Will Brexit be a short-lived storm? Or are we heading to sunlit uplands? For many, forecasting what the UK will look like in 2021 is the great unknown. Strategically, what do you need to think about now?
The past few years have challenged UK businesses like never before. COVID-19 in particular has upended our lives and torpedoed the economy. UK GDP fell by about almost a quarter in the first half of 2020, the biggest two quarter slump on record, but the economy has since bounced back with record growth of 15.5% in July to September. What’s more, with the uplifting prospect of COVID-19 vaccines and a potential trade agreement with the EU and other markets—although the mood music for an EU deal seems to change daily—the outlook for 2021 is likely to look very different to today.
In this series of bite-size ‘Brexit countdown’ articles, we focus on the commercial implications of ‘Brexit 2.0’ in certain key areas and set out a high-level overview of the sort of things you should be thinking about with your teams and customers, and what you should be doing to get yourself Brexit-ready.
Last time, we looked at supply chains. In this article we look at how you can strategically consider the state of the markets in which you operate.
What sorts of things should you typically be thinking about?
Consider these key matters in particular:
- is access to your markets likely to be compromised in any way?
- is continuity of your supply certain, or is it likely to be compromised in some way? If so, how?
- what is your customers’ ability to use, sell and commercially benefit from your goods or services likely to be?
- to what extent will the price paid remain competitive?
- to what extent will the market be affected for:
- raw materials?
- finished goods?
- what will be the likely availability of raw materials and components? Are shortages likely?
- what will be the likely availability of warehousing? Is a shortage likely?
- have you considered any other changes to market conditions? To what extent does the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic affect the markets in which you operate?
Of course, every business will need to consider its own particular circumstances based on factors such as, in particular:
- its location
- the nature of its goods and services
- the business, economic and regulatory environment in which it operates
- the location of its key customers and suppliers, and
- the make-up of its workforce.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the analysis you need to do but thinking about the commercial aspects above can help you decide what legal changes (if any) are necessary now and in the months to come.
At Shoosmiths, we have stayed close to Brexit developments. As always, we welcome any thoughts or comments from you and are ready to help you prepare for Brexit.
We are also producing briefings across all specialisms to keep you informed of legal changes anticipated in light of Brexit.
If you have any queries, do get in touch.
In the next article in this series, we’ll be looking at customs formalities.