Brexit: what Article 50 means for small businesses
In the first in our series of articles on what Brexit means for small businesses, Steadcross Director Ian Roberts provides an overview of the process so far and how our articles will aim to support small businesses through the new opportunities ahead.
On March 29th Theresa May formally triggered “Article 50”, which began the process of the UK leaving the European Union. The process is scheduled to conclude on March 29th 2019, when the UK will cease to be a member of the EU. Between now and then things will change, but many more things will remain.
Here at Steadcross we thought it might be useful to produce a series of short articles over the coming months, which focus on the key aspects of Brexit and how they might impact small businesses.
In this first article I will set the scene and briefly touch on some of the issues that we will address in more detail later.
Future articles will include:
- What will the so called Great Repeal Bill set out to do?
- What are the new opportunities for small business and how do we take advantage of them?
- Where next for Red Tape?
- What is likely to happen to employment rights post Brexit?
- How will small and micro businesses trade with the EU and the rest of the world?
- Support for SMEs who want to trade with EU countries
For the remainder of this article I will focus on the letter triggering Article 50 and what it tells us about how Brexit may pan out.
There is much in the letter which shows an intention from the UK to continue to have a good and special relationship with the EU as its closest friend and neighbour. There is also a clear statement of intent to work together to minimise disruption to the UK, the remaining EU member states and other countries around the world.
“We want to make sure that Europe remains strong and prosperous and is capable of projecting its values, leading in the world, and defending itself from security threats. We want the United Kingdom, through a new deep and special partnership with a strong European Union, to play its full part in achieving these goals,” Prime Minister Theresa May
In response the President of the European Council Donald Tusk has stated that a transition period would be necessary for business, strengthening the view that Brexit will be as smooth as possible without the feared ‘cliff-edge’. He has also pointed out that we will negotiate with the 27 member states as a bloc and not individually.
On a slightly less positive note he has said that the talks will be complex, difficult and confrontational as well as pointing out that we must agree the terms of the split before we can start to work on deal for the future relationship between us.
My final point is on the supposed threat from our PM that if we don’t reach agreement on trade then we won’t cooperate in the fight against crime and terrorism. I think that those who suggest this is a threat are out to make mischief. I am confident this is not what is meant, as she goes on to say that it is an outcome we must work hard to avoid.
Economics is all about confidence, the last 9 months have shown that the UK public have confidence in this country’s future. As long as this confidence continues this country and our businesses will continue to thrive.
We hope you will enjoy our series of updates on this subject over the coming months.
Visit our opinion page for more Steadcross blogs and future articles on Brexit.
Ian Roberts LLB (Hons)
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