The impact of Brexit on the retail and consumer sector

Below are five key areas we’ve identified to help you start to navigate the uncertainty over the coming period of negotiations following the UK vote to leave the European Union.

Things to consider

Top five issues to think about in relation to the EU Referendum

1. Strategy

Identify how you position your business to capture opportunities arising from disruption.

Think through contingency plans should the UK to go into recession.

Consider impact on any ‘live’ deal discussions, including implications for contractual positions, ‘Brexit clauses’ and communication strategies. Be clear on your strategy.

2. People

Quantify the labour market impact as we begin to lose access to workers from other parts of the EU.

Identify how EU citizens in the UK would be treated and the impact on people, visas and families as well as rights awarded to individuals.

3. Financial

Consider the impact on existing finance positions, investment funding, liquidity positions and the stability of new funding sources.

Review existing hedging strategies and exposures. The UK vote to leave will increase Foreign Exchange (‘FX’) volatility, counterparty and interest rate risk.

Consider additional costs which may come through selling in EU markets.

4. Supply chain

Review your supply chain, particularly where heavily EU integrated.

Understand how this will affect your customers, suppliers and stakeholders.

Identify any of your contracts at risk of being cancelled due to a material adverse clause.

5. Legal, tax and accounting

You need to understand which parts of tax law would remain in force and which would move over time, and where other legislative bodies, such as the World Trade Organisation and European Economic Area membership, place other requirements on tax law.

You need to consider the impact on Accounting Standards and how it affects your business.

Consider which EU legislation, is likely to be retained in the immediate aftermath of a UK decision to leave the EU (e.g. the ability to access a parent/subsidiary directive).

Consider the potential indirect tax impacts (VAT and customs) on the movement of goods as duty rates for trade become uncertain, and costs/administrative burdens potentially increase.

Contact us

Madeleine Thomson
Partner, Advisory
Tel: +44 (0)207 213 1281

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