Last year’s Brexit vote has put into stark focus the extent to which we rely on trade flows within the EU marketplace, compared with the expansive opportunities which many say lie in international markets beyond the EU. Encouraging small British firms to sell their goods and services overseas is a key plank of government policy – yet there is much to do.
Business confidence in London, Kent and Sussex has fallen as businesses adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach following increasingly uncertain Brexit negotiations with the EU, according to a survey conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW).
Although initially the Brexit vote brought some uncertainty for UK private companies - there are now some very obvious opportunities for them. We continue to advise and assist ambitious companies on their plans to expand their businesses overseas. In fact, the uncertainty of Brexit may give UK companies a more global outlook so they look to expand further than Europe for their customers and suppliers. Such entrepreneurial spirit of many business owners gives them a resilience to not only survive in uncertain times but succeed, as they are able to react to market conditions and re-think trading and expansion strategy.
You may recall that when the snap general election was announced, the now Spring Finance Act 2017 was significantly shortened. Over half of the drafted Bill was chopped (from 400 to 150 pages) as there was insufficient time to adequately debate the proposed announcements.
So the UK Government has now triggered Article 50 to leave the European Union in two years time on Friday 29 March 2019. An historic moment indeed for the UK – but also the start of two years of tough negotiation with Brussels over the terms of exit. To bring this into law, the UK will enact a ‘Great Repeal Bill’ which will end the primacy of EU law in the UK and incorporate all former EU legislation into UK law. The Government will then decide over time which laws to keep and which to do away with.