Research from techUK shows that less than half of small UK businesses consider themselves to be ready to face a no-deal Brexit on 31 October, whereas 87% of larger businesses think they are prepared.
Small and Medium
The techUK research shows that only 43% of UK small businesses think they are ready for the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, which is not too different to the mere 50% of medium-sized companies that expressed readiness.
Not Up To Date With Government Guidance
The survey revealed that although most enterprises are aware that the government has given guidance on getting ready for a no-deal Brexit, only 30% of small businesses and 33% of medium-sized businesses regard themselves as being up to date with that guidance.
In addition to the impact on the UK economy, some of the popular concerns that many businesses have about a no-deal Brexit include how they stand in terms of regulatory and any extra regulatory barriers that may hinder trade compliance, and difficulty in finding staff after an end to freedom of movement (there is already a tech skills shortage and tech ‘brain drain’). Also, businesses are clearly worried about post-Brexit relationships with suppliers, whether contracts will need to be updated, and whether they will have enough of the right raw materials and parts to keep production running smoothly and meet their customer demands while keeping their costs and prices down.
Data Protection Guidance For Brexit
As far as being prepared to stay compliant with data protection laws, the ICO has recently stated that if a UK business or organisation already complies with the GDPR and has no contacts or customers in the EEA, that business or organisation doesn’t need to do much more to prepare for data protection compliance after Brexit.
The latest guidance for businesses facing a no-deal Brexit can be found on the website here: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-and-brexit/data-protection-and-brexit-for-small-organisations/
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
It doesn’t take a study to find out that there is still a great deal of uncertainty about trading post-Brexit, particularly after the impact of a no-deal Brexit. As the businesses in the study indicated, many are aware that there is guidance available from government sources and that SMEs don’t appear to be up to date with that guidance. It is good, at least, that the ICO has issued clear, easily accessible guidance on its website to help companies prepare to remain GDPR compliant after Brexit. Other Brexit guidance for small businesses can be found on the FSB website here https://www.fsb.org.uk/standing-up-for-you/brexit/resources and on the main UK government website here https://www.gov.uk/find-eu-exit-guidance-business.