Frequently Asked Questions about Brexit for Business

Find answers to the most pressing questions you have about the UK’s exit from the EU and how it could impact your business.

These FAQs were last updated in September 2020 following the UK’s planned exit from the EU on 31 January.

This is an uncertain time for businesses, so we’ve compiled common queries raised by our business customers into a series of FAQs and tried to detail clear answers and links to more information where relevant.

The questions cover general enquiries, business strategy, operations and business practices, supply chain management, financing and investments. If you have a question not covered here, please speak to your Relationship Manager or Business Relationship Team.

We have signed the Governments’ SME Finance Charter to demonstrate our ongoing support to SMEs through Brexit and beyond. Read the charter to find out more.

Not a business? If you’re a personal customer take a look at our personal Brexit FAQs for the most frequently asked questions on our products and services relating to Brexit.

1 General FAQs

1. What is the transition period and what does it mean for my business?

The UK ceased to be a member of the EU on 31 January 2020 and entered a transition period which will last until 31 December 2020. During this time, current rules on trade, travel and business for the UK and EU still apply, so little has changed day-to-day.

However, it’s important that you start preparing for any rule changes implemented from 11pm 31 December 2020.

The UK Government has launched a tool to help businesses identify what they need to do to prepare for new rules in 2021.

The British Chambers of Commerce has put together a Post-Transition Brexit checklist highlighting key areas to consider, including how possible changes will affect your workforce, insurance needs and intellectual property.

Scottish businesses can also get help from Scottish Enterprise’s PrepareforBrexit.scot website.

See PrepareforBrexit.scotCheck how you can get ready for new rules in 2021 on GOV.UK

See the British Chambers of Commerce post-transition checklist

See PrepareforBrexit.scotopens in new window

See PrepareforBrexit.scot

 

2. Is a ‘no-deal’ Brexit still possible?

No deal Brexit’ referred (until January 2020) to an EU Exit without a Withdrawal Agreement and thus without transition period. A ’no deal Brexit’ in this sense did not happen as the UK left the EU with an agreed Withdrawal Agreement and entered into a transition period which will last until 31 December 2020. During this time negotiations with the EU around trade and other issues will be ongoing. 

’No deal’ may now also refer to the potential for the UK to reach the end of the transition period with no trade deal with the EU in place and businesses are advised to keep up to date with developments during the negotiation process.

The British Chambers of Commerce has launched a Post-Transition Brexit checklist to help businesses consider the changes they may face following the end of the transition period, including in the event of there being no agreement on the future trading relationship. 

For updates on the negotiation process between the UK and the EU, see the European Commission website

opens in new window

 

3. Will the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic delay Brexit?

Negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and EU are ongoing, albeit delayed, despite the coronavirus pandemic.  Both parties have said they are committed to achieving a deal by the end of the year, when the current transition arrangements come to an end.

 

4. I don’t trade with Europe, so Brexit won’t affect me, will it?

Even if you don’t trade with the EU, or countries in the European Economic Area (EEA), you may experience the knock-on effects of any new rules for living, working, travelling and doing business in the UK and EU that affect your suppliers and customers. Your employees are also likely to be affected if they are from the EU. 

There is also the possibility that checks will be needed on goods crossing the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, which businesses will need to prepare for.

To prepare for any changes introduced at the end of the transition period, you may want to review your supply chain and your customer base, identify any risks and take steps, wherever possible, to mitigate them. You might want to make more use of domestic suppliers, for example.

Whatever your current trade arrangements, review your business strategy in light of Brexit and consider any opportunities there may be in terms of international trade beyond Europe. 

You may also want to reassure your EU workers that they are welcome and that they will be able to apply for ‘settled status’ under the EU Settlement Scheme.

To find out more about opportunities for international trade, visit Bank of Scotland’s International Trade Portal.

Also see the Scottish Government’s guide: Get exporting help and support

To keep up to date on any new regulations coming in 2021, visit the transition period section of GOV.UK

 

5. What is the new UK Global Tariff and what will it mean for my business?

In May 2020, the UK Government announced a new UK Global Tariff (UKGT) which will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff from 1 January 2021 at the end of the transition period.

It is described as a ‘simpler, easier to use and lower tariff regime’ and is aimed at scrapping red tape and reducing cost pressures, to help UK businesses compete in terms of global trade. It will be in pounds rather than euros.

