As I am sure you all know, the Forum represents our members issues and interests regardless of which political party is in government. We also realise that, like the country, our members were split in their views on withdrawing from or remaining in the EU, so we don’t hold a view either way. We just try to help our members to deal with whatever business changes they are faced with making sure they are informed of the change, what it means, and what actions they need to take.
In recent weeks the Forum has been encouraged to give advice to our members regarding Brexit. This advice is based on leaving on the 31st of October and on a no deal Brexit, this despite parliament having legally taken a ‘No Deal’ exit off the table and the many messages saying a further delay until January is likely. We are unsure if this is a genuine scenario or if the Government is using it to put pressure on the EU to negotiate a new deal.
The Forum has decided that, despite the Government’s desire for us to help them push this ‘No Deal’ 31st October leave date, our duty is nonetheless to our members and their businesses. As such if any of our members are currently exporting or importing we would advise you to make sure they complete the 4 steps necessary to complete the paperwork for basic export/import of goods under a ‘No Deal’ Brexit.
- Visit the .gov website and immediately register for an EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) number.
- Ensure you are able to complete an accurate customs declaration. HMRC can help advise on this.
- To agree responsibilities with a customs agent or logistics provider.
- To make sure you have access to and fully understand the relevant software for submitting documents as part of the export/import process.
It remains our opinion that the likely outcome of the Brexit process is a further delay and added confusion from our politicians. Regardless of their party, with the vast majority of our MP’s in Parliament thinking that we should remain in the EU and feeling that the public were mistaken in their choice at the referendum, it is highly likely that unless there is a drastic change in circumstances we will be remaining in the EU in one form or another, for at least some period after the 31st October.
We recognise that this will not please many of our members but we do feel that our duty is to keep our members up to date, advise them truthfully and not to push a particular government view for political ends.