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Brexit scenarios and how to prepare for them

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Still think Brexit won’t affect your business?

Consider these scenarios:

"I don’t export or import"

  • If your suppliers are exporters or importers they may pass on higher costs to you (53% of the UK’s goods are imported)
  • Find out what tariffs are likely to apply under a 'no-deal' scenario for the product categories relevant to your business
  • Domestic competition within the UK may increase, making it harder to do business

"I don’t employ any EU staff"

  • If you want to recruit in the future, the pool of labour may be smaller and wages may rise as a result

"I have secure contracts and customers"

  • Your customers and suppliers may be re-thinking their supply chains given the significant changes taking place, especially in a 'no-deal' scenario. Speak to them now to find out if they are planning any changes
  • Consumer and business confidence may suffer, especially if the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement. This will likely affect demand for your products and services.

"Regulations won’t change for my sector"

  • The UK Withdrawal Act will transpose EU regulations into UK law if a deal is agreed. However, it’s possible that under a 'no deal' scenario UK regulations may cease to be recognised by the EU.
  • This could affect issues such as the assessment and certification of products/services as well as packaging and labelling. The issues differ from sector to sector, so check the UK Government guidance or with your trade body.


Five steps to prepare

1. Plan for the worst, hope for the best

To safeguard your business our advice now is to plan on the basis that the UK leaves the EU without a deal – and this could take place on 12 April.

Whether or not you personally believe this is the most likely outcome, this is the prudent approach for your business. (Or if you want to take a more sophisticated approach, consider three different scenarios: no deal, a withdrawal deal and a delayed Brexit).

2. Focus on the specific issues for your business using our self-assessment tool

Our self-assessment tool will help you identify your potential exposure to Brexit implications. Focusing on the priority issues will form the basis of your Brexit plan.

3. Develop a plan of action

Don’t assume that you can’t plan for Brexit since events are outwith your control: there are many actions you can take either directly or by influencing others.

A clear plan gives direction and confidence, a ‘map’ to guide your business to its destination. Give responsibility to a senior member of staff or team to develop and execute your plan.

4. Take action

You should identify both the immediate actions to take just now as well as the contingency actions to take when other details become clearer.

5. Keep your plan up to date

Sign up for UK Government e-mail alerts providing advice and information to businesses. These are currently being updated on a daily basis.

Further guidance in our resources section

Got a Brexit planning question?

Get in touch with our export advisers for full details of how we can help your business grow in EU markets and beyond.