Key features of the UKGT include:

  • Removing the Meursing  table, which is currently used to determine which tariff code, and therefore how much duty, is applicable to goods when importing them. This will allow the UK to scrap tariff variations on various products including biscuits, pizzas and confectionary.
  • Eliminating tariffs on a wide range of products, including products such as copper alloy tubes and screws and bolts which are used in UK production, cutting costs to businesses and consumers.
  • Maintaining tariffs on a number of products backing key UK industries, including agriculture, automotive and fishing, in a bid to support UK businesses.

See more about the UKGT

 

6. How will business travel to Europe be affected by Brexit?

Under Article 45 of the Lisbon Treaty, UK citizens can currently travel and work freely in the EU.

During the transition period, which lasts until 31 December 2020, EU regulations around travel will continue to apply.

This means UK travellers won’t need visas to travel to the EU and registered European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) will still be valid throughout 2020. 

Travellers also won’t need to have at least six months left on their passports to travel in the EU.

Rules around travel will change from 1 January 2021 and you’ll need at least six months left on your passport to travel to most European countries.

New style passports will start being issued from March 2020, although the process will be phased. If you have an existing passport that has ‘European Union’ printed on the cover, you’ll be able to continue using it until it expires.

See information on passport rules post-Brexit

 

7. If we go to WTO rules what does this mean for my imports and exports?

If the UK and EU are unable to reach an agreement on trade at the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules will apply to trade between the UK and EU. These rules are complex, but at their simplest they set out that nations must apply the same tariffs on goods and services to all countries that they trade with under WTO rules. 

For importers and exporters, this could mean costs will go up as imports and exports to the EU will no longer be tariff-free. 

However, the UK could choose to lower tariffs (potentially to zero), which could present opportunities for businesses. The UK could also enter into agreements that give developing countries preferential access to our markets. Again, this could open up opportunities. 

Another issue to consider is non-tariff barriers – these are things like safety regulations and product standards. If the UK and the EU can’t agree a system for recognising product standards, this is likely to mean more checks at the border.

Scottish Enterprise has export advisers who can help your business grow in EU markets and beyond. They can also help you with your Brexit planning exporting questions.

 

8. What effect will Brexit have on cards and payments?

Brexit will have no effect on cards and other payments between the UK and the EU during the transition period lasting until 31 December 2020. The European Payments Council (EPC) has confirmed that the UK will automatically remain part of the geographic scope of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) during this time.

It is not yet known what agreements on financial services will be reached during the transition negotiations. The EPC has proposed several possible scenarios, including allowing UK payments service providers to continue their participation in the SEPA schemes if the UK remains part of the European Economic Area or establishes a free trade agreement with the EU that meets certain criteria.

You can get help to manage your payments efficiently with  Bank of Scotland Payment Services.

 

9. How will regulation change in a post-Brexit Britain?

Current rules on trade, travel and business for the UK and EU will remain in place until the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. 

The longer-term future of UK laws and regulation is not clear, however. The Withdrawal Act makes provision to amend, repeal or remove laws as necessary. And it is possible that some rules will change under a renegotiated future relationship. 

Passporting, the EU system for banks and financial services companies, will end for non EU-based banks. Passporting enables those firms authorised in any EU or EEA state to provide such licenced services in any other state with minimal additional authorisation. These passports are the foundation of the EU single market for financial services. Passports will no longer apply to UK-authorised firms from the end of the transition period.

 

10. Will I still have access to the same banking products and services at the end of the transition period?

The majority of Bank of Scotland commercial customers will see no changes to their current products and services when the transition period ends on 31 December 2020.

For a small number of clients, certain products may need to be withdrawn and replaced with alternatives or you may need to find alternative providers, for example, if your business is registered or domiciled overseas. If you are affected by any changes related to Brexit, we will have already contacted you where appropriate.

If you have any concerns, you can speak to your Relationship Manager or Business Relationship team.

 

11. Will the same GDPR regulations still apply at the end of the transition period?

The General Data Protection Regulation, which came into force in May 2018, is an EU regulation so technically will no longer apply to the UK at the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. However, the Government has announced plans to incorporate GDPR into UK data protection law, so in reality there’ll be little change.

The EU version of GDPR will still cover companies that operate in the EU or have European citizens as customers. 

