With less than 350 days to go until the UK’s official departure from the European Union, a group of NWBLT members met at PwC to discuss the current state of business readiness for the major changes that are to come. All sectors from financial services to advanced manufacturing will be impacted as the regulatory environment the UK has operated in for the past several decades changes dramatically.
The clock is ticking and it is therefore necessary to consider the contingency plans that should be put in place. Michael Moore, former Secretary of State for Scotland and currently PWC Brexit advisor kicked off the event with a concise and proactive analysis of the process that will unfold over the next twelve months. Despite the multitude of uncertainties that still exist, Michael was clear in his view that businesses should not wait for absolute certainty on every issue. With less than a year to go it is imperative that businesses begin to put plans in place now, a view firmly endorsed by event Chair Juergen Maier.
We were also delighted to hear from Paul Hardy, Brexit director at DLA Piper. Paul has worked close with Government on legal matters, often pertaining to the EU. Paul echoed much of Michael’s sentiment that despite the everlasting sense of uncertainty, it is now time for business to take action, make plans and consider the variables and messages that are now beginning to materialise both from the UK Government’s position and that of the EU.
Lastly, Onelia Angelosanto, Director, Global Trade – Indirect Tax at EY provided the room with detailed considerations around the potential financial and commercial impacts of Brexit. Onelia underscored the complex nature of customs duties and non-tariff barriers to trade and reiterated that these complications must be something for business to consider in the formation of its Brexit contingency plans.
This was a productive event and we would like to thank all members who gave up their morning to share their thoughts on this matter. We would also like to thank our speakers who provided such fantastic and practical input. The meeting concluded with a commitment to work with our partners across the North West to spread the message regarding the need for businesses to take action and prepare for the new future ahead of us.