While businesses have invested significantly in preparing for Brexit, only six per cent of conference attendees felt they were fully prepared for Brexit. Most felt more information was needed from the Government ahead of 1 January, 2021 – particularly on the terms of a trading arrangement with the EU.
The conference launched with an overview of what to expect at the end of the transition period from Blake Morgan’s Chairman, Bruce Potter and James Sloan, Senior Policy Advisor at the CBI. During this session, attendees were asked which issue was of greatest concern for their business at the end of the transition period. Forty-four per cent of attendees identified data protection as the area they were most concerned about, while customs and tariffs, and workforce were the biggest worries for 26 and 28 per cent of attendees respectively.
Other conference sessions focused on the key issues raised by businesses in their Brexit preparation. The first day of the conference featured a session on data protection and how to avoid the potential risk, liability, and reputational impact of non-compliance as the UK diverges from the GDPR. There was also a session with Blake Morgan’s immigration experts, offering advice on how businesses can prepare for the introduction of a points-based immigration system and the impact it might have on future workforces.
Construction was a key focus of the second day of the conference with an overview of what the sector should be expecting, led by Blake Morgan’s Head of Construction Richard Wade and featuring Ruth Bagley, Director of Ardynt Consulting and Chair of the Heathrow Rail Link. The firm’s employment specialists also ran a webinar to prepare employers and their HR teams for Brexit.
The final day of the conference began with an inspection of how Brexit would impact corporation tax as the UK prepares to diverge from a series of EU directives. The conference ended with a discussion on how to manage risks within supply chains, offering businesses insight into the protections available to them as they seek to ‘navigate the inevitable choppy waters ahead’.
Bruce Potter, Blake Morgan’s Chairman, said: “The end of the Brexit transition period is set to trigger a monumental shift in how we do business and who we do business with. This three day programme has highlighted that though many businesses have taken positive steps to prepare for the end of the transition, with less than a month to go now there is still much more work that needs to be done and many businesses still require support.”
We hope you were able to join us for our Brexit Virtual Conference that was held on 24-26 November 2020, but if you couldn’t make it, you can find the webinar recordings, insights and our Brexit Bitesize Guide here and our press release can be found here.