October 2019?