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The run up to Brexit has already had a significant impact on UK business. It’s been reported that the number of people in work dropped by the largest margin in four years in August 2019 as companies put their plans on hold, with many losing contracts and facing delays to major projects in the meantime. 

But how will the business landscape look after Britain officially parts ways with the EU? Much of the detail remains to be decided in ongoing negotiations, though some eventualities appear more likely than others. 

Here are some of the key considerations for UK business owners, workers and customers alike.

Exports

Political uncertainty is always likely to affect currencies, so it’s no surprise that the pound has suffered since the outcome of the 2016 referendum. An upside of this drop is that many UK businesses have seen international sales to countries outside of Europe shoot up as buyers seize an opportunity to improve their margins.   

British business owners rely on exports to the EU all the same, however, and if negotiations result in restricted access to the single market, customs duties could make trade more expensive. They’re also likely to see increased competition from comparatively cheaper EU member states as a result. 

Workforce

It had been believed that the UK would prioritise high-skilled workers over all else – regardless of whether they came from countries within the EU or elsewhere in the world. 

There has been some pushback against this strategy however, with some organisations advocating that such policies should put areas of economical need before discussions of skills or salaries.   

EU worker with eyes on the UK may wish to contact the legal experts at Withers for professional advice on immigration.  

Rising prices    

Shifting the focus towards the end user, it’s predicted that many large retailers will be forced to up their prices as a result of rising import costs and fluctuating exchange rates. Supermarkets are likely to be one of the first and most obvious places where consumers notice their bills increasing, and it’s expected that the effects of Brexit will also be felt in popular department and clothing stores.   

 

Ultimately the UK remains an important economy to the EU and any remaining decisions aren’t going to be made lightly. Some sectors, such as health and automotive, are likely to be affected more than others. Have you noticed any changes if you own or work for a business that could be impacted by Brexit?