No deal would hit small firms

Uxbridge Gazette - - Your Say -

WITH each re­lease of the Gov­ern­ment’s tech­ni­cal notes, we get a clearer pic­ture of how dan­ger­ous and dam­ag­ing a sud­den no-deal Brexit will be for our small busi­nesses.

What th­ese tech­ni­cal notes high­light is the risk that in par­tic­u­lar ex­port­ing and im­port­ing small firms will be hit with ad­di­tional cost bur­dens and com­pli­cated lev­els of com­pli­ance that they sim­ply can’t han­dle.

Small busi­nesses have been work­ing hard to be com­pli­ant with new per­sonal data pro­tec­tion changes such as GDPR. For many, this has come at great cost both in time and money.

If we leave the EU on March 29 next year with­out a deal, busi­nesses us­ing data for cus­tomer lists, or for sell­ing prod­ucts on­line, may be re­quired to spend more time and money go­ing through con­tracts and pa­per­work to fig­ure out how they can legally con­tinue to do so.

This is time and money they can ill af­ford.

The In­for­ma­tion Com­mis­sion­ers Of­fice (ICO) po­ten­tially has a crit­i­cal role to play in pro­vid­ing sup­port for smaller firms to en­sure they re­main com­pli­ant in the case of a no-deal sce­nario.

Prod­uct test­ing is no dif­fer­ent and hav­ing a sit­u­a­tion where po­ten­tially small firms look­ing to sell cer­tain prod­ucts to the EU, which have been tested by a UK based body, now hav­ing to en­sure their goods are retested by an EU recog­nised body, can only act as a bar­rier to easy trade.

It will cost more, take longer and lead to ex­tra reg­u­la­tory hoops small busi­nesses may be forced to jump through.

Our re­search shows that more than half of small firms con­sider non-tar­iff bar­ri­ers just as im­por­tant as tar­iff bar­ri­ers in de­cid­ing where they im­port or ex­port. The big­gest con­cern be­ing an in­creased ad­min­is­tra­tive bur­den that they would bring.

Our small­est firms sim­ply do not have the ca­pac­ity or re­sources to deal with added costs and ad­min­is­tra­tive bur­den that an un­planned no-deal Brexit will bring.

We are fast run­ning out of time to se­cure a busi­ness friendly Brexit that avoids this sce­nario and cen­tres on a tran­si­tion pe­riod.

Brian Woods Fed­er­a­tion of Small

Busi­nesses

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