What should entrepreneurs do to prepare for Brexit?

What should entrepreneurs do to prepare for Brexit?
 
What should entrepreneurs do to prepare for Brexit?

The cloud of uncertainty revolving around Brexit is unmistakable. Once the negotiations between the EU and UK end in 2019, everything will be different. No sector is immune from its aftereffect, not even entrepreneurs - regardless of their size.
 
Many business owners see the EU membership as an “access to opportunity.” By being a citizen of a member country, travelling from one country to another is quite easy (provided it is within the union’s boundaries). In this context, ‘travel’ is synonymous with other privileges such as ‘study,’ ‘work,’ and ‘invest.’ 
 
Abandoning membership with the EU is deserting this access.  In theory, citizens of other member states will no longer enjoy an automatic right to travel to and work in the UK, and vice versa. Britain, by this time, would be an independent country with independent foreign policy. 
 
In reality, preparing for the divorce remains a blurry idea. The economic, social, and even political consequences of such a significant shift to independence are too vast to predict as of the moment. 
 
At the same time, it sounds imprudent not to prepare. What business owners need to do first is watch the negotiations closely as they progress, and from here they can start pinpointing what aspects of their operations need a bit of a tweaking, realigning, even scrapping.
 
For instance, business owners must undertake due diligence regarding signing new contracts and creating new partnerships with companies from the EU. The reality of Brexit should be considered when agreeing to the terms and other provisions of the agreement.
 
Employers must also begin to assess whether hiring a foreign citizen from non-EU-member countries is better than plucking from those whose country of origin is from the union. It would be sane to encourage them to start looking at the pros and cons of extending the contracts of their EU citizen workers. Of course, while talent should be their top priority, there’s no harm in considering the future costs that their citizenship could incur should the Brexit introduce drastic changes to immigration.
 

 
As of December of 2016, over 2.3 million workers from various sectors (banking, public sector, and construction) have already quit their jobs and moved to other countries since the referendum result. 
 
“Indeed's Industry Trends index, based on online job postings across 13 broad employment sectors in the UK, showed that recruitment activity slowed dramatically within days of the referendum being called,” Mariano Mamertino, an economist at the Indeed job site, told the Telegraph.  “HR roles, [for instance], are down by 18 percent in the last month alone and it's clear the uncertainty is having an impact on employers' appetite to hire in the UK at present.”
 
Brexit is not just about the EU citizens in the country. It’s also about the Brits in the EU. Therefore, immigration-wise, local businesses must ask themselves if they are now willing to hire their fellow Brits who might go home after the exclusive trade partnerships with the rest of Europe ends. It’s the government’s obligation, conversely, to determine whether the can keep the labour market going in the absence of highly skilled talent from Europe.
 
Tax rates might change as well, which means that target audience and consumers must be part of the computation game. There’s a significant possibility of higher trade taxes to be imposed on products delivered and received from EU countries since trade and commerce sit at the core of Brexit next to immigration.
 
As mentioned, every entrepreneurs’ primary responsibility over the next two years is to keep an eye on whatever that could transpire on the negotiation table. It could be drastic or not, (hopefully less harsh than what everyone is expecting) but what’s important is that they move along these possible changes with grace. 
 
The sudden breakup with the European giants is certainly not an easy thing to deal with, but such could be faced with less difficulty if business owners can smoothly realign their operations as new policies become realities down the road. Easier said than done, yes, but it is better than doing nothing at all.  


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Other references:
http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=e7515bce-1422-49fb-9aec-e3ee313fe0bc&l=7UDFF8A
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/mar/25/brexit-eu-nationals-exodus-jobs-recruitment
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/sme-home/brexit-recruitment-warning/
https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2016/mar/29/would-brexit-make-harder-hire-eu-workers-referendum
http://www.harpersbazaar.co.uk/culture/culture-news/news/a37459/how-brexit-could-affect-entrepreneurs/
 

 

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