You can find more information on the flow of data in the event of a no-deal Brexit from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

2 Business Practices and sectors

1. Which sectors are most likely to be affected by Brexit? And will the impact on the service sector be different from that on manufacturers?

Businesses that trade heavily in goods or services with the EU, that are heavily regulated, or that employ substantial numbers of staff from the EU are likely to feel the most significant impact of any regulatory changes introduced after the transition period. 

These are thought to include agriculture, financial services, food and drink, automotive and chemical engineering - however any impact will depend on an organisation’s own circumstances.

Scottish Enterprise’s PrepareforBrexit.scot website has a free self-assessment tool to help you understand potential impacts on your business.

See PrepareforBrexit.scot’s step-by-step guide and help site

Understand tariffs and how they work

 

2. What is the Government doing to help businesses prepare for the end of the transition period?

The UK Government has launched guidance related to the transition period on GOV.UK, including an interactive tool designed to help businesses prepare for any regulatory changes from 1 January 2021. 

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, the Department for International Trade has a dedicated form for transition period enquiries.

See the UK Government guidance on the transition period

Submit a question to the Department for International Trade

See the Scottish Government’s Brexit help site

 

3. What is a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification number and will I have to register for one?

An Economic Operator Registration and Identification, or EORI, number is a unique ID code required by businesses that trade goods with countries outside the EU.

In the UK, an EORI number is allocated to an importer and exporter by HMRC. It provides information to customs authorities as part of EU security measures on shipments.

From 1 January 2021 you’ll need an EORI number starting with GB to trade outside of the UK, including with EU countries, apart from Northern Ireland and Ireland. If you already have an EORI number you’ll be able to continue using it.

You won’t need an EORI number if you only provide services.

You can apply for an EORI number online at GOV.UK

 

4. I import and/or export goods from/to the EU – what new rules will I have to follow?

While the UK and the EU haven’t yet agreed a trade deal, the UK government has issued guidance on new rules businesses in Britain importing or exporting goods from and to the EU will have to follow from January 2021.

Guidance for Northern Ireland is expected to be issued in the coming weeks.

Businesses trading with the EU will need to make custom declarations like when trading with the rest of the world. You’ll also need an EORI number starting with GB.

Find out how to make customs declarations

Get an EORI number

From January 2021, businesses will also need to pay custom duties and VAT on all imported goods.

Check customs duty rates from January 2021

Check VAT rates on imported goods

Importing and exporting certain goods may also require a special licence or certificate, or you may need to pay an inspection fees before goods are allowed in the UK.

See more about import licences, certificates and inspection fees

See more about export licences and certificates

From January 2021, you will be able to charge customers 0% VAT on goods you export to the EU

See if you can charge 0% VAT

 

5. How will employment rules change for UK-based EU citizens after the transition period?

Around 3.6 million non-UK EU nationals live in the UK. Those already working in the UK can apply for ‘settled status’ to remain indefinitely if they’ve been here for five years. 

Those who have been in the UK for less than five years can apply for pre-settled status, and qualify for full settled status once they’ve lived in the UK for five years.

The deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021. 

Free movement arrangements will remain in place until the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 and EU citizens will be able to continue to move to and work in the UK during this time.

From 1 January 2021, a new points-based immigration system will apply. To apply for a skilled worker visa, applicants will have to prove they have a job offer for a position at a required skill level, from an approved employer sponsor. They’ll also need to be able to speak English and earn a minimum salary.

There won’t be an immigration route for lower skilled workers, although the seasonal agricultural visa pilot scheme will be extended.

You’ll need to check employees’ right to work in the same way you do now until 30 June 2021. This can involve checking their passport or national identity card, using the online right to work checking service or checking an approved immigration status document.

To avoid the risk of discrimination, you can’t ask job applicants to show their EU settlement scheme status until after this date.

Learn more about the new points-based immigration scheme

Apply to be an approved employer sponsor

For more information see: EU citizens living in Scotland after Brexit and the EU Settlement Scheme: employer toolkit

 

6. Is it too late to start planning for Brexit now? And where should I start?

While the UK has technically left the EU, in practice there will be minimal changes until the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.

This means there’s still time to prepare for how any future regulatory changes will affect your business.

