A practical guide to help you prepare for Brexit

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If your business operates or trades in the UK and EU there are six key areas to consider when developing your Brexit action plan. Use our interactive tool to help identify what you could do today to help prepare for 29 March 2019.

Take a look through our Brexit lens and see how to prepare your business

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Commercial contracts
Your Business


If your business trades across borders into or out of the UK, you will need to consider what the impact would be of any tariffs or non-tariff barriers. Non-tariff barriers could include customs checks, quotas or licensing requirements, for either goods or services.

Priority tasks when preparing for Brexit

Identify and plan for potential changes within your international supply chain
Assess the risks and opportunities that may be presented by new trade agreements with countries outside the EU
Consider how any border controls, tariffs or non-tariff barriers would impact your business


Large swathes of regulation are currently harmonised at an EU level. Depending on the future trading agreement between the UK and the EU, the UK could either maintain the same or similar regimes, or could begin to diverge from the EU in some areas.

Priority tasks when preparing for Brexit

Review which EU-derived regulation(s) are currently relevant/critical to your business
Undertake a risk assessment to look at how regulatory changes could affect your business, and developed a plan to mitigate the impact of those changes
Consider whether the exit of the UK from the EU regulatory regime could open up new markets/opportunities, or bring new competition/threats to your business


When the UK leaves the EU Single Market, free movement of people between the UK and the EU is expected to end. This will affect EU and UK citizens' automatic right to reside and/or work in another territory. Employers will have to consider if existing and future employees have continued eligibility to work and/or reside in their respective territories.

Priority tasks when preparing for Brexit

Prepare an overview of the general immigration status and nationality of your workforce
Consider your corporate position on supporting employees who may be affected by changes to the free movement of people between the UK and EU
Consider how your post-Brexit recruitment and retention policies and processes may need to be amended

The UK will be implementing GDPR in May 2018 and the data protection regime in the UK and the EU are likely to remain closely aligned for the immediate future. The UK and EU are, however, yet to agree on the position of cross-border data transfers post-Brexit.

Priority tasks when preparing for Brexit

Undertake a risk assessment to review the operational impact on your business of any changes to the current EU/UK data transfer regime
Prepare for the impact of GDPR on your business (including who is the lead supervisory authority for multi-jurisdiction businesses)
Prepare for the impact of EPrivacy Regulations (think E-Marketing, Over the Top Providers, use of cookies)

Commercial contracts

There are a number of ways in which Brexit could affect contract terms, from references to EU laws or territorial application, to commercial effects that may need to be provided for by existing or future contracts.

Priority tasks when preparing for Brexit

Undertake a legal audit of all your key contracts to look for clauses/terms which may be affected by Brexit
Renegotiate or redraft any of your contracts that may become un-economic or difficult to perform following Brexit
Draft separate customer terms and conditions to cover the UK and EU

There are a number of EU-wide intellectual property rights, such as the EU Trade Marks, Registered Community Designs and Unregistered Community Designs. Registered rights are likely to be 'novated' into UK national rights but the process and costs are unclear. Licences and co-existence agreements referring to 'the EU' will need to be reviewed to see if they continue to cover the UK.

Priority tasks when preparing for Brexit

Apply for UK-specific rights for important brands and designs
Conduct a business-wide review of your existing IP licenses and co-existence agreements
Develop post-Brexit strategies for enforcing your IP rights in the UK and EU

How did you get on?


Why not contact us and see how our experts can help?

What's more you can also download a pdf copy of our Brexit lens priority planning tool to complete and keep.

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