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East Midlands Chamber News

Business leading light blogs on Brexit


A leading figure in East Midlands business has written two blogs about Brexit.


In one, he examines the resilience of regional business to the UK leaving the EU.


In the second, he advises businesses about what they should be doing today to ensure a seamless transition to a post-Brexit economy.


The author is Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, Chair of the East Midlands Chamber Brexit Advisory Group, a Board member at the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership and Chief Executive at Loughborough-based Morningside Pharmaceuticals.


His business specialises in manufacturing and supplying niche generic and branded medicines to UK hospitals and pharmacies and exporting essential medicines to large global aid agencies.


In the first blog, under the title The Brexit Effect – Is Your Business Ready? Dr Kotecha says it is hard for businesses to plan when there is still so much uncertainty about our post-Brexit relationship with the EU and how we will trade with the rest of the world.


But he says that regional business is robust, helped in no small part by the fact that the East Midlands is the manufacturing spine of the UK, has many smaller businesses and enjoys lower than national average unemployment.


He posits the notion that, to be stronger, the East and West Midlands must work more closely together through the Midlands engine, and many businesses have yet to start thinking seriously about what the wider implications of Brexit might be on their day-to-day activities.


That blog then lists three key questions businesses should be asking themselves today:
* Have you devoted time to considering the direct and indirect consequences of Brexit?
* Have you consulted your Board of Directors and executive teams about Brexit?
* Have you mapped out your supply chain and customer network so that you can plan for both a ‘deal’ and ‘no deal’ Brexit?
To read the blog click here.

In the second blog, entitled Preparing for Brexit – Top Tips for East Midlands Business, Dr Kotecha says there are four key areas that businesses need to consider for international trading in a post-Brexit economy – workforce and future skills, cross-border trade, taxation and, combined as a single item, currency, intellectual property and contract changes.


Under ‘workforce changes’ he considers the recruitment and future skills needs impact of the UK no longer being subject to EU freedom of movement regulations.


In a section on cross-border trade, he identifies three specific things business should be considering today - customs checks and delays, trade tariffs and rules of origin – and says businesses should be asking today what arrangements they might need to make with logistics providers and distribution networks.


He also suggests firms should be looking at the possibility of both import and export tariffs and how they might affect costs, at changes to rules of origin, paying particular attention to duty relief, customs relief and trusted trader schemes.


If the UK leaves the EU’s VAT area, businesses could face additional expense and Dr Kotecha says they should be looking now at their cash flow to cover any additional cost.


Under currency, intellectual property and contracts, Dr Kotecha warns that currency fluctuations are likely to return and may affect contracts and agreements drawn up under EU regulations could lose validity when the UK ceases to be a member of the EU.


To read his second blog, click here.


Much of the information referenced in the blogs is based on the Chamber’s Business Advisory Group’s Brexit Checklist, which has been available on the Chamber’s website since the spring https://bit.ly/2nZoZ9f.


Dr Kotecha said: “Leaving the European Union is one of the most challenging issues facing East Midlands companies for a generation and there is still so much uncertainty on what the terms of the final agreement, if there is one, will be.


“Businesses should take action now, rather than wait for Brexit to happen to them, to keep the impact of the transition as seamless as possible.”


Both blogs can be downloaded free from the Brexit Advisory Group page https://bit.ly/2Of5e8Z on this website.