The results were in, Brexit won, Cameron’s gone, May’s in, Gove’s in hiding and Borris is… still being Borris. If our government is in an uncertain and insecure state, it’s fairly logical that UK businesses are concerned. Political affiliations aside, the result is a democratic one and even those who were firmly in the remain camp, now have to accept the fact and plan for the future. It’s difficult to plan for a future that no one can agree on, and those in power that we look to for guidance are in disagreement or have reversed their original thinking.
This means we are currently in a period of uncertainty, and with no plans to immediately depart the EU, this uncertainty is likely to continue for some time. With scaremongering tactics and inflated optimism prevalent on both sides of the campaign – how do we distinguish fact from fiction?
The EU publishes two types of legislation; directives and regulations. Regulations are to be upheld across all member states without question. In terms of business, current EU regulations have heavily influenced consumer law and workers’ rights. Leaving the EU will not automatically cancel out these laws, but sovereignty for amendments or abolishment now reside with the UK governing body.
Directives are more guidelines outlined by the EU, they are heavily suggested but not legally enforceable, therefore member states can decide how to, and if to, implement them to state law. For example, the working time directive states no worker should have to work over 48hrs a week, however in UK law, the working time directive has an ‘opt out’ clause for employees.
Contractual law is overwhelmingly UK based law and should not be affected by Brexit, however certain employee rights could lose their mandatory placement in UK contractual agreements and businesses can decide in this case to reissue contracts with their own amendments or continue to operate with the original documents.
Trade has been a driving force behind the remain campaign. The UK currently has trade agreements through the single market of the EU. Brexit will mean the UK must re-negotiate trade agreements with all members of the single market without EU protection. For smaller businesses this raises concerns; the Federation of Small Businesses predicts 25% of UK small businesses export, with the vast majority of them doing so via the single market – reaching approximately 500 mil potential customers per annum.
However, without the binding laws of the EU, UK small businesses will have the opportunity to trade more freely with the emerging financial markets in Asia, as well as stronger trade alliances with Australia and Canada. This could elevate UK export businesses to a new level of international trade with new opportunities for smaller export businesses.
Economically speaking, the national debt is 7% of the UK annual income; we rely on external funding to maintain the value of sterling. Once Brexit is initiated, the UK government can begin fiscal stimulus to provide a boost to UK economy. Increased public spending and lower taxation will not provide a solution to our national debt; however with more money available within the UK, smaller businesses are likely to benefit greatly, particularly from reduced taxation.
So there are pro’s and con’s to our current situation, but at this present moment in time we are in a period of great uncertainty. As an SME based within the East Midlands, DBS understand the insecurity our recent decision has inspired. Here’s some ways we can offer support and guidance during this time:
Flexible offices: if you’re concerned with being tied in to contracts during the next few years, consider a flexible office arrangement. Taking a fully serviced office protects you from fluctuations in energy, broadband and landline prices, as well as allowing you to contract for as little as three months on your office space. If that’s still too big a commitment, we offer flexible co-working packages with no obligation – simply pay for the days you need, when you need them.
Conferencing: If you’re an international business planning ahead for the future, our conferencing and meeting facilities are located just minutes from East Midlands Airport. We have onsite private accommodation, as well as modern facilities and unwavering support from our administration staff, to help you during difficult decision making discussions and negotiations.
Relocation: Whether you decide to relocate your business, your staff or your family, we have a range of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments suitable for up to 6 people. Based central to the East Midlands, this provides you with a minimal contractual agreement of 1 month: a more flexible arrangement than the typical minimum 6 months let that standard residential providers require.
Whilst you’re considering how Brexit will affect your business, call one of our Business Centres for an informal, no obligation chat. Our directors are experts in business, having worked internationally and nationally with both private and public sectors; we can help you work out the best route forward for you.
Call us now:
Derby (Castle Donington): 01332 810 900
Glenfield (Leicester): 0116 232 5100
Ashby de la Zouch (Leicestershire) 01530 353 500