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THOUGHTS OF BREXIT...

Jane Shepherd

Posted on October 26 2018

THOUGHTS OF BREXIT...

As the March deadline approaches, a no-deal outcome looks possible. Some people are less worried about this than others. In our case, a no-deal outcome would present us with significant challenges.

We export between a third and half of our goods to other EU countries. We send our goods duty free with minimal paperwork and absolutely no delays or checks at the border. We send several hundred orders to stockists across the EU every year. These exports are critical for us and good for the UK economy.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, we are told that WTO (World Trade Organisation) rules would come into play. So what might this mean for us?

+ DUTIES ON OUR EXPORTS

+ POSSIBLE BORDER CHECKS

+ ADDITIONAL PAPERWORK

+ AN END TO COMMON STANDARDS

Losing our EU exports is not an option that we’re willing to consider. So our greatest priority will be to provide a seamless transition for our EU customers. We love our UK base - we are proud to be part of the growing ethical fashion sector in this country, but establishing a second base outside the UK is something that we now need to pursue. This would not necessarily mean reducing our presence in the UK, but it might mean diverting valuable investment abroad. Of course in our case the numbers are tiny, but scaled up across thousands of UK business, the impact would be significant.

We are told to go in search of new markets. Our EU customers are a stone's throw away compared to thousands of miles to reach new large markets, making the cost of reaching them far more expensive. It would take months to work through new rules and regulations, which are both complicated and varied. We believe that the EU will continue to be a hugely important market for us.

Brexit has been painful for the country, driving a wedge between opposing sides. For our own part we’re sad that this has happened and we dearly want to continue to work with our friends right across the EU. It makes economic sense for us and we love the warm relationships that we have developed.

Of course, if the politicians manage to negotiate a sensible free-trade arrangement with the EU then we would (somewhat sadly) support it. The parliamentary vote will be critical. But we are in no doubt that the worst possible outcome for us (and, we think, the country) would be parliament failing to agree, leaving us with a no-deal outcome.

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