Brexit in Buckinghamshire

All the latest information, resources and events related to Brexit, what it means for Buckinghamshire, and how local businesses can prepare for life outside the EU.

Support & funding to help your business thrive - whatever the future holds

The 'Get Set for Brexit' and 'Brexit GO' vouchers have now all been allocated.

Buckinghamshire Business First has lots of support and funding available to help businesses achieve their goals. This includes through our Growth Programme, which has helped many businesses prosper.

Contact our Business Support Team to learn all about the help we can provide your business.

Call 01494 927130, email or fill out this quick form to book a chat with one of our Business Advisers.

Check what you need to do to get ready for Brexit

Provide a few answers to this quick government questionnaire and you will receive a series of actions based on your exposure to Brexit.

What did we learn at our Get Ready for Brexit workshop?

We held a Get Ready for Brexit event in High Wycombe on October 17th 2019 in partnership with local and national government and local businesses.

Speakers from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Buckinghamshire County Council, Blaser Mills Law, The Growth Programme, Innovate UK, Department for International Trade (DIT), UK Export Finance (UKEF), Choice Business Loans, OION Investment and Harwood Hutton joined the event to help businesses:

  • understand what’s changing for them
  • get clear advice on the practical steps and actions that they can take
  • find out more about the funding, resources and support available to help them get ready for Brexit

Download the Department for International Trade presentation here, complete with detailed advice and resources, links, contact details and more.

Download the rest of the presentations from the event here >

Brexit impact survey - how are you being affected?

Buckinghamshire Business First is working with the government to help ensure you get the guidance and support you need to help you prepare your business for Brexit.

Please help us do this by completing this short survey – it should take just 2 minutes.

Government advice


Provide a few answers to this quick government questionnaire and you will receive a series of actions based on your exposure to Brexit.

To head straight to the questions related to running a business, skip the first four questions and begin at "Are you preparing a business or organisation for Brexit?"

You will be asked about:

  • employing staff from European countries
  • exchanging personal data with organisations in Europe
  • importing and exporting
  • intellectual property
  • and more

You will then receive a series of actions with advice on how quickly you need to act, with suggested timeframes including "do it as soon as possible""it takes up to 7 days", "it takes up to four weeks", and "it takes more than four weeks".

Check what you need to do to get ready for Brexit.



The government has provided the following advice - 'preparing for changes at the UK border after a ‘no deal’ EU exit' - which is designed to support businesses preparing for day one if we leave the EU without a deal. Areas covered include:

  • changes at the UK border
  • customs and VAT
  • importing and exporting (for instance, UK businesses trading only with EU countries will need a UK EORI number to continue trading with EU countries in the event that the UK exits the EU without a deal. You do not need a new EORI number if you already have one that starts with GB.)
  • businesses supplying services to the EU
  • travelling to the EU with a UK passport
  • tour operators
  • courier and postal services
  • businesses operating in the creative, cultural or sports sectors
  • haulage companies

The government has also drawn up further advice for individuals and businesses on how to prepare for Brexit in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario. Areas covered include: applying for EU-funded programmes; civil nuclear and nuclear research; farming; importing and exporting; labelling products and making them safe; money and tax; regulating medicines and medical equipment; state aid; studying in the UK or EU; and workplace rights.

The government has also published this overview of its preparations for Brexit in the event of leaving without a deal, including plans already in place and the UK and EU’s approach to negotiations.



HMRC sent a letter to VAT-registered businesses that only trade with EU countries. This letter, sent in February 2019, covered:

Visit this webpage for the latest notices on trading with the EU if the UK leaves without a deal.



HMRC have produced guidance on what grants you can apply for to get funding for recruitment, training and IT improvements if your business completes customs declarations.

Read this guidance here >



Detailed guides for businesses on specific product safety and metrology regulations in a no-deal Brexit.



In October 2019, the government released a 159-page document that outlined in one place what will happen if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Areas covered include:

  • import and export tariffs
  • industry overviews
  • services
  • data protection
  • EU funding

Read the government's 'No Deal Readiness Report'.



The “Preparing for EU Exit” website is the central site for Brexit-related guidance, with specific advice aimed at businesses, individuals, UK nationals living in the EU, and EU nationals living in the UK. Visit the section dedicated to businesses here >

The business section includes a tool with which you can filter for information by sector and business activity, as well as for information on employing EU citizens, intellectual property, EU or UK government funding, and public sector procurement. Use the search tool here on the government website, where you can also subscribe to receive email alerts on new EU exit-focused advice from the government.



