Brexit – stay calm and have a cup of tea

A referendum was held on Thursday 23 June, to decide whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union. Leave won by 52% to 48%.

Do not panic - the full legal transition of the UK out of the EU will take time and it will slowly evolve over the next couple of years.

The starting point is - does it makes sense to stay in the UK or base alternative or additional operations elsewhere in the EU itself.

Is the existing UK presence for the purposes of UK trade, EU trade or to be the anchor point for wider EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) or Northern Hemisphere business. 

If predominantly non-EU, then there is likely little material change (as the content of any new arrangements the UK enters into will be based around free trade concessions).

If the UK was serving as a EU base, then you might need to start preliminary reviews as to alternative headquarter location. A myriad of issue will arise in this planning process including;

  1. Social security costs are higher in Europe as compared to the UK

  2. Visa and immigration rules

  3. Redeployment or retrenchment of staff

  4. Hiring and employment law in the new location

  5. Are the required skill sets available in the new location

  6. Accommodation and education options in the new location

Clearly you will need to start to engage with senior management in the coming months to develop contingency plans as the Brexit path becomes clearer.

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