No-deal Brexit ‘damaging and dangerous’ for SMEs – FSB

Responding to the release of the latest round of no-deal Brexit technical notes earlier this week, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Mike Cherry, said the current Brexit negotiations had heightened concerns amongst SMEs whose confidence has already dipped into negative territory this quarter.

To date, the Government has released three tranches of information all of which emphasise how “damaging and dangerous” a no deal Brexit could be for UK SMEs, many of which rely on hauliers for delivering goods across the European Union (EU) and for bringing goods into the country.

“A no deal Brexit could pose a real threat to these businesses as EU community licenses issued by the UK might not be automatically recognised by the EU and the fall back permit option (ECMT), by the Government admission, are too small in number to compensate,” Mr Cherry says.   

“Our small firms pride themselves on being world leaders in innovation and developing market leading products. Worryingly, a no deal Brexit puts at risk the UK’s ability to remain within the Unitary Patent System (UPS).  There will also be an adjustment for those smaller businesses currently using EU trademarks and registered community designs, relying on EU cross border copyright mechanisms or on the EEA regional exhaustion scheme. This risks stifling innovation at the very time we need to nurture it.”

According to FSB research, only one in seven SMEs are preparing for a no deal Brexit. This, Mr Cherry says, makes it even more critical that this outcome is avoided at all costs.

“We have reached a tipping point now. We need the Government and EU to break the impasse and come back to the negotiating table with a renewed energy and willingness to deliver a pro-business deal,” Mr Cherry concludes.

In order to survive and thrive in this challenging environment, UK SMEs should review their business strategies and put in place plans to enable them to adapt quickly to the changing economic and operating conditions.

Business owners and managers must be aware of income and expenditure by keeping proper records and monitoring trends and patterns. Profit and loss accounts will help you understand how your business is progressing, as well as alert you to any potential issues which might arise, giving you ample warning to rectify the problems or make the necessary adjustments to keep your business on track and successful.

At Beavis Morgan, our specialists to SMEs are available to provide general business advice and to structure your business for tax. We can also assist with business plans and strategy execution, long and short term forecasts, budgets, sensitivity analysis, and calculating and checking compliance with covenants.

Contact Steve Govey or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner for further information about how we can assist you and your business.

Read more: 5 key factors to successful strategic planning and execution ahead of Brexit