The UK government has recently announced guidelines for a “no-deal” Brexit” setting out “practical and proportionate” advice for businesses in case the UK leaves the EU with no deal.
The government is publishing 25 “technical notices” setting out what it is doing to prepare for no-deal. This first batch covers areas including medical supplies, financial services, nuclear safeguards, farming and organic food production.
Last month, we talked about the uncertainty regarding the impact any Brexit deals will have on the way in which we store and transport goods in and out of the UK to the rest of Europe. Currently the UK benefits from free movement of goods within Europe. With no caps and less processing, paperwork and border controls, we are able to move goods quickly to their desired destination.
However, within the recent guidelines, the government has warned that businesses trading with the EU should start planning for new customs checks, and might have to pay for new software or logistical help. To put it into perspective, according to figures by the Freight Transport Authority, 48.8% of goods exported by the UK in 2017 went to the EU, and 54.6% of the goods imported to the UK came from the EU.
If we do get a no-deal Brexit, frustrations at the border and slowing supply chains may result in fewer imports but larger quantities per import. This will mean businesses will need to store more goods at any given time.
Some businesses are already putting their own contingency plans in place in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Rolls Royce are supposedly looking into holding larger stockpiles of parts whilst Airbus has recently mentioned the possibility of stocking up on parts in case deliveries are delayed because of border controls.
Not everyone is so prepared however. The Confederation of British Industry’s recent survey identified that only 12% of businesses surveyed have begun to put contingency plans in place.
The uphill battle for businesses will be finding the extra storage space given the volume of goods moving between the UK and the EU. Cost-effective and flexible arrangements, such as Westgate’s Flexiwall partitions, must be utilised if businesses are going to overcome the challenges a no-deal Brexit poses.
Permanent but adaptable, Flexiwall is the perfect industrial partition to be used amidst Brexit uncertainty, providing businesses with the ability to segregate space within their existing warehouse, easily and with minimum disruption. Flexiwall can also be reconfigured, relocated or removed without lasting damage should storage needs change again in the future.