Where are you on the 'planning for Brexit' scale?

During our last webcast, we asked our audience how ready their business was for what could come next with Brexit. The results were stark, with more than 50% recognising they had much more work to do, particularly for ‘no deal’. With both the UK government and the EU advising businesses on both sides to urgently proceed with implementing contingency plans, it's now time to rapidly assess and progress plans for ‘no deal’.

Click where you think you sit on the readiness scale below to find out what each stage of readiness looks like and explore our tips for how to prepare.

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Not ready

Do you recognise your business in these characteristics?

  • You don’t have a specific person or team responsible for Brexit planning
  • You haven't yet considered the impact of Brexit
  • You have considered the impact of Brexit, potentially looking at a narrow range of areas, and have concluded there would be minimal impact or that the impacts are very unlikely
  • You have considered the impact on your own organisation only and have not considered your supply chain, customers etc.
  • You're not actively tracking political development

If this is you, click here to find out what you can do to prepare

We've made a start but there's more to do

Do you recognise your business in these characteristics?

  • You have someone appointed within the organisation as ‘Brexit lead’, but they haven’t been given the authority, time, space and resources to drive through plans
  • You appreciate that Brexit is going to have a significant impact but aren't sure what the specific impact on your sector or business will be, or where to start in planning
  • You've started assessing impacts in some areas, but left others unresolved due to lack of resources, expertise or clarity on what's required
  • You’re tracking external developments, but not in a scenario based structured way
  • You don’t yet have a holistic impact assessment in place, or a clear, fully developed plan
  • You’ve not implemented any contingency plans yet or recognise you won't complete key activities before 29 March

If this is you, click here to find out what you can do to prepare

Ready if we have transition, but ‘no deal’ is another matter

Do you recognise your business in these characteristics?

  • There's someone charged with your Brexit planning, regular meetings happen, but no big decisions to proceed with implementing plans have been taken to date
  • You know something needs to be done, and are fairly clear on what, but don’t necessarily want to take these actions
  • You've completed a full impact assessment, but haven't yet prioritised implementing contingency plans, or only in limited areas
  • You have a risk register, but may not yet have a clear implementation plan specifically for ‘no deal’
  • You're waiting for certainty on the end result - deal or ‘no deal’, before taking action

If this is you, click here to find out what you can do to prepare

Ready for anything

Do you recognise your business in these characteristics?

  • You have an agile governance structure, which is meeting regularly and making informed decisions
  • You’ve mapped risks and impacts across a wide range of areas, focused on a range of different scenarios and honed in on ‘no deal’
  • You’ve evaluated and agreed contingency actions, allocated resources and responsibilities, and identified key triggers and timings
  • You’ve started taking actions at the right time for your business, based on lead times for implementation, to be ready for either deal or ‘no deal’ on 29 March 2019

If this is you, click here to find out what you can do to prepare

Not ready

Top tips:

Do not delay - take action now.

  1. Appoint a senior executive to coordinate Brexit contingency planning - give them authority, resources and time to focus on this issue until the end of March 2019 and potentially beyond.
  2. Start with the following key resources:
    • The UK government’s recently launched business readiness website
    • Recent publications from the EU on ‘no deal’ contingency plans
    • Read the Home Office guidance on Settled Status, and communicate with EU nationals in your workforce about applying when the scheme launches later this year
    • Read the HMRC Partnership Pack and apply and register for HMRC schemes / accreditations including registering for a UK EORI number
    • Consider applying for grant funding for customs training
    • Read our contingency blog and decide which of these actions are right for you

“Many businesses have felt paralysed by the prevailing uncertainty. The one thing that is certain, is that legally, the UK will leave the EU without a deal on 29 March, unless another course of action is agreed in time, and that this will present serious disruption to most businesses in some shape or form. If you haven’t started making plans yet, now is the time to take action.”

Mel Butler

We’ve made a start there’s more to do...

Top tips:

The first priority for any organisation must be to confirm business can be conducted within regulatory requirements.

Our eight no regret decisions map on to the most common areas of impact for business.  Start by using these as a framework to ensure you have considered all the main angles:

  • Support your people
  • Know your supply chain
  • Clean up your current data
  • Think about new data requirements
  • Take advantage of existing government schemes
  • Check out your contracts
  • Engage with key 3rd parties
  • Be agile - appointing a ‘head of Brexit’ and forming a dedicated body accountable for preparing for Brexit

Then, quickly move into identifying the contingency actions in each area that you need to take before March and dedicate the right focus and resource to them, to make sure they're done in time.

“The ongoing political negotiations, and associated noise, about Brexit can make it difficult for businesses to know where to start Brexit planning, even when they're keen to do so. Cutting through this noise is key and the first step should be to review the so-called ‘Technical Notices’ in which the UK Government sets out what a ‘No Deal’ could mean for different parts of the economy. Next we recommend working through our eight ‘no regret’ decisions: these are focused on the areas of business where it's most critical that you have the right information, the right analysis and can take the right actions from there. Ideally this all comes together in a fit-for-purpose Brexit Plan.”

Michael Moore

Ready if we have transition, but ‘no deal’ is another matter

Top tips:

With a risk register in place, your priority is to start turning these plans into actions to be ready for ‘no deal’. Our advice to achieve this is:

  1. Review your prioritised risk register, evaluate mitigations and identify for each the latest possible point at which implementation can start to be completed by 29 March 2019
  2. Identify, discuss and agree on your risk threshold, including the key risks that must be mitigated, and workstream that should be prioritised
  3. Build a critical path allowing for implementation lead times and assign an appropriate senior responsible owner and budget for each workstream
  4. Set up a drumbeat of governance to approve implementation of actions and release of the required resources in line with key external events

“We have always said that ‘no deal’ is not a likely outcome, as it is in neither the UK nor the EU’s interests. But as we stand now, the UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019 with or without a deal. It is imperative therefore that companies have robust contingency plans in place and - where necessary - are implementing these for a ‘no deal’ outcome. This may mean, in some instances, making investments that turn out to have been unnecessary. But businesses can no longer afford to wait: by the time we have political certainty, it will be too late to mitigate the impact of a chaotic ‘no deal’.”

Gill Williams

Ready for anything

Top tips:
  • Recognise there will be ongoing change, both in the short term as well as the medium term, as the future trading relationships between the EU and UK are negotiated and implemented
  • Consider the wider commercial environment. Many firms will not be ready and this will have a knock on impact on those who are
  • Retain a level of agility to respond to new developments
  • Continue to engage with your people, key customers and suppliers as well as other important stakeholders eg shareholders, banks, etc
  • Seek ways to fully leverage existing investments even if future trade relationships mean that requirements change

“Some businesses have been working for many months, even years, now on their readiness for 29 March, particularly in the most heavily regulated sectors such as Financial Services and Pharmaceuticals. For these clients, it's important that as they progress with implementations they don’t become too rigidly focused on the ‘no deal’ scenario, so that anything implemented is still useful if, in the fullness of time, a deal is indeed secured.”

Andrew Gray

Contact us

Andrew Gray

Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7753 928 494

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