Welcome to tools, resources and updates from our team to assist with your Brexit preparations.
Brexit Business Impact Checklist
Brexit planning: Practical tips for businesses
Our latest Brexit press summaries
PM announces departure – Theresa May will stand down as Conservative leader on 7 June. Announcing her decision, Mrs May she said she had done “everything I can” to deliver Brexit and convince MPs to support the withdrawal deal she had negotiated with the EU, adding that it was a matter of “deep regret” that she had been unable to do so. She added that her successor would have to secure agreement in Parliament to deliver Brexit, saying: “Such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise.” Commenting on Mrs May’s departure, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The prospect of an even more hard-line Brexiteer now becoming PM and threatening a no-deal exit is deeply concerning,” while Brexit Party Leader Nigel Farage commented that two Conservative leaders whose “instincts were pro-EU” had now gone and the party either “learns that lesson, or it dies”. (Source: BBC News, 25/05/19)
Brexit Party on top in EU elections – The Brexit Party has come out as the clear winner in the UK European election, with the pro-EU Liberal Democrats coming second. The Conservatives saw their share of the vote collapse by 14.9% to just 9.1%. The Brexit Party polled 31.6%, followed by the Liberal Democrats with 20.3%, Labour 14.1% and Green 12.1%. Reflecting on the result, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said: “If we don’t leave the EU on 31 October, tonight’s results will be repeated in a general election.” (Source: BBC News, 27/05/19)
Brexit uncertainty deepens gloom in services sector – Optimism in the business and professional services sector, which includes accountancy, worsened in the three months to May, with a CBI poll showing a net balance of -8% of companies feeling positive about their business situation. Sales volumes in business and professional services firms fell at the sharpest pace since August 2012, according to the survey of 129 businesses, while the CBI warned that volumes are likely to decline further in the next quarter. (Source: The Times, 29/05/19)
Car production suffering under Brexit instability – Factory shutdowns during April saw car production drop by 44.5%, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The self-imposed production shutdown had been scheduled to follow the UK’s expected departure from the EU on 29 March. SMMT boss Mike Hawes said: “Prolonged instability has done untold damage, with the fear of ‘no deal’ holding back progress, causing investment to stall, jobs to be lost and undermining our global reputation.” (Source: The Times, 30/05/19)
…but growth set to outdo Europe – Official figures set to be released reveal that the economy shrugged off Brexit uncertainty in Q1, with economists forecasting growth of 0.5% in the three months to the end of March. This would outdo continental Europe, which saw growth of 0.4% over the same period. The figures place the UK second in the G7 list of the largest developed countries, with only the US, where quarterly growth hit 0.8%, seeing a faster increase. “It’s some rare good news for the UK economy,” said Rob Wood of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, added: “Brexit uncertainty doesn’t seem to have held the economy back much at all.” (Source: The Sunday Times, 05/05/19)
UK exports at record high – UK exports reached a record high of £640bn in the last financial year, up by £18.5bn on the previous year. The ONS figures showed UK firms sold more overseas in the last financial year than at any time since records began. UK exports also grew faster than those of Germany, France and Italy between 2016 and 2018, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation. Britain’s 13.8% rate also outstripped the EU’s overall rate of 11.9%. However the total UK trade deficit has widened to 3.4%. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said: “These new numbers highlight the quality and innovation of British goods and services and how much they are valued across the globe.” (Source: Sunday Express, 12/05/19)
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