Press releases

Brexit draft withdrawal agreement: A temporary relief?

14 November 2018

David Noon, global Brexit leader at Deloitte, said: “This is a watershed moment for the Government, but any relief felt will be short lived. There is still much to do and the complex political situation both in the UK and Europe needs to be navigated before a final deal on the Withdrawal Treaty is agreed by all sides. Outstanding policy issues such as security and defining the future trading relationship, particularly around services, will now be at the forefront, as the next priorities get ironed out.

“Businesses who have taken a ‘wait and see’ approach to Brexit need to get the ball rolling on their plans and be prepared for all scenarios. The impact on supply chains and access to talent are high on the agenda. However, companies shouldn’t overlook the direct and indirect effect on data flows, funding requirements and maintaining contract coverage. Ultimately, businesses need to be ready to adapt to whatever outcome – those that can do so quickly will be the winners in the long-term. Uncertainty will continue for some time so our recommendation is that businesses maintain their focus upon planning for a wide range of outcomes.”

Deloitte’s advice for Brexit planning

  1. Understand your Brexit exposure
    Organisations need to assess their exposure to Brexit related risks under different scenarios and be ready to act once a future deal is agreed.
  2. End to end supply chain review
    Look at your supply chain from top to bottom so you know exactly where parts originate, their routes to market and how tariffs could be affected.
  3. Be clear on immigration
    The key question is to understand whether your staff are predominately EU, UK or international, and how your business would run if you no longer had access to EU employees. Knowing your employees’ immigration status, whilst discussing workforce implications with third party contracts will be critical here.
  4. Adapt technology and systems
    Some customer interfaces and reporting systems may need to be configured and adapted, while other new technology projects may need to be placed on pause.
  5. Hit start on business strategy reviews
    Pressing ‘go’ on business strategy reviews will ensure that decisions with long lead times – such as new operating models and locations, new markets or new product types – take into account the implications of a hard Brexit.
  6. Get up to speed with regulation
    Considering whether regulatory divergence will impact continuity of trade or delivery of services will be important, as it could inform whether some relocation of staff and operations may be necessary.
  7. Talk to your employees and listen to their thoughts on Brexit
    Conduct employee Brexit surveys to understand sentiment towards Brexit and the impact it could have on matters like staff turnover.
  8. Keep data moving
    Companies will need to adapt to new EU data regulations in anticipation of an agreement between the UK and EU to maintain cross-border flow of personal data.


Note to editors

About Deloitte
In this press release references to “Deloitte” are references to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”) a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity.

Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte LLP is a subsidiary of Deloitte NWE LLP, which is a member firm of DTTL, and is among the UK's leading professional services firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

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