The latest international trade survey released today (12 September 2019) by Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) finds that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, almost two-fifths of members surveyed plan to move some or all of their business overseas, signalling the possibility of a significant movement of operations by some firms away from the UK.
With a no-deal Brexit becoming more likely as the deadline draws nearer, the UK will have to look further afield from their EU counterparts to negotiate trade deals. This is because under a no-deal Brexit, UK businesses would suddenly lose tariff free trade with EU countries, with trade instead operating under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.
Ahead of a momentous week in British politics, the Prime Minister raised the stakes in his bid to implement his Brexit plan by threatening potential rebels with deselection in any future general election if they voted in favour of any anti no-deal legislation. This high-risk strategy dramatically increases the chance of the Conservatives’ losing their slim majority in the House of Commons, and subsequently, the chances of a general election in the coming weeks.
If you switched on the news on Wednesday evening, you would have been mistaken for thinking that the world of British politics had been turned upside down. Earlier that day, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had announced his intentions to ask the Queen to prorogue parliament. The Queen then later confirmed that parliament would be prorogued, and the media became abuzz with the views of politicians, commentators and the public.
There was also a lot of people confused about what was actually going on, what proroguing actually meant and whether the sky was indeed about to fall down on top of us! If you are in this camp, do not worry, this blog will provide a quick and precise overview of what has happened, what it means for Brexit and what we can expect to see happen politically going forward.
Last week, Boris Johnson made his diplomatic debut as Prime Minister on the international stage engaging in talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emanuel Macron, before a G7 summit in Biarritz.
But what does it mean for Brexit and the UK’s future relationship with the EU? Are we closer or further from a no-deal Brexit? Was there any more talk of a future trade deal with the US? We’ve broken down what Boris got up to and what, if anything, it means in the build-up to the Brexit deadline and beyond.
Despite the ever-increasing possibility of a no-deal Brexit, it seems that UK exporters are not adequately prepared for the difficulties this would cause them. The Liberal Democrats obtained alarming information from HMRC which highlighted that only 3 in 10 UK companies who export to the EU have obtained an Economic Operator Registration & Identification (EORI) number.
Last week, the Pound plummeted to a new low last week. Fresh from Boris Johnson’s appointment as Prime Minister, the pound reached its lowest rate against the Dollar in the past two and a half years. It is yet to recover to its pre-Brexit referendum levels, and it has weakened considerably against the Euro over the same period.
As the Brexit saga rumbles on, and the proverbial can is kicked further down the road, it seems that the only thing anyone is sure of, is that they’re unsure about everything. Many are becoming politically disillusioned, preferring to switch off from politics altogether, but it isn’t all that bad. The British and Irish governments, and the EU have managed to agree on something; the Common Travel Area (CTA).
Advice to best plan for Brexit;
Review your supply chain
There will likely be some disruption to the movement of goods into the UK and NI after Brexit. This disruption could be highly damaging to businesses who rely on a continuous supply from the EU and may also incur added production costs through new tariffs.