/ 30 september 2019 / 4apps

Will Britain be ‘Great again’?

With no intention whatsoever to trivialise the gravity of Brexit and its potential implications for the British people, something ‘good’ has already come out of it. Ever more countries are taking a keen interest in British politics, including The Netherlands. After all, compared to the ‘UK style’, where even Marvel heroes can take the stage, the Dutch political arena is quite uneventful. With so much interest in the build-up to Brexit and its effects, however, companies are still in the dark as to what will happen, with uncertainties on and around 31 October as well.

‘You won’t like me when I’m angry’

Amid all the fuzz about Brexit and the umpteenth delay, there is a risk of losing sight of the real problems companies are headed for. Problems that even ‘The Incredible Hulk’ cannot prevent from happening (on a side note, people may not like Boris Johnson ‘when he’s angry’, but we suppose a growing number of people don’t particularly like him when he is not angry either). Anticipating bad scenarios of what might happen, we have already seen dozens of companies opening an office in The Netherlands and/or shifting their business to our country altogether. Although we understand their reaction to a certain degree, and however flattering that may be to us, it may be better if not many will follow their example.

Less productive

After all, whatever the outcome will be, the British have to stay strong and united more than ever before to face the many challenges that lie ahead. Speaking of which, one more was added recently that is actually related to what we do at 4apps. According to research, British employees are 15% less productive than most employees in other G7 countries. Experts say this is at least partly due to inadequate workflow as well as inefficient systems. To compensate for this, British companies need to make substantial investments in (smart) software. The first hurdle to be taken, however, is 31 October itself. Although we take some pride in having the answers to quite a few tax issues, what will happen with delayed goods around this day has us scratching our heads as well.

Delays on ‘B-day’

One of the most pressing questions for companies delivering goods to the UK is what regime will apply to these specific shipments. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that considerable delays are likely to arise around that date. Will goods that were shipped shortly before 31 October while entering the UK on 1 November still be considered intra-community goods? If not, this will have serious consequences, both financially (import duties, VAT) and in terms of documentation involved. Are your administrative systems flexible enough to take immediate corrective measures? Will you adopt a wait and see attitude or do you prefer to take a more proactive approach? We believe stockpiling around ‘B-day’ might not be a bad idea. All we can do on our part is closely monitor new developments and official announcements. As soon as there is any news, you will be the first to know! Without delay that is.

And what about Britain? Will it resort to protectionist behavior like that other ‘great nation’ across the Atlantic or will it be Great again by choosing proper negations?