Five key Brexit issues for UK companies

As the countdown for the UK leaving the EU ticks away, here are the five key issues UK companies will be keeping their eye on.

Trade: What tariffs will be charged on goods that UK companies sell in the EU? Research from the National Institute for Economic and Social Research suggests leaving the single market could lead to a long-term reduction in total UK trade with Europe of between 22 and 30 per cent.

Regulation: What rules will the UK have to sign up to in order to continue selling services and manufactured goods across the EU? While a bonfire of red tape is supposed to be a benefit of Brexit, ‘non-tariff barriers’ have the potential to cause UK exporters of services real difficulties.

Labour mobility: How easy will it be for UK companies to recruit both skilled and unskilled workers from EU nations? Businesses in industries such as financial services, technology, agriculture, construction and food preparation and delivery rely on thousands of EU workers.

Border customs: How will goods be moved in and out of the country once the UK leaves the Customs Union? Many UK companies have supply chains that see components transported in and out of the country during production; delays at the border could be disastrous.

R&D: How will the UK participate in international science and innovation, on which many companies are heavily dependent? The pharmaceuticals sector, for example, is particularly concerned about drug approval regulation, with the UK set to leave the European Medicines Agency system. 

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