UK businesses benefiting from Horizon 2020 research funding are urged to register their details with the government so they can continue to receive funding if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

The government’s online portal was launched in September 2018 after the government announced it would guarantee all successful UK funding bids submitted by public and private organisations before Brexit, including the EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme. It asks recipients to input basic information so UK researchers and businesses can be informed of next steps if the government needs to underwrite Horizon 2020 funding.

Access the portal and input your information here >



DEFRA have produced guidance on how rules for producing, processing, labelling and trading organic food will change if there’s a no deal Brexit.



The government says: "If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the public procurement regulations will remain broadly unchanged after Brexit.

"Suppliers wishing to access public sector contract opportunities will need to access the new UK e-notification service, Find a Tender, instead of the Official Journal of the European Union Tenders Electronic Daily (OJEU/TED).

"Find a Tender has a similar look and feel to Contracts Finder. It is free and you do not need to register to search the site."

However, "registration enables you to save searches and set up email alerts and 'watch' notices. If you are already registered on Contracts Finder (or the Supplier Registration Service) you will be able to use the same login credentials for Find a Tender. If you are not already registered and would like this enhanced functionality, register as a supplier on Contracts Finder now.

"Suppliers who wish to access contract opportunities from the EU may continue to do so via OJEU/TED."

PLEASE NOTE: The Find a Tender service will only go live in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Read the guidance on what will change for businesses in the event of a no deal Brexit.

Read the overall government guidance on public sector procurement after Brexit and check the link regularly for updates.


A new online tool has been launched by the Department for International Trade to make it easier for businesses to trade globally. The tool will enable businesses to report issues and problems which prevent them from trading globally, such as legal, regulatory or administrative requirements. Once an issue or problem has been reported, trade experts will assess the problem and work with other governments around the world to resolve it.

Read more about the tool at:


In February, the government published its assessment of the implications for business and international trade if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Headlines included:

  • the UK economy being, in the long term, between 6.3%-9% smaller than it otherwise would be
  • an HMRC estimate that the administrative burden on businesses from customs declarations alone could be around £13bn per year
  • the flow of goods through the Short Channel Crossings (Dover and Eurotunnel) being significantly reduced for months
  • reduced availability and choice of food products, with some food prices likely to increase
  • transitional simplified procedures for EU trade at roll-on roll-off ports
  • the majority of non-harmonised trade in goods (such as furniture, sports equipment and bicycles) likely to continue in the short term

The government concluded that "even where it can take unilateral action, the lack of preparation by businesses and individuals is likely to add to the disruption experienced in a no deal scenario."

Read the full document here >


The National Archive will allow members of the public to view all EU legislation relevant to the UK exiting the EU – when we leave the EU.

You can view legislation originating from the EU, here.


Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have provided guidance which clarifies the expectations on the application of the EU guidance on good pharmacovigilance practices (GVP) in a no deal Brexit. 


First steps for sectors in preparing for Brexit

The government has prepared sector specific guides providing some first steps to prepare for Brexit.


The government has provided a tool which will help you learn:

  • what your business will need to do to prepare for the UK leaving the EU
  • what’s changing in your industry
  • information on specific rules and regulations

You’ll just need to answer 7 simple questions to get guidance relevant to your business. Use the tool here >

Importing & exporting


The government has compiled a 6-point checklist on what you need to do now to make sure you’re able to receive goods from the EU, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Take a look now and put your plans into action.



The government has compiled a 7-point checklist on what you need to do now to make sure you’re able to send goods from the UK to the EU after Brexit.

Take a look now and put your plans into action.



Read the government advice on how to trade with other countries under WTO rules if the UK leaves the EU with no trade agreement in place.



UK businesses that trade only with EU countries will need a UK EORI number to continue trading with the EU after Brexit - if the UK exits the EU without a deal.

Businesses that already trade with countries outside of the EU will already have an EORI number and will not need to change anything in this regard, but those who only trade within the EU will not have needed one until now.

In August 2019, it was announced by the UK Government that HMRC would automatically allocate EORI numbers to more than 88,000 VAT-registered UK businesses in order for them to continue trading with customers and suppliers once the UK has left the EU.

All businesses, not just those that are VAT-registered, need an EORI number to trade with the EU.

Non-VAT-registered businesses will still need to register themselves for an EORI number.

What are EORI numbers?

EORI numbers are a unique ID number allocated to businesses that enables them to be identified by customs authorities when doing business with other traders.

The importance of EORI numbers

Without one, the government warns that businesses “may have increased costs and delays” when importing or exporting, giving the example that “if HMRC cannot clear your goods you may have to pay storage fees.”

