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.
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. The event was held at the new Vinson Building at the University of Buckingham.
Whether during the speeches and Q&A panels in the main portion of the event, or the networking and buzz of conversation during the breaks, the sense of Buckinghamshire’s entrepreneurial spirit shone through at all times.
You can read the slides from the event below, which feature plenty of advice and links to important information. Read on for some key takeaways from the event and some actions that should be top of business’s to do lists.
Brexit Summit slides:
- 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. Read the slides here >
- Ken Moon, Foreign Office & EU Chair, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). Read the slides here >
- Martin Tett and Neil Gibson, Buckinghamshire County Council. Read the slides here >
Continuity planning a must in the face of Brexit
Amid the ongoing political negotiations over a withdrawal agreement, one of the main messages for businesses was that they should be engaged in continuity planning for Brexit in the same way they would for any other potential risk to their business.
Uncertainty over what a final deal on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will look like, or whether there will be a deal at all, should not be used as an excuse for inaction. Ultimately, delaying continuity planning is more dangerous than hoping for the best.
To this end, there is a great range of support available for businesses, including sector-specific support, that will at the very least help businesses understand what they need to do to prepare for a no deal scenario, and for Brexit in general.
Important steps for businesses to take now
If you have not yet started any planning for Brexit, a great place to start is the sector specific support available.
First steps for sectors
Visit the BBF Brexit page and see the heading ‘First steps for sectors in preparing for Brexit’. There you will see links to sector specific guides providing some first steps to prepare for Brexit. Sectors covered include aerospace, automotive, construction, professional and business services, retail, and space.
EU Settlement Scheme
The government has produced an employer toolkit that contains information with which employers can support EU citizen employees and their families on the EU Settlement Scheme.
The feeling at the Brexit Summit was that employers, and HR departments in particular, should feel comfortable having conversations with EU employees, or those with affected family members or partners.
EORI number – a must for businesses trading with the EU
UK businesses that trade only within the EU will need a UK EORI number to continue trading with the EU after March 29th 2019 - 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.
At the Brexit Summit, Stuart Chapman from BEIS revealed that an estimated 250,000 businesses will need to apply for an EORI number to continue trading with the EU – but that so far only 50,000 have done so.
Important links and resources on Brexit
Buckinghamshire Business First Brexit page
Our dedicated page for all things Brexit features links to government advice and resources, including sector-specific support, how to prepare for a no deal, getting an EORI number to continue trading with the EU, and much, much more.
HMRC Partnership Pack
Read ongoing advice from HMRC on:
- Preparing for changes at the UK border in the event of no deal
- Trading with the EU if the UK leaves without a deal
Federation of Small Businesses Brexit Pack
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.
Institute of Directors’ Navigating Brexit hub
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.
Buckinghamshire County Council Brexit page
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.
Comments and questions from the Buckinghamshire Brexit Summit
A question from the audience highlighted the potential ramifications of a no deal scenario on UK business’s competitiveness, given the potential impact on tariffs. The latest government advice on the impact on tariffs in the event of a no deal is included within its latest assessment of the implications for business and international trade, which you can read here.
It was noted during the Summit that some businesses may not realise the extent to which their supply chains engage with the EU, even if they themselves do not directly export or import.
It was also pointed out that businesses within the EU will be just as keen to continue trading with UK businesses as the reverse, so there is reason for optimism.
View photos from the day
Take a look at some of the photos from the 2019 Buckinghamshire Brexit Summit.