The future of international trade in the UK after Brexit
Santander UK organized a webinar to look at the challenges and uncertainty UK businesses are facing as the Brexit process nears its conclusion. John Carroll, Head of International and Transactional Banking at Santander UK, chaired the session in which two experts as Lord Bridges of Headley, former Brexit Minister and Peter Foster, Public Policy Editor at Financial Times shared their insights.
The webinar explored the nature and likelihood of any Brexit deal, its impact on different sectors and government preparedness to support SMEs.
During the event, Lord Bridges pointed out that impact of the coronavirus pandemic might reduce the chances of no-deal, given its potential to exacerbate the economic difficulties facing the UK.
On his part, Peter Foster said that that whatever kind of agreement ends up being struck between the UK and EU, it’s inevitable that large numbers of businesses, especially SMEs are going to be negatively affected, at least to some degree, by restrictions on trade with Europe.
According to John Carroll, “what becomes clear is that change is definitely coming and businesses will need end-to-end and sectoral support across all of Europe”.
Therefore, beyond the immediate impact of coronavirus, UK firms will soon have to contend with a number of changes that emerge when the current Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020. For instance, from the start of 2021 UK-based exporters and importers, as well as the thousands of businesses in their supply chains, could face new bureaucracy and possible delays in supply chains.