If there’s a no-deal Brexit, the government states “you will need an EORI number that starts with GB in order to move goods in or out of the UK.”

If you have not yet registered for an EORI number, you can do so here:



When the UK leaves the EU, there may be changes to UK-EU trade at the UK border including on customs, tariffs, VAT, safety and security, documentation, vehicle standards, and controlled products. Read the government's collection of guidance on this here >

Notice to exporters re: dual-use items

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has published a new open general export licence for the export of dual-use items to EU member states. Read the notice here >



HMRC has launched the EU Exit Import and Export Trader Helpline for traders and hauliers importing from and/or exporting to the EU after Brexit.

The helpline number is 0300 3301 331. Lines will be open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.


Guidance has been published on the process for freight roll-on, roll-off (RORO) imports and exports between the UK and the EU for a no deal Brexit (excluding Northern Ireland). 

IP and data protection


The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has published new guidance to help smaller businesses prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

The guidance sets out the steps small organisations should take in order to maintain data flows between the UK and the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The ICO has also urged UK businesses to prepare for all potential Brexit scenarios and develop contingency plans to ensure data flows can continue after the UK leaves the EU.

Read the new guidance here >



Learn about the exhaustion of intellectual property rights if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The guidance covers:

  • before the UK leaves the EU
  • if there’s no deal
  • implications
  • actions for businesses and other stakeholders
  • next steps

Read the guidance here >

Effects to IP law after leaving the EU

The government is providing ongoing updates on what effect there will be to intellectual property laws after the UK leaves the European Union.

Get the latest updates here >




This advice relates to European Union Trade Marks only and sets out the changes the government is making to UK law in the event of no deal.

Registered design & design rights

Changes to registered design, design rights and international design and trade mark law if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Read the latest advice here >


Changes to Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs) and patent law in the event of no deal from the European Union. Read the latest advice here >



The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has the following message for businesses:

You’ve probably heard the term ‘intellectual property’ (or IP for short) but are unsure of what it means.

You know copyright exists but how does it apply to your business and your website? Are you unsure of the difference between registering your company with Companies House and registering your trade mark with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO)?

To help you answer any questions you have, the IPO has a suite of new and improved ‘IP for Business’ tools that can help you understand the basics of IP. Best of all, they’re completely free to use and are accessible via desktops, tablets and smart phones.

As a taster, here’s a brief description of the different IP rights:

  • Patents – protects new inventions; how they work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made  
  • Designs – protects the overall look of a product including the colour, shape, texture and material
  • Trade marks – protects brands, such as your business name or logo, and can consist of a word, phrase, picture or a combination of all these
  • Copyright – protects written, dramatic, musical and artistic works including photos, recordings, software and databases

This should give you an idea of how important your IP rights are to the growth and sustainability of your business. It’s important to identify and protect these rights early, so the next step is to check out our online support tools to help you make a start:

IP Equip

  • What is it? A free, interactive online learning tool to help you identify assets which may be protected by IP rights. Made up of four modules on the main IP rights, it takes around an hour to complete and is also CPD accredited.
  • Who is it for? Everyone, from small business owners to professional advisors.

IP Health Check

  • What is it? A free online assessment of your business to help you identify and add value to your IP assets. Based on your answers to a series of simple questions, it provides a confidential report with advice on how to protect your IP.
  • Who is it for? Businesses looking for a more detailed look at their IP.

Our business pages are also packed with guidance, case studies, details of upcoming events and information on where to access further support. You can also sign up to our IP for Business e-alerts to keep up to date with the latest news and updates from the IPO.

On social media? You can find us on the following channels:


Staff and immigration


This toolkit contains information with which employers can support EU citizen employees and their families on the EU Settlement Scheme.

The government has also produced a toolkit for community groups and local authorities to support EU citizens and their families.

Update on the EU Settlement Scheme - 21st August 2019

The UK Home Office released the below message on 21st August 2019 regarding freedom of movement post-Brexit and how this affects EU citizens living in the UK. This will be of particular relevance to employers with EU national employees. The Home Office message reads:

"There have been reports in the media and on social media regarding plans to end freedom of movement after we leave the EU, as well as what this means for EU citizens resident in the UK.

"We want to reassure all EU citizens and their family members in the UK that you still have until at least 31st December 2020 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, even in the event of a no-deal exit. Furthermore, if someone who is eligible for status is not in the UK when we leave the EU, they will still be free to enter the UK as they are now.

