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legal alert: Brexit - Is your business ready?

09 Jan 2019

You may be sick of hearing about Brexit or worried sick about it. Either way businesses in the UK need to be prepared for any possible outcome.

On 29 March 2019, the UK will leave the EU. If no withdrawal agreement and transitional period has been agreed at that point then the UK is faced with the “no deal” or “cliff edge” scenario. This is looking increasingly likely given the apparent lack of political support for the deal that has been negotiated with the EU so far.

Below are some points to consider for your business in case there is a “no deal” scenario:-

  • Conduct a stress test on your business. For example, in case there is a nationwide recession as a result (or otherwise if your business will be affected by a downturn in trading to and from the EU trading bloc), consider:-
  1. Whether you may need to make redundancies and, if so, which parts of the business are most likely to be affected?;
  2. Are there other ways to cut costs but retain your workforce, ready for any upturn? For example, shorter hours or different working patterns.
  • What will you do if your business currently employs EU workers?  You will need to ensure you are up to date with the latest immigration position as you may be required to undertake additional immigration checks on EU workers in a “no deal” scenario.
  • What if your employees travel frequently within the EU as part of their work? The period immediately around 29 March could be fraught for travellers within the EU and some contingency plans may need to be considered for this period (including whether work can be done by other means if travel is a problem). The government has also issued guidance on passport rules in a no deal scenario and any frequent travellers within your business should be planning ahead to check their passport complies now.        

We do not yet know precisely what will happen in a “no deal” scenario but a business should undertake a risk assessment of potential consequences and put contingency plans in place in order to stay agile and ready for whatever happens.

If you wish to discuss this or consider a plan for any redundancy or other changes to working practices then please contact, Kerry Waters 



Kerry Waters | Associate | Watson Burton LLP

0345 901 2044