Firms must ‘prepare for all scenarios’ after MPs back new Brexit plan

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce on latest Brexit developments

Henrietta Brealey, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce

Greater Birmingham businesses are being urged to prepare for every possible Brexit scenario after MPs gave their backing to Theresa May’s revised timeline.

Parliament voted unanimously in favour of the Prime Minister’s motion to hold another meaningful vote on her Brexit deal by 12 March.

If the deal is rejected, a further vote on whether to accept a ‘no deal’ Brexit would be held on 13 March.

Should ‘no deal’ also be rejected, MPs would then vote on extending Article 50.

Meanwhile, Parliament also voted against several other motions, including Labour’s alternative Brexit plan.

Mrs May will now head back to Brussels in an attempt to renegotiate the Irish ‘backstop’.

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce warned all three Brexit scenarios – deal, no deal or an extension – could have a detrimental effect on unprepared businesses.

Henrietta Brealey (pictured), director of policy and strategic relationships at GBCC, said: “What does this mean for businesses? Well, in essence, not a lot has changed since Tuesday’s speech.

“The Prime Minister will be heading back to Brussels yet again but this time her strategy has the clear backing of Parliament.

“We’re all tired of hearing about Brexit but, like it or not, it needs to be at the top of every business’ agenda.

“In all scenarios, Brexit will have a significant impact on the unprepared and potentially leave room for competitive advantage for those who are quick to adapt.

“Don’t forget – the deal currently proving so hard to get through Parliament is just the terms under which the UK will leave the EU.

“In a deal scenario yes, there would be brief respite in the form of the transition period, but we will be straight into questions about the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU.

“In a no-deal scenario the change could come incredibly quickly in business planning terms and affect trade relationships the world over when you consider EU trade deals as well as leaving the single market and customs union.

“Taking the time to make sure you understand the potential impact of Brexit on your business and have people with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate any Brexit scenario is key.

“Ask the question of your colleagues and senior leaders – is your business preparing for Brexit? Are your competitors? Could you find a competitive advantage in your industry by being in a position to be fleet of foot in responding to the final Brexit outcome?

“Of course the Chamber is here to help with a wide range of support and training available for local businesses.”

For your FREE personalised report on how Brexit may impact your business take the GBCC’s Business Brexit Health Check here.

For FREE advice and guidance from Brexit experts join us for our next Brexit Clinic event on 29 March (a seminar at our GBCC Expo) click here.

Find out more about training on Preparing Your Supply Chain for Brexit: The Customs Angle (Trusted Trader Schemes) taking place on 10 April here.