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Implications of Brexit for British Businesses: House of Commons Conducts Inquiry

An inquiry into the implications for British businesses of leaving the European Union is being conducted by the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee.

The inquiry is focusing on specialised sectors such as aerospace, processed food and drink and pharmaceuticals, but the questions being posed by the committee make interesting reading for all businesses in the UK and provide insight into what issues businesses should be alive to ahead of Brexit.

Points to be considered in the inquiry include:

  • Regulation – what are the opportunities and disadvantages from seeking to depart from EU regulation standards? Should the UK establish an EU association agreement on regulation, replicate EU regulation or move away completely from EU rules and standards? Should the UK seek to align professional qualifications with those in the EU?
  • Skills – how dependent are businesses on workers from EU countries, at varying skill levels? What could be the impact on restrictions on freedom of movement? How far can any gaps be filled by UK workers?
  • Market access – how important is free access to the single market and what would be the impact of Brexit on trade and tariffs?
  • Transitional arrangements – what should the UK seek in transactional arrangements and for how long should they apply?

The inquiry comes following the release of government figures that suggest Brexit is having a drastic impact on net migration to the UK. According to the latest figures published by the Office for National Statistics, net migration is at its lowest level in three years with net migration at the end of March 2017 being 246,000 (down from 327,000 in the previous year). Other surveys have revealed that as many as one million skilled EU workers could also be intending to leave the UK following Brexit.

This bulletin is for general guidance purposes only and should not be used for any other purpose.

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