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Is the UK any closer to a Brexit deal?

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  • Dec 11,2020
  • By Admin

Is the UK any closer to a Brexit deal?

Some four and a half years have passed since the EU referendum, and the outcome of Brexit negotiations remains unclear.

Despite ongoing negotiations there is still little clarity as to whether a deal will be finalised before the end of the UK’s transition period out of the EU on 31st December 2020. Indeed, within the private sector, organisations are holding out little hope of a deal; a survey of over 500 UK business leaders, commissioned by One World Express, revealed that 50% are nervous about the potential negative impact of Brexit.

Although is such pessimism warranted?

What is the likelihood of a deal?

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab stated on the BBC’s Andrew Mar Show on 29th November that UK-EU trade talks were in their “last leg” with only a “fairly narrow” set of issues to be debated. However, the remaining issues do appear to hold great weight when it comes to securing a deal.

Indeed, the matter of fisheries continues to be a major sticking point in Brexit negotiations, with Raab confirming that this was probably the biggest hurdle delaying a final deal. Alongside the UK’s fishing rights, other points of contention include post-Brexit competition and the practicalities of enforcing a potential deal.

Despite the Government’s optimism, there remains a distinct lack of clarity surrounding the probability of a Brexit deal. Thus, businesses must face the challenging task of preparing for an unknown outcome.

While it may seem overwhelming, steps can be taken to pre-empt the potential problems brought about by Brexit.

Client communication

For many businesses, the key priority will be to ensure their customers are aware of potential Brexit-related delays in service delivery. Positively, One World Express’ aforementioned research revealed that 38% of UK business leaders have already done this, with a further 25% planning to do so before the end of 2020.

For those yet to reach out to clients, it would be advisable to create a news bulletin to email to all clients, explaining how Brexit could impact the business and the steps being put in place to ensure services can still be offered. Additionally, there should be an offer of further communications – even one-on-one calls – so client can raise any concerns they may have.

Business operations

Further, beyond communicating with stakeholders, businesses should consider how their operations could be adapted to the post-Brexit world. And of course, this will require a great deal of consideration, as One World Express’ CEO, Atul Bhakta, explored last will in an article for Startups Magazine.

Indeed, One World Express’ aforementioned research explored the various activities businesses have already undertaken to soften the blow of Brexit; over a quarter (26%) have stockpiled goods, 22% have changed one or more service providers away from EU-based companies and 13% have even opened a new office in an EU-member country.

However, it is vital that business leaders take their time when making such major decisions, and if necessary, they must seek advice from an expert. Indeed, 31% of companies have already hired a consultant to help them forecast for potential Brexit implications of Brexit on their operations. From financial planners to logistics consultants, these experts could be invaluable in developing a sustainable post-Brexit strategy.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to Brexit preparations, and of course, many businesses will have different priorities. However, it is important to avoid being swept up in the Brexit panic, and develop a rational approach to manage client expectations and safeguard the survival of businesses.