THE BUSINESS OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE
With less than 100 days to go until the UK-EU Transition arrangement ends, on December 31, 2020, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) organisation has published 26 questions for British businesses to be aware of which are yet to be answered.
Announcing the list, the BCC also highlighted that according to surveys, only 38% of firms have conducted a Brexit risk assessment in 2020, compared to 57% of firms in 2019.
The 26 questions are part a 35 strong list of issues that are most frequently raised by businesses via BCC's Brexit guidance dashboard. Of the 35 list of issues, BCC have green lighted 9 of them, indicating a sufficient amount of information to address the questions around the issue, whilst 19 are in the amber zone, suggesting some information is available, whilst 9 of the questions are in the red zone, indicating "there is inadequate actionable information".
Among the questions that have yet to receive sufficient information to answer, are topics surrounding rules of origin, food and drink labels, the movement of goods between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, and the proposed 'UK Shared Prosperity Fund'.
Discussing the continued questions, BCC General Director Adam Marshall said that "With just 98 days to go, business communities face the triple threat of a resurgent Coronavirus, receding government support schemes, and a disorderly end to the transition period ... Significant unanswered questions remain for businesses, and despite recent public information campaigns, base levels of preparedness are low. Many firms say they've heard talk of deadlines and cliff edges before, and others are still grappling with fundamental challenges as a result of the pandemic and have little cash or information with which to plan."
The BCC are calling for more action to better communicate the need for businesses to assess the situation, with Marshall saying that "Businesses need honest communication about the complexity of the changes they face – and stronger encouragement to act."
To see the British Chamber of Commerce's Brexit guidance dashboard, which includes details of the questions and their status, go to www.britishchambers.org.uk. You can also download The Exporter's Brexit Action Plan, which includes other questions you should consider about your business operations.
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