What do North East businesses expect from a post-Brexit world?
Written by Rebecca Wayman and Jane Imrie.
Come October 31, UK businesses will have to be prepared for what lies ahead with Brexit.
The government says that protecting businesses is its “top priority” post-Brexit, according to Gov.uk.
But what exactly are the country’s business owners planning? Do startups, scaleups and SMEs understand Brexit procedures enough in order to stay afloat and keep their business going? And in the North East specifically, how do businesses feel about Brexit and its implications?
With less than a month to go until firms face Brexit being put into force, Bdaily is focusing on what Brexit means to the businesses based in this historically industrial region.
Some North East companies believe that Brexit will have barely any impact, and it will be “business as usual”. This is according to Adrian Reay, of Newcastle-based architecture and design firm Ergo Projects.
For Adrian, he believes that the UK needn’t worry so much, however to act with prudential caution: “The priority for SMEs like ours has to be to look at wider opportunities and markets to secure growth.
“That’s why we are eyeing opportunities for development and new work in other parts of the UK to protect our core business and shield it from any obstacles that might lie ahead on the path to growth.”
David Howell, director of operations at business development organisation North East BIC, also believes that business activity, and in particular the region’s trade with international clients, will continue and progress as normal.
He added: “The North East BIC has been part of an international network of Business and Innovation Centres for over 25 years and, as such, we will continue to promote [it] to our clients, along with the BIC itself looking for collaborative opportunities across the world.”
According to ReadyForBrexit.co.uk, a ‘No Deal’ Brexit would result in tariffs being added to some imported and exported goods that are traded between the UK and the EU, which has caused concern to some.
In a speech to the North East England Chamber of Commerce last Thursday (October 10), TUC’s general secretary Frances O’Grady had her say on the matter: “Boris Johnson never had any intention of getting a deal.
“He wanted talks to fail so he could pin the blame on the EU. Working people and businesses in this region must not pay the price for Boris Johnson’s cynical games.
“A no-deal Brexit would drive up the price of food and fuel, cost good quality jobs and undermine workers’ rights. And nowhere would be harder hit than the North East.”
Whether the UK leaves the EU with a deal or not, it is vital that businesses understand their priorities and the potential challenges they could face ahead of November 1.
For more information on how your business can get Brexit ready, check out this toolkit from the North East Growth Hub.
Are you a North East-based business owner yourself, or know someone who would like to discuss this topic further? Get in touch with us via Twitter @Bdaily or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts.
What are your priorities and challenges in a post-Brexit world? Join the discussion now #BrexitReady.
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