Brexit No Deal

Covering everything from pet passports to public procurement, over 80 technical notices have been released intending to show the government’s preparation for a no-deal Brexit. But what have we learned?

Starting in August, the Government has now published three tranches of no-deal contingency papers, though arguably post-Brexit UK remains as incomprehensible as ever.

Despite initial hope that the releases would give businesses an opportunity to prepare and to mitigate the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit, enthusiasm has been muted.

Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) described the first tranche as “a good start” but added that “Public preparations for all eventualities are long past due”. If that was the view in mid-August, it will be of concern that greater detail is not forthcoming as we enter autumn and all the announced notices have now been released.

"What is clear is that businesses are still getting to grips with what Brexit will mean for them and without a clearer idea of the direction of the negotiations, these businesses are vulnerable to its potentially detrimental impact."

Questions will need to be asked whether the ‘no- deal’ papers are substantive enough to aid long-term planning with a recent survey from BCC finding that 62% of UK firms are yet to complete a Brexit risk assessment. What is clear is that businesses are still getting to grips with what Brexit will mean for them and without a clearer idea of the direction of the negotiations, these businesses are vulnerable to its potentially detrimental impacts. Further, a fifth of those surveyed said that they would cut investment and move part or all their business to the EU in the event of ‘no-deal’, with these numbers falling significantly if a deal is reached that is broadly in keeping with the status-quo.

In support of our members, we will continue to push for greater clarity and encourage the government to put UK business to the forefront of their negotiations with the EU.

To view the documents in full visit the Department for Exiting the European Union website.

As chambers of commerce representing London, Greater Manchester and Bristol we are continuing to gather evidence for a campaign – Terms of Trade: the reality of Brexit for business – exploring the everyday impacts of the most widely discussed Brexit scenarios on business through our members’ own insights. Email hello@chamber.online to share your views.