Help with planning for Brexit

How Ready for Brexit
can help you

  • We can help you redesign your business model and survive Brexit
  • Our consulting team have personal experience of operating before the Single Market and Customs Union
  • We know the issues and can help you solve your problems


We can help you deal
with key Brexit issues

Customs and Tariffs
Rules of Origin
Northern Ireland

Nothing has Changed until it has Changed – True or False or Don’t know?

The answer to this question depends on whether Parliament decides to adopt current EU laws and regulations into UK law, which in turn depends on the terms negotiated with the EU covering future trade and regulation. 

This means that in practice “nothing is agreed until it is all agreed” either within the UK or with respect to the EU. This leaves UK businesses in the unenviable position of having uncertainty until all deadlines in the negotiation have been met, or not.

What does this mean for business?

There is a temptation to bury our heads in the sand and simply ignore Brexit. But that could prove to be a high-risk strategy in terms of business continuity.

Is the initial statement that “nothing has changed until it has changed” really true for your business? The EU is not standing still and is already providing guidance to the rest of the EU on how regulations will be applied post 31 December 2019.



Chemical Sector developments. For example, in the chemical sector the EU has already issued guidance on product approval procedures post Brexit which is available from the Europa website by accessing the attached Q&A published by the European Chemicals Agency.
The UKs withdrawal from the EU

Companies need to consider:

  • The impact of no longer being an operator within the EU and the consequences of becoming a non-EU importer
  • Whether they need to appoint an Authorised Representative in the EU
  • Where to move their existing approvals to within the EU 27?
  • Where to obtain approvals for new products which are in the process being approved in the UK ?

The notice to stakeholders in the EU can be found on the following link: notice

This link takes you to the EU’s REACH site, which contains helpful links to enable you drill down to the status quo and some key deadlines that are looming. reach



A number of papers have been written on the subject of Food and the impact of Brexit eg Brexit regulatory and food safety perspective food Brexit report

The EU has also issued a notice concerning the impact of Brexit on regulation in the sector which you can find using the following link Brexit EU food law

There may also be important indirect impacts. For example, in the food industry, customs controls may well impact the length of the supply chain. And how will companies deal with products coming into the UK from non-EU compliant sources eg GM foods or US meat. (See our section on Customs and Tariffs)

help with planning for brexit

Brexit has created uncertainty in all aspects of the UK’s regulatory framework and this is likely to become more obvious as time goes on. This is why we have created this guide to planning for Brexit.


Ready for Brexit Brexlist

Before you dig further into our planning guide we would recommend that you download our BrexList Brexit checklist.

It is the first of a series, which will include more detailed planning tools for larger companies, and for subscribers who want to focus on specific topics.

The aim of this first Brexlist is to help you get started on the planning process. It gives you some key first steps to take, and has some helpful links to the relevant parts of the Ready for Brexit website. It also includes an easy-to-use User Guide.

Download your Brexlist here →

It sounds simple, but the scale of EU regulation is huge and the UK was deeply entrenched in the system. Eur-Lex provides a high-level summary of the key areas:
The UK’s withdrawal  from the European Union


Planning for Brexit

Brexit is hugely complex. To plan for it you will need to focus on the areas that will impact you and which you could gain from. You will also need to try to put the politics and noise of the Brexit negotiations to one side.

If resources allow, think about appointing a “Ready for Brexit” project leader who will take responsibility for developing your company’s plans for dealing with the potential and impact of Brexit.

Breaking the process down into three separate plans – Pre-Brexit, Brexit Day and Post-Brexit – as shown below, will also help you to prioritise your actions. This high-level scenarios and risk matrix output will help you to inform and populate your Brexit plan, work streams and action lists.

brexit three interdependent plans

The Brexit plans can be driven and monitored by your Brexit manager using a series of Brexit action lists, like the one below, and an active Brexit risk register to ensure that the overall programme objectives and timeline are being met.

brexit management action list

Scenario Planning

Scenario Planning is a particularly useful way of trying to understand how Brexit will impact your business. The Shell oil company has been a pioneer in scenario planning as its businesses operate in many geographies, sectors and with a great deal of uncertainty around margins, regulation and demand. Shell is happy to share its methods and discuss the impact of the process and you can take a look at what it does here

Shell uses its scenarios to help it plan for different business outcomes and its methodology is well proven.

In the case of Brexit, you will need to identify the potential scenarios that might occur and think about the potential impact on your business.

  • Identify the high-level scenarios that may occur. We give below a sample set of three high-level scenarios and their potential impact, which you might find useful.
  • As you can see we have used a sliding scale as the eventual outcome is uncertain.
  • You will need to remain objective when trying to identify potential impacts and try to identify both the best case and the worst case for each impact identified.

brexit sliding scale

Commentators have also reviewed the potential options for Brexit with the Financial Times producing six thought-provoking potential scenarios to consider here.

Learn from others

The Canadian government has set up a trade commissioner website, which is a useful guide for Canadian companies and is a helpful reference for the UK. It also has some helpful explanations of how the EU works that is easier to understand than some information provided by some EU and UK institutions.

The Canadian agreement does not include a deal on financial services, but it can be used as input to the scenario and Brexit plans. Take a look here.

Key EU trading partners are also looking at how Brexit will impact their business community with the government in the Republic of Ireland taking the initiative,  you can view their contingency plans here.

Risk and Mitigation Plan

Most public companies now publish the key risks to which their business is exposed and identify how they plan to mitigate the risk. It’s worth following their lead.

Brexit clearly represents a risk to all UK businesses to some extent, as well as to all businesses that are connected to the UK.  It may seem difficult to mitigate, but doing nothing may well mean you damage your business unnecessarily.

brexit risk matrix impact of risk

Examples of risk that businesses may incur include:

  • Currency volatility causing sharp changes in exchange rates
  • Change in export credit terms
  • Export and import delays
  • Increase in working capital due to delays in supply chain and increases in stock
  • Changes in VAT and Tariff charges and payment timing
  • Loss of migrant workers leading to labour and/or skills shortages
  • Loss of product approvals or certification

How can Ready for Brexit help you?

We can help you redesign your business model and survive Brexit.
Our consulting team have personal experience of operating before the Single Market and Customs Union began.
We know the issues and can help you solve your problems.

We can help with the key issues: