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How we’re helping companies get ready for Brexit

Our Global Brexit team is helping businesses prepare for the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU), whenever and however that happens.

“Things are changing constantly in the Brexit and trade space. We help clients to think through what it all means for them,” says Amanda Tickel, Deloitte’s Global Brexit Lead.

“We work to establish the facts and build from there. When there’s so much that’s unknown, you have to focus on what is certain.”

A cross-firm service

Set up shortly after the UK’s EU referendum in 2016, the Brexit team consists of secondees from across the firm, with expertise in Consulting, Audit & Assurance, Financial Advisory, Tax and Risk Advisory. It provides proactive assistance across UK operations and beyond. So far, it has worked on more than 300 projects.

“Very quickly, clients wanted to understand what leaving the EU would mean for them,” Amanda continues. “Brexit encompasses everything – who you employ and how, the impact on complex supply, profound regulatory change, tax issues, data flows. I haven’t come across a single client that has just one risk, so we need to draw on expertise from all areas of the firm.”

Business challenges created by Brexit include changing how groups operate across Europe, whether that’s relocating operations or staff. In life sciences, for example, there could be implications if the UK operates outside of the EU for approving and licensing medicines and medical devices. For manufacturers, there could be questions around how delays at the border could impact supply chains with critical components sourced from specific European locations.

Risks are often not contained within a single function or country. The team is helping clients to prepare their operations for Brexit and, where possible, realise any benefits.

Business without boundaries

Deloitte has more than 1,500 EU nationals working for us in the UK, many with families, and we’re helping them to navigate the uncertainty. Everything that we’re doing for clients, we’re doing for ourselves – the team is heavily involved in our own Brexit planning.

Its remit also covers advising the public sector, gatekeeping all things Brexit, updating our other member firms globally on developing insights and new propositions, and supporting the UK Government.

We’re contributing to the debate on how the UK’s domestic and foreign policy needs to evolve to ensure the UK can compete outside the EU. Nick Owen, our UK Chair, is also Co-Chair of the Professional and Business Services Council, which represents areas including accountancy, legal, tax and consulting. Through this, we’ve been heavily involved in shaping how the professional and business services sector engages with the Government. We also chair the cross-governmental Trade Technical Group, which promotes the interests of the services sector in Brexit trade negotiations.

The next chapter

There’s one other certainty for our Global Brexit team – whatever the future holds, there will be a host of new challenges to tackle.

“It doesn’t end on 31 October,” Amanda explains. “Any form of Brexit will mean a lot of hard work over the next few years. We want to support businesses to help them gain a strategic advantage as the UK’s interactions with the EU and other countries become clearer.”

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