During our webcast on 18 March, we asked our audience how ready their business was for what could come next with Brexit, with close to 50% recognising they had much more work to do, particularly for ‘no deal’. While the numbers of those who feel ready for Brexit improved since our January poll, they still make for stark reading. With both the UK government and the EU advising businesses 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.
Do not delay - take action now.
“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.”
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:
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.”
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:
“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’.”
“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.”
Partner, PwC United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)7753 928494