By Andrew James
Today saw our Truro office host its final breakfast briefing event for the calendar year – and this one was themed around the implications of Brexit for businesses engaged in international trade.
Chaired by our very own ‘Mr Brexit’ Daniel Sladen (check out his informative blog posts on the matter), the main presentations were by Colin Piper of Business West and by my knowledgeable colleague Liam Dushynsky.
As with most matters in connection with Brexit, there remains a lot of unknown unknowns and uncertainty – as one delegate summed up “if we at least knew what was happening then we could properly prepare for it….”
I believe we did avoid getting too political and between the presenters, they laid out the implications of moving away from free trade with the EU. The slides for the event can be found here and some interesting points made during the presentations and Q&A are as follows:
- Customs Duties – it’s complicated! (The word was mentioned a few times!)
- If you have EU customers and suppliers, talk to them and keep them updated of what you do know as they might well be talking to EU competitors who may be trying to undermine you!
- A no-deal scenario could affect businesses where they didn’t think it would. An example used is food supplies in the EU whilst currently zero rated in the UK might then start attracting VAT in other EU countries
- A starting point is ‘know your risk and ‘pain points’ to start planning’
- A foreign subsidiary could be an option, however, this isn’t straight forward (it’s complicated!) and not the right option for everyone. There are other considerations to take on board as well as custom duties – such as bringing profits back into the UK
Judging by the comments made by our delegates, this breakfast event was not only informative, but also timely and topical. I would like to thank the presenters and the chair, as well as those that have worked with me behind the scenes on the breakfasts this year, including Linda, Devon and Carole.
Next year we are starting off with a breakfast event of the topic that should be considered the defining one of our generation – the move to a low carbon economy. Speakers are yet to be confirmed, but the theme will be the link between low carbon and good, profitable, sustainable businesses. We hope to have at least a couple of speakers to share case studies and show the assistance that is available to businesses looking to transition and/ or further embed a low carbon ethos into their business strategy. Event details and booking form can be found here.