Brexit remains high on the agenda for many businesses and, despite news of a recent extension of the Brexit deadline from the European Union, businesses must remain prepared for all possibilities, including that of a “no-deal” exit.
This is particularly important in light of recent figures from Scottish Government, which suggest that just 8% of businesses feel they are “fully prepared” for Brexit, while 18% have done no preparation at all. It’s also important to remember that even businesses which do not trade directly with the EU may be impacted in the event of a no deal, as they may currently be trading with third countries under existing EU Free Trade Agreements.
With so many businesses unsure of where to turn, the Europe Direct Information Centre (EDIC) for the North Highlands & Islands, hosted by Caithness Chamber of Commerce, has prepared a handy guide of key resources for businesses in the runup to Brexit.
Managed by a partnership of Scotland’s public agencies, prepareforbrexit.scot is a one stop shop for businesses trying to prepare themselves for Brexit. Featuring a self-assessment tool, guides, and links to further resources, this should be the first port of call for any business looking to prepare for the UK’s exit from the European Union.
Many aspects of Brexit will affect the work that HMRC does with businesses, including import VAT and the recently introduced “Transitional Simplified Procedures”. To ensure you’re up to date with all the latest, make sure you’re subscribed to HMRC’s Business Help and Education email service.
The Scottish Government has recently published its own EU exit portal, containing a wide range of advice and guidance for businesses and individuals alike. Simply visit mygov.scot/euexit to access all the latest information.
Many of the sectors affected by Brexit will need specific advice not covered by more general guides – for example on complying with REACH regulations or exporting controlled goods. A full suite of technical notices and guidance can be found at tinyurl.com/govukbrexit.
Enterprise Europe Network
Those looking to do business in Europe after Brexit will still be able to access opportunities through the Enterprise Europe Network. Full details of the Network and the services it has to offer to businesses can be found at een.ec.europa.eu
This is just a sample of the advice available to businesses, with many industry and professional bodies preparing specific guidance for their members. Whatever happens as the process continues, the EDIC team will be hard at work to advise and guide businesses and citizens across the North Highlands & Islands.