UK Brexit guidance takes longer than War & Peace to read

A new analysis by Irwin Mitchell reveals that a complete read of the UK government’s Brexit guidance would take the same time as reading Tolstoy’s epic novel War & Peace

The national law firm has examined the recent guidance that has been compiled for different sectors of the economy. This revealed the huge amount of information that needs to be digested by business leaders. Business lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are calling for the Government to make Brexit guidance easier for companies to digest.

Businesses in the consumer goods sector have 33 individual pages of guidance and information in 13 sections. A total of 581,704 words. This would take almost 40 hours to read – the equivalent of a full working week.

The full guidance, which covers areas including importing and exporting, selling goods, workforce, data and intellectual property, contains 20,000 words more than War and Peace, the first four Harry Potter Books, or the entire Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit series.

Vicky Brackett, CEO of Irwin Mitchell’s Business Legal Services division, said: “As with many things to do with Brexit, the Government’s strategy on guidance seems to be evolving.

“It’s positive that the Government wants to keep businesses and individuals informed and that it has recently consolidated its sector-based guidance. But it must recognise the huge pressure businesses are under and the amount of information and rules they’re expected to get to grips with in a short period of time.

“The sheer size of the task is incredibly daunting for many, particularly at a time when organisations are already dealing with the significant challenges of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Vicky added: “Its great that Ready for Brexit has curated all the relevant guidance for the key areas. But the government needs to do more to help businesses, starting with making guidance not only more digestible, but timely and easier to access.”


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