The first step is to consider how exposed you are to any risks associated with changes after the transition period. Look at the possible impact on your supply chain, exports, customers and customer demand, stakeholders and workforce. At the same time, explore any opportunities Brexit presents, including to further trade with countries outside of the EU.

The British Chambers of Commerce has put together a Post-Transition Brexit checklist highlighting key areas to consider, including future staffing requirements and any potential delays at borders. This can help you put in place measures to mitigate the risks, ensuring you have the skills needed, the correct customs documentation and provisions to cope with currency volatility.

The Government has launched an interactive tool to help businesses assess if they are ready for new rules and regulations in 2021.

Scottish businesses can also get help from Scottish Enterprise’s PrepareforBrexit.scot website.

 

7. Who do I need on a business task force to plan for Brexit?

In the same way you would plan for a major incident or takeover, you should consider establishing a core team to manage your Brexit strategy. 

According to the CBI, 82% of large businesses – and a third of firms overall – have set up an internal Brexit task force or steering group to project-manage preparations.

To be most effective, your task force should be made up of representatives from key functions across your business, not just senior management. This includes people who deal with the supply chain, procurement, marketing, sales, governance, HR and financial planning.

Smaller companies that don’t have as many resources may wish to bring on board experts from legal firms and business associations to help them gain a greater understanding of what Brexit means for them.

 

8. What are the HR and employee issues I need to plan and prepare for?

It’s unlikely that there will be immediate changes to employment law as a result of Brexit. Much of the regulation is enshrined in domestic law, and powers from EU Directives have been brought under UK law in the EU Withdrawal Act.

However, businesses that employ EU nationals will need to understand the implications of Brexit for workers. 

EU workers who are resident in the UK can apply for ‘settled status’ after five years under the EU Settlement Scheme or ‘pre-settled status’ beforehand. The Government has produced a toolkit that employers can use to communicate the scheme to employees. 

See the EU Settlement Scheme Employer Toolkit on GOV.SCOT

See advice for EU citizens living in Scotland after Brexit

From 1 January 2021, it is intended that a new points-based immigration system will apply. To apply for a skilled worker visa, applicants will have to prove they have a job offer for a position at a required skill level, from an approved employer sponsor. They’ll also need to be able to speak English and earn a minimum salary. It’s advisable that employers wanting to hire from the EU apply to be an approved employer sponsor as soon as possible.

Apply to be an approved employer sponsor

It’s important to note that, despite changing rules around living and working in the UK, businesses will need to continue to check employees’ right to work in the same way you do now until 30 June 2021. This can involve checking new hires’ passports or national identity cards, using the online right to work checking service or checking an approved immigration status document.

To avoid the risk of discrimination, you can’t ask job applicants to show their EU settlement scheme status until after this date.

Learn more about the new points-based immigration scheme

 

9. My business is with the public sector. What impact is Brexit likely to have on my market?

In the short-term, little will change day-to-day. Current public procurement rules will remain in place until 31 December 2020, while the UK and EU negotiate the transition period.

It is not yet known how procurement regulations will change beyond this point.

It’s possible that the market will be opened up to other countries, which may affect businesses in this country, but in that circumstance UK businesses too may have opportunities to bid for public contacts further afield. 

According to Deloitte, public sector bodies are likely to be affected by any tariffs on goods in the same way as private sector bodies. 

Another impact they are likely to feel is in staffing – there has already been a steep decline in EU applications for nursing positions, for example. These potential issues may have knock-on effects for companies that do business with the public sector.

3 Business Strategy

1. Which export markets are most likely to look favourably on the UK after Brexit?

The EU and countries with which the EU has Free Trade Agreements currently account for 56% of UK exports. However, exports to the US have risen by more than 26% between 2011 and 2016.

In the run-up to Brexit, the UK has been trying to replicate EU trade deals and by December 2019 had secured 20 ‘continuity’ deals covering 50 countries or territories. These include an agreement with the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and Mozambique, which represents about £2.4bn worth of exports, and agreements with Morocco, Georgia, Switzerland and Central America. 

Other countries that may offer export opportunities for the UK post-Brexit include the English-speaking nations, like Canada and Australia, as well as Turkey and the Middle East. 

Looking for exporting opportunities? See the Bank of Scotland International Trade portal

See the Scottish Government guide: Get exporting help and support

 

2. What can I do to protect my business from Brexit?

The first step you may want to take – if you haven’t already done so – is to carry out a Brexit risk assessment to see if your business has any vulnerabilities. This may also uncover opportunities for your business.