"Those who have not yet applied to the EU Settlement Scheme by 31st October 2019 will still have the same entitlements to work, benefits and services. Those rights will not change. EU citizens will continue to be able to prove their rights to access these benefits and services in the same way as they do now.

"Further details can be found in our free movement factsheet, but please feel free to contact us in writing by clicking here."


After Brexit, the free movement of EU citizens will end. The government outlined proposals for “the UK’s future skills-based immigration system” in its December 2018 White Paper.

Read our overview of the changes coming to the UK’s immigration system, something that will have a major impact on many workers and employers.


In 2011 (the latest data from the 2011 Census), 226,700 people aged 16 and over were employed in Buckinghamshire, including 11,244 holding non-UK EU passports and 8,003 with passports from the rest of the world.

Read the full report and search for data by occupation and industry >

Further Brexit guidance


Buckinghamshire County Council has a dedicated Brexit page on its website that features information on its preparations for Brexit, a link to the ‘Brexit in Buckinghamshire’ report, and information for residents.

Visit the Council’s Brexit page here >



The Institute of Directors’ Navigating Brexit hub includes news, fact sheets and blogs providing comprehensive updates and expert analysis, as well as details of the IoD’s programme of Brexit events and webinars.

Visit the Navigating Brexit hub here >



Buckinghamshire Disability Service (BuDS) have produced a practical 'Getting Ready for Brexit' guide for disabled people. This includes advice on prescription medicine, food and drink, carers, health services, electricity, petrol and diesel, and crime and security.

Read the document here >

Visit the BuDS Brexit webpage for more information >



The 2019 Buckinghamshire Brexit Summit brought together businesses from a range of sectors and representatives from local and national government and business organisations to explore the latest on Brexit.

Read our round-up of the Summit for some key takeaways from the event and actions that should be top of business’s to do lists.

You can read the slides from the event below, which feature plenty of advice and links to important information:

Stuart Chapman, Business Intelligence & Readiness Directorate, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). View the slides here >

Thomas Rolls, EU Exit Business and Public Readiness Directorate, DEFRA. View the slides here >

Ken Moon, Foreign Office & EU Chair, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). View the slides here >

Martin Tett and Neil Gibson, Buckinghamshire County Council. View the slides here >



A government survey taken by Buckinghamshire Business First members reveals concerns over the economy, staff welfare and access to markets.

We asked our members to take a survey on how Brexit will impact their business. In total, 338 businesses responded to the survey, which was compiled by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

According to the survey, more than two thirds of Buckinghamshire’s business leaders expect Brexit to have a negative effect on their businesses.

Read our full overview of the survey results here, including the specific concerns some business leaders expressed.


Further Brexit guidance


The government has collated information and guidance on the UK’s departure from the EU. Search for information on:

  • Trade and the single market
  • The impact on the labour market
  • Legislation
  • EU citizens’ rights in the UK
  • Travelling to the EU

UK Parliament Brexit pages

The UK Parliament Brexit pages feature lots of up to date and very detailed news on all things Brexit. Areas covered include the economy, business and trade; employment and pensions; farming and fishing; and education, science and research. Visit the webpages for all the latest.


The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has produced a Small Business Brexit Pack to set out what smaller businesses should be thinking about in the event of a no-deal scenario. The pack includes advice on continuity and contingency planning.

Access the Small Business Brexit Pack here >


Buckinghamshire County Council has prepared a comprehensive report that outlines how Brexit affects Buckinghamshire, with sectoral analysis covering health and social care, education, innovation and skills, construction, hospitality, retail and wholesale, medicinal and pharmaceuticals, digital, media and creative industries, agriculture, environment and the rural economy, and the space sector.

The report also looks ahead to the next steps that business, government and public sector bodies need to take to ensure Buckinghamshire capitalises on its strengths and recognises and remedies its weaknesses.

'Brexit in Buckinghamshire: Shaping the future, harnessing growth’ can be read here.


The British Chambers of Commerce has created a ‘Business Brexit checklist’ to help businesses consider the changes that Brexit may bring to their firm, and to help business planning at both operational and Board levels.

Download the checklist here >


The first Buckinghamshire Brexit Summit took place on Friday 8th December 2017 in High Wycombe.

It was a day of speeches, discussions and ideas on what businesses, local government, central government and Buckinghamshire Business First can do to ensure Brexit is a success for Buckinghamshire’s businesses.

View the slides from the speeches made throughout the day, here.

Follow the story of the day as seen on Twitter, and view the pictures taken at the event.

Watch our Brexit advice videos

Get advice from experts on how to prepare for Brexit, what opportunities you could tap into, and more. Watch the following videos: