brexit and british retail

The Brexit Retail Crisis

There has been much talk about the likelihood of a Brexit where no trading deal has been secured and the retailers have all warned that the ramifications are dire.

It would be great to be able to report that following extensive investigation, this is not going to be the case. The problem is, it is. Following our exit we will, without any trade deal agreed, pay more for those goods that we import, not that we have to, it is just that we will. We will base our charges on the WTO that goods and services will be subject to. The impact will be immediate and give rise to shortages in products as diverse as fashion to food-stuffs and everything in-between.

It is not as if we have negotiated free trade deals with other countries, membership of the EU forbade that, so we are starting from scratch and despite the International Trade Secretary suggesting they are lining up to talk to us, we all know this is just fluff.

The UK retail industry is currently scared that we have a no-deal Brexit on the cards and with good reason. The implications of a no deal seemed to have been played down in the popular press. It is in nobody’s interest to delay food-stuffs coming to a market where they are welcome, even if they are charged a premium for coming in. Unfortunately, there may well be a reason that would delay their import, the bureaucracy of border crossing.

I hope, as I write this, that sense is seen and some common ground can be reached, but if not then the retailers need to start to gear themselves to run leaner on product and lengthen their supply chains. The consumers may have to gird their loins on the availability and price of goods they have come to take for granted. The old marketing campaign of Buy British may for once have some actual teeth, it’s just that we would rather not have to see them in such circumstances.

If you want support to plan your no deal Brexit contingencies, please get in touch. Sooner rather than later.

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