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JPP Law Blog

Brexit Business Review – opportunities, threats and advance preparation

The Brexit transition period deadline is drawing closer and yet the future is still very unclear. Whilst the UK government is telling UK businesses to prepare for Brexit, the lack of clarity on what the future holds has left many business leaders in a state of limbo. However, the business which can react, adapt and change quickly will be the business that survives and thrives.

Brexit is undoubtably a major risk for UK companies trading or operating within the EU, but it may also bring opportunities. Some opportunities will, unfortunately, come from competing businesses who don't effectively adapt and subsequently fail, whilst other opportunities may materialise in light of new trade deals negotiated with countries outside of the EU. In October, Britain and Japan formally signed a trade agreement marking the UK's first large post-Brexit continuity deal.

How prepared is your business?

Despite the imminent deadline we are still looking at four possible scenarios. What follows are the possible general options for the UK:

  1. An EU agreement is reached, limited to EU/UK relations. If the UK reaches an agreement like this with the EU, its future relationships with the countries in the EU will be determined by the agreement, but the UK will be free to negotiate its relationship with non-EU states.
  2. An EU agreement is reached, which also affects the UK's relationship with non-EU nations. The UK's relationship with the EU would be determined by this agreement, while the UK's relationship with non-EU states would also be affected to the extent stipulated by this agreement.
  3. No EU agreement is reached. The UK will then have to negotiate its own deals with the EU and non-EU countries, and in the interim trade in accordance with WTO rules.
  4. Alternatively, none of the above could occur entirely, and we could end up with some combination of the above.

The only certainty is the current and future uncertainty of what type of Brexit will take place and how this will affect the business, commercial and legal landscape. So, what benefit will a Brexit legal review bring to your business?

Overview

The purpose of a review is to assist you to identify the issues you need to consider in advance of Brexit taking effect. This will place you in the best position to adapt and survive as laws and regulations change. The ability to adapt quickly will provide a competitive advantage over those businesses that are slow to react.

We recommend that all our clients carry out a thorough legal review of their agreements, processes and operations to determine how they may be impacted by Brexit. This will allow them to future-proof their business and operations.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions you may want to consider a Brexit legal review:

  • Do you sell, buy or move goods across borders between the EU and UK?
  • Will Brexit change your requirement for premises space?
  • Do you employ any EU nationals?
  • Are you considering relocating some of your operations outside of the UK?
  • Do you hold any EU trademarks or other intellectual property rights registered in the EU?
  • Will Brexit have any impact on your supply chain?
  • Will you be looking to exploit new trade agreements as and when they happen?
  • Do you have comprehensive risk management policies and procedures in place to prepare you for any eventuality?
  • Do you have data flowing to any third parties outside the UK?

What Next?

A Brexit legal review will help you consider what you need in place to adapt to the changing landscape and will place your business in the best position to adapt to the coming storm. For an initial consultation to discuss how a Brexit review will benefit your business, book a consultation with JPP's commercial solicitor, Richard Hull. If you have any questions or wish to book your consultation juliette.pip@jpplaw.co.uk 

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