Responding to the announcement of a trade agreement between the EU and UK when the Brexit transition ends on 31st December, Tamzen Isacsson, Chief Executive of the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) said:
“Having gone the extra mile to find room for a deal in the most difficult of circumstances we should thank negotiators for their extra efforts on both sides, however businesses will now need to spend the next few days unwrapping the detail to work out the real impacts on their businesses. Though a Brexit deal has been agreed, there is still large burden of responsibility on businesses to prepare adequately for the new arrangements come January 1st and in the months afterwards. Surveys in our sector have shown many businesses are still underprepared and COVID-19 has blown a hole in many Brexit plans either due to lack of skilled staffing or because firms have been unable to prepare adequately given financial constraints. Companies have a very short time to adapt and make sure that they are compliant ready with the right data and regulatory compliance, clear on their visa processes for staff and ensuring their supply chains are resilient and stockpiles in place.
“Even where firms have plans in place, these need to be updated and further implementation work completed. It is crucial to keep staff, customers, suppliers and other key stakeholders updated and remember to keep an ongoing assessment of the situation and react as when necessary. This will help ensure that the economic shocks of both COVID-19 and Brexit can be managed as much as possible as we head into the New Year.”