You might want to look at how different scenarios would impact your business – reverting to World Trade Organisation rules if no trade agreements are reached during the transition period, delays in the supply chain, and issues with recruitment, for example. 

Areas to look at include impacts on importing and exporting, your supply chain, taxation, regulation, and your employees. 

The British Chambers of Commerce has a Post-Transition Brexit checklist highlighting areas to consider.

You can then do whatever is possible to mitigate risks: for example, ensuring all your customs documentation is in order, making adjustments to your supply chain, and doing what you can to retain your EU employees. 

You could also consider exploring alternative banking solutions if the products and/or services we provide you with might be impacted by changes to passporting arrangements. You will already have been contacted if you are affected by these possibilities.

The UK Government has launched an interactive tool to help businesses assess if they are ready for new rules coming in 2020. 

See the UK Government’s transition check tool

Scottish Enterprise has launched the PrepareforBrexit.scot website where you can input specific information about your business to get a tailored response on how to prepare. You may also be able to get a grant to help you with planning.

See the PrepareforBrexit.scot website

 

3. What is the Bank of England forecasting will be the likely impact of Brexit?

At the start of the year, the Bank of England downgraded its 2020 growth forecast from 1.25% to 0.75% but anticipated a pick-up in 2021 with expected growth of 1.5% and then 1.75% growth in 2022.

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) said its forecast was built on the assumption of “an immediate but orderly move, at the beginning of next year, to a deep free trade agreement between the UK and the EU”.

The Bank of England said that Brexit-related uncertainty had “weighed on investment” in recent years, with companies spending money on preparing for leaving the EU rather than investing it elsewhere. This has had a knock-on effect on the UK’s long-term growth prospects, limiting how much the economy can grow without increasing inflationary pressure to damaging levels.

However, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic is having a significant effect on the UK’s economy, with the Bank of England warning that the economy could shrink by as much as 14%. Governor Andrew Bailey has suggested growth could rapidly recover in 2021, with GDP recovering its pre-Covid peak by the second half of next year.

However, this would depend on a number of factors including whether there is a second peak of the virus and what trade deals the UK is able to establish post-Brexit.

 

4. The European Regional Development Fund has invested heavily in our region, what is going to happen now?

Under the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK will continue to participate in programmes financed by the current EU budget until their closure.

According to the Government, this means the majority of programmes will continue to receive funding across their lifetime, in many cases, even beyond the end of the transition period. 

UK businesses can still apply for grant funding under the EU’s current 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework.

4 Supply Chain

1. How can I make sure my supply chain is ready for the end of the transition period?

It is difficult to predict how the end of the transition period will impact supply chains, so you can’t ensure you are 100% ready. However, there are some sensible steps you can take. 

First, you should conduct a thorough review of your supply chain in order to get a full understanding of your network and where any potential risks lie. For example, if your supply chain crosses the EU-UK border, what will happen if there are delays in the event that no trade agreement is reached at the end of the transition period in December 2020?

You can then test for risks in different Brexit scenarios and identify mitigating actions – such as working with different suppliers, or building in contingencies for any delays.

 

2. How can I minimise delays when supplying goods?

The UK Government has confirmed plans to introduce import controls on EU goods at the border when the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. Traders in the UK and the EU will have to submit customs declarations and be liable to goods checks.

The EU has also said it will enforce checks on UK goods entering the Eurozone.

You can prepare for border control changes by applying for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number and deciding how you want to make declarations; through an import-export agent or yourself.

It’s also worth getting in contact with the organisation that moves your goods to find out what information they’ll need to make declarations for goods on your behalf, or if you’ll need to make them yourself.

See UK Government guidance on import, exports and customs for businesses

Get an EORI number

 

3. Will I have to change my packaging when the transition period ends?

Like many post-Brexit issues, it depends on any future relationship agreed and what business sector you’re in. For example, the UK Government has said that EU-based food labelling will more or less be rolled over, although there may need to be changes in labelling related to the origin of food.

There are also plans to set up new geographical indication (GI) schemes with a new UK logo for products like Shetland lamb and Whitstable oysters. Scotch Whisky is currently the most significant UK product registered as a GI, with over £4bn worth of exports a year. Scottish Farmed Salmon, Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb also are included in the current EU GI scheme. 

