Brexit is the term that has been fashioned to be used when referring to the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU). Brexit is a shortened version of British Exit and has been coined and used in news reports since the referendum vote was held on June 23rd 2016.
More than 30 million people voted to sever ties with the EU, resulting in the UK government starting to work out plans to separate the UK from the 28 European countries that make up the European Union, a group of countries that are tied together through economic and political alliances. This move will enable the UK to trade independently on a global scale, without the trade restrictions imposed by the EU.
How could Brexit affect UK Trade and Industry?
Business leaders with an optimistic view of Brexit and UK business say that leaving will be a good thing because new and very lucrative partnerships can be forged with businesses both inside and outside of the EU, with the UK taking a stronger and more positive role as a global business leader.
Because we don’t as yet know what will happen, what can businesses do to prepare for Brexit?
Firstly, business need to learn to expect the unexpected. The UK economy has bounced back well from the initial effects of the 2016 vote, and this has proven that the economy is robust and resilient. Currently, the Government are working with the EU to get a transitional deal put in place to help businesses make the necessary changes.
- Boost your cash flow for VAT
Companies preparing for Brexit should make sure they maintain an adequate cash flow for VAT purposes as well as for holding additional inventory. VAT will be charged at the border when importing goods and services into the UK. Companies that hold additional inventory as insurance against potential border delays will experience cash flow disruptions.
- Develop a contingency plan
Because there will be no guarantee that border checks will go smoothly, companies should work out an alternative contingency plan to ensure that their goods keep moving. With a bottleneck expected at the port of Dover, companies should look at alternative shipping arrangements as well as possibly increasing their warehousing facilities to be able to hold more stock – this is especially important for businesses that are already working at near full-capacity warehousing.
- Understand your EU employees status and rights
The Brexit withdrawal process will see the UK adopting most EU employment regulations. This move will guarantee the employment rights of current EU nationals living and working in the UK. Employers will need to check and understand the status of their EU workforce to ensure that they are being employed legally under UK law once we have left the EU.
- Invest in skilled help to steer your business through Brexit
With 82% of large UK businesses, and one-third of SME firms, setting up an internal Brexit steering group to manage their preparations for the separation, it makes sense to follow suit and look at hiring in external help to navigate your transition. 35% of large companies have already hired additional employees, management consultants and legal experts. It will pay you to look at the bigger picture and access the necessary skills pool now that you will need to help you ride more comfortably through the transitional period.
Will Brexit be Positive for the UK Economy?
While the original fears from economists back in 2016 surrounding Brexit have mostly been disproved, the broader fears that Brexit would cause the UK economy to suffer a crisis of confidence have yet to materialise. We simply do not know as yet whether the UK will be stricken with severely negative impacts after leaving the EU.
Shortly after the referendum vote, there was a big drop in business confidence, but things quickly recovered to a similar level of performance experienced before the vote. The British Pound did indeed fall sharply, however, this drop in value had been predicted by the Treasury and other world financial forecasters. The pound has since stabilised and recovered, especially against the value of the US dollar.
The UK economy remains pretty stable with employment figures at a record high, and UK manufacturing sectors doing especially well due to the sterling weakness and an overall rise in recovery of the global economy.
How will Brexit Affect Immigration Levels?
Since the Brexit vote, the number of migrants looking for jobs outside of the UK have spiked, according to information from Indeed, a leading job site. Recent figures show that there are currently 2.1 million European immigrants working in the UK. There is a shortage of skilled workers in the UK in sectors such as engineering, IT, and construction, where immigrants from the European Union are currently filling the void. EU immigrants are also a major contributor to the unskilled labour market and seasonal work, such as fruit picking and other agricultural harvesting.
Skilled EU immigrants also contribute greatly to the UK NHS healthcare sector in terms of employment. It is feared that once the UK is separated from the EU, the country will be left with a huge gap for skilled healthcare workers. Recruiting international skilled talent from overseas countries is an ability that will need to be perfected to reduce the impact on the UK’s healthcare system.
Working with Lang2Lang Translation Agency
No matter what the outcome that Brexit brings to the UK, doing business in the UK will certainly be very interesting!
Working with a trusted company such as Lang2Lang will reassure you that your best interests will be kept at heart. We offer an expert translation service for businesses working both in the public and private sector.
With the opening up of the UK trade and business opportunities to the whole world, our country is becoming more accessible and multicultural than ever before. This can also mean taking on the challenges of negotiating in different languages and holding business communications across cultures that are very different to our own.
If your business is looking to the horizon in a post-Brexit world for fresh opportunities, then you will need to be able to successfully engage with your prospective new clients in an effective way for you to thrive and move forward.
Do not hesitate to contact our friendly team at Lang2Lang should you need an Arabic translation, legal documentation translated into Urdu, or any sort of help with transitions into Russian, Polish or any other language – we are here to help!