CABINET cALL: A weekly column written by members of South Holland District Council’s Cabinet. This week with: COUN COLIN JOHNSON
As the New year gets going in South Holland the news is still dominated by Brexit.
Whilst this may not be having an immediate impact in households across the district it is important that businesses are planning for the consequences of leaving the EU.
The one certainty about the UK’s decision to leave the European Union is that it will trigger fundamental changes in the way organisations do business.
While the final details of the UK’s exit terms remain uncertain, businesses must begin preparing now so that they can adapt quickly to the new trading environment as it evolves.
There is potential for boundaries to be resurrected between the UK and our nearest trading partners, where none have existed for over 30 years.
These could create additional costs and will introduce friction into businesses’ supply chains and sales operations, whilst also having the potential to reduce access to the skills they require.
SHDC is continually monitoring the Brexit discussions and will be ready to make any changes necessary to ensure we support local businesses over this challenging period.
What should businesses be doing now?
• Businesses (large and small) need to do all they can to be Brexit-ready and this means really understanding their logistics network and what changes may need to be made in the future; for example how to mitigate potential border delays and possible tariff charges.
• What the impact may be on employees, particularly EU nationals and the need for seasonal workers.
• What regulatory changes there may me and what impact they could have. For example, the requirement to pay VAT on goods imported from the EU.
The only sure thing about Brexit is that there is a lot of uncertainty about what will happen, but by thinking and planning ahead businesses can minimise the impact on them and be well placed to take advantage of any opportunities which may arise.