However, the pharmaceutical industry may be more impacted if the UK exits the transition period without a trade deal, with new packaging required if drug makers have to reapply for a marketing authorisation.


4. Will my business still have to meet EU safety standards for goods?

To be sold on the EU market, many products have to meet safety standards set out in EU regulations. The CE mark is used on certain goods to show that they meet these standards. 

CE marking will remain in place until the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. As part of negotiations around a future trade deal, the UK may adopt a ‘common rulebook’ covering standards for goods within the EU, but this is not certain. As part of previous preparations for a no-deal Brexit, a new UK Conformity Assessed Marking (UKCA) was developed and may be introduced if no trade agreement is reached during the transition period.

Depending on any agreements made during the transition period, after December 2020, products tested for conformity with EU standards by a UK body may not automatically be recognised in the EU – so they may have to be retested in the EU. Obviously, this would involve time and cost.

 

5 Finance and Investments
 

1. What is likely to happen to sterling and how can I manage my financial risk?

The pound fell to its lowest level in over 30 years after the Brexit referendum. Economists forecast that uncertainty during the transition period and the possibility of not having a trade agreement with the EU in place by January 2021 could see the pound fluctuating in 2020, while the global economic disturbance caused by Covid-19 is also putting sterling under pressure.

A lack of progress in early trade talks saw the pound dropping against the euro, however, a slightly more optimistic tone following the fourth round of trade talks between the UK and the EU in June and a commitment from both sides to keep working towards a free-trade deal has lifted the pressure slightly.

If you are importing or exporting, you might want to consider hedging in order to manage currency risk. You may also want to do some contingency planning around a potential rise in the cost of importing raw materials, if sterling falls further. 

Another consideration is what currency you are paid in. If you are exporting, you could try to agree prices in advance to protect yourself from any further volatility.

Other financial risks to consider, and plan for as far as possible, include rises in the costs of making payments. 

To discuss your business needs, speak to your Bank of Scotland Bank Relationship Manager or Business Relationship Team.

 

2. Is now a good time to invest in my business despite the uncertainty around Brexit?

Rather than cancelling investment plans because of uncertainty, you may want to consider them in the light of the changes Brexit could bring about. What are your customers’ needs likely to be post-Brexit? Will Brexit offer you opportunities to explore new markets – by exporting, for example?

Our International Trade Portal can help you explore further.

 

3. Should we increase our reserves/cash position ahead of Brexit because of all the uncertainty?

Consider whether it’s reasonable to expect trade to be affected by Brexit in the short term. If your business is often immediately influenced by consumer confidence, if you trade significantly with the EU currently, or if you rely on supplies from the EU which may be delayed, then it is reasonable to expect some disruption.

Working to improve your cash position will give you some resilience to short-term shocks, but also potentially allow you to invest in any new opportunities – such as to establish an alternative supply chain, or to step up trade with countries outside of the EU.

This could be a good opportunity to review your cash flow as part of a wider financial health check. Even during periods of so-called stability, the Federation of Small Businesses advises holding cash reserves that would allow your business to operate for three months

 

4. What will be the likely impact of Brexit on cross-border mergers and acquisitions for businesses?

Levels of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity are difficult to predict. On the one hand, possible divergence between the UK and the EU around anti-trust laws, potentially separate competition supervisory bodies to be cleared, and generally volatile markets, are all likely to decrease activity.

However, currency fluctuations (notably a weaker pound) and the desire by businesses to establish new geographical bases could see a rise in tactical M&A activity. Share price volatility can also trigger opportunities for some aggressive bids.

Due diligence is expected to take longer post Brexit, and if an agreement cannot be reached between the UK and the EU on aligning competition regulation and anti-trust legislation, mergers and acquisitions could be subject to parallel processes.

Corporate restructuring within a group of companies that crosses borders is expected to become more complex too.

 

5. What support is available from Bank of Scotland to help businesses with Brexit?

You can talk to your Relationship Manager or Business Relationship Team for support around financial planning.

For support widening trade beyond the EU you can make use of a range of resources on our International Trade Portal.

 

While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information provided is correct, no liability is accepted by Bank of Scotland for any loss or damage caused to any person relying on any statement or omission. This is for information only and should not be relied upon as offering advice for any set of circumstances.  Specific advice should always be sought in each instance.