Preparing businesses for EU Exit

Leaving the EU means businesses may need to prepare for change.

Leaving the EU with a deal remains the government’s top priority. However, a responsible government must plan for every eventuality, including a no deal scenario. Without a deal, businesses may need to take action prior to exit and we recommend that businesses ensure they are prepared.

The government has created an online tool for businesses to find the latest information on EU Exit, how they will be affected, and the actions they can take to prepare. Businesses can access the tool here and sign up to receive customised alerts. New information will be published over the coming weeks so businesses should continue to check in on a regular basis.


Several government departments have recently published information on the steps that businesses may need to take to prepare for our exit from the EU, please see updates below.

  • The Border Delivery Group and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have published a series of short videos and leaflets to help businesses prepare for changes at the UK/EU border in a ‘no deal’ scenario. The videos set out the actions that businesses will need to take to continue to trade in a ‘no deal’ EU Exit, and direct them towards further information available online. Along with a general video and leaflet for all businesses, there are tailored products for specific industries. There are also two deep dive videos available that provide more detail on importing and exporting in a ‘no deal’ scenario. The videos are all available here, and a toolkit will soon be available online with the full range of materials and advice on how to use them to engage with businesses.

    This checklist has been prepared in response BCC survey findings, which suggest that a significant number of firms are either watching and waiting – or taking no action at all. It is useful as a basis for business planning at both operational and Board level.  It highlights the key areas in which you should consider possible changes, and provides resources that can help you plan.

    The keys areas covered are:

    • Workforce & future skills needs
    • Future staffing requirements
    • UK/EU customs checks
    • Potential delays at UK/EU border
    • Tariffs on UK-EU trade
    • Rules of Origin in UK-EU trade
    • EU trade agreements with third countries
    • Customs facilitations, reliefs etc.
    • Customs/export training
    • Incoterms
    • Import VAT
    • VAT registration in the EU
    • Currency risk
    • Intellectual Property
    • Contracts review
    • EU regulatory regime and data protection
    • Competition policy and state aid

    Business Brexit Checklist – CLICK HERE


    With the day on which the UK exits the EU fast approaching, the FSB feel they have a responsibility to help their smaller businesses.  This guide covers; End State Brexit Scenarios; Principles of Good Contingency Planning / Business Continuity Planning and Regulation and the European Union (Withdrawal Act 2018)

    Key objectives of the Pack are to help member businesses to:

    a) Understand the Withdrawal Agreement including EU Commission and UK Government ‘backstop’ propositions to avoid a hard border on the Island of Ireland;

    b) Understand the range of ‘end state’ scenarios that are possible including;

    • No deal (with no transition period)
    • Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
    • Association Agreement (Chequers)
    • European Economic Area (EEA)
    • European Free Trade Association (EFTA) / Switzerland

    c) Prepare for the scenario that would cause the most disruption to the business continuity of small businesses in the short to medium term.

    Small Business Brexit Pack: Introduction – CLICK HERE

Data Protection

1. Data Protection if there is no Brexit deal

This notice sets out the actions UK organisations should take to enable the continued flow of personal data between the UK and the EU in the event that the UK leaves the EU with no agreement in place.

2. Amendments to UK data protection law in the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal

This notice provides more detail about how our data protection law will work in the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK businesses will need to ensure they continue to be compliant with data protection law. For UK businesses that operate only within the UK there will be no immediate change. For UK businesses that operate internationally or exchange personal data with partners in other countries, there may be changes that need to be made ahead of the UK leaving the EU to ensure minimal risk of disruption.

3. Leaving the EU without a deal – 6 steps to take (data protection)

This guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) sets out in six steps what your business should be doing to be prepared for EU exit. Further information and resources on EU exit can be found on the ICO website.

4.   ICO Guidance on International Data Transfers

You should read this section if:

  • you are a UK-based business or organisation and the GDPR currently applies to your processing of personal data; AND
  • you send personal data outside the UK; or
  • you receive personal data from the EEA; or
  • you receive personal data from countries or territories which are covered by an adequacy decision.

This section does not apply to you if:

  • you never transfer personal data outside the UK and never receive personal data from outside the UK; OR
  • you only transfer personal data outside the UK to consumers or only receive personal data from outside the UK directly from consumers.

ICO Guidance on International Data Transfers

Need to know more on how Brexit may impact your business?

Call the National business support helpline Freephone on 0300 456 3565

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