Business and the economy

In this section

Transition/implementation period
Support for business
    Brexit portal
    Exports and trade
    Trade and invest
    Development Bank of Wales
    Skills
    Supporting EU citizen employees
Food and drink
Procurement
Data protection

The transition/implementation period

During the transition period, the UK will continue to operate as if it were an EU Member State, without taking part in EU decision making. The UK will continue to participate in the customs union and single market and freedom of movement of people will not change. Businesses can trade with the EU as they do now until the transition period ends on 31 December 2020.

Support for business

Brexit portal

Unless the UK and the EU agree and sign a deal before 31 December 2020 a no deal Brexit remains a possibility. It is important that businesses stay up to date with developments and take necessary measures. The Business Wales Brexit Portal remains a key source of information to help businesses think about what they need to do to prepare for Brexit.

It is vital that businesses are fully aware of appropriate preparedness actions and additional sources of support. Business Wales offers a single point of contact for businesses and entrepreneurs to advice and support from public, private and voluntary sectors. For further information visit the Brexit Portal or call 0300 060 3000.

Our Business Wales team is ready to help you and your company over the weeks and months ahead and provides a range of support to help companies prepare for key challenges, including:

  • preserving existing business with the EU
  • developing new markets
  • building capacity and capability to succeed in a post-Brexit trading environment.

Many businesses have already developed contingency plans, but others have yet to start. There are more than a quarter of a million small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in Wales, employing almost 750,000 people with an estimated annual turnover of £46 billion.

Exports and trade

Exports are a vital part of the Welsh economy and we are committed to supporting businesses to continue to trade right across the globe after the UK leaves the EU. This is even more important if the UK leaves without a deal.

A comprehensive range of support is available through Business Wales to help firms navigate the steps needed, regardless of export experience or size of business, and meet the challenges of the post-Brexit economic environment.

We know that the issues will differ from company to company. We are making sure businesses have access to the high-quality intelligence; technical information and advice necessary to develop new export opportunities.

Our Business Wales Export Zone provides a wealth of information and advice about exporting.

The UK government has published several technical notices about how importing and exporting would change after Brexit.

It includes actions businesses can take now to prepare for Brexit, such as:

  • understand what the likely changes to customs and excise procedures will be to their businesses in light of this technical notice
  • take account of the volume of their trade with the EU and any potential supply chain impacts such as engaging with the other businesses in the supply chain to ensure that the necessary planning is taking place at all levels
  • businesses should consider the impact on their role in supply chains with EU partners. In the event that the UK and the EU does not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in place in a no deal scenario, trade with the EU will be on non-preferential, World Trade Organisation terms. This means that Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariffs and non-preferential rules of origin would apply to consignments between the UK and EU.
  • if necessary, put steps in place to renegotiate commercial terms to reflect any changes in customs and excise procedures, and any new tariffs that may apply to UK-EU trade, and familiarise themselves with the key processes of importing and exporting outside of the EU
  • consider how they will submit customs declarations for EU trade in a no deal scenario, including whether they should engage the services of a customs broker, freight forwarder or logistics provider to help, or alternatively secure the appropriate software and authorisations
  • register to get EU Exit updates from HMRC

Trade and invest

The Welsh Government will continue to support businesses through our expanded network of overseas operations and this support can be accessed through our Trade and Investment website. The website explains how we will help companies to capture new markets and showcase Wales as a destination for trade and investment.

Development Bank of Wales

We know one of the biggest concerns facing business following a no deal Brexit is that disruption to supply chains and general trading will create constraints to working capital and cash flow.

The Development Bank of Wales, launched by Welsh Government in 2017, was set up to be a potential source of financial support in such circumstances. The Development Bank’s £130 million Wales Flexible Investment Fund offers business loans of up to £5 million in a single round and repayment terms of up to 10 years.

Skills

Securing and retaining a skilled workforce will be crucial for future economic success beyond December 2020. Research has found that the quality of people in a business is the difference between success and failure – raising workforce skills is an investment in the future. Our Skills Gateway is available to help businesses improve skills and our Employability Plan is designed to mobilise all parts of government to support people into sustainable employment.

Supporting EU citizen employees

The Minister for Economy and Transport has recently written to businesses in Wales to inform them of the rights of and support available to EU citizens. The full letter can be accessed here.

Food and drink

The Diagnostic and Brexit scorecard app has been designed to support Welsh food and drink businesses post-Brexit. It provides real time information about the industry and helps businesses respond to the challenges and opportunities Brexit presents. It also enables businesses to review the strengths and weaknesses of their business at any time and benchmark themselves against the industry norms. A facility has been set up through our delivery agents Cywain to access this Business Readiness app. For information and updates visit Business Wales Food and Drink.

Further information

The food and drink sector and preparing for EU Exit on GOV.UK

Public sector procurement

We are working with the UK government and other stakeholders to help ensure that the way the public sector procures will be largely unchanged in the event of a No Deal. Procurement rules will largely remain the same and thresholds will not change.

The main change will be that notices of new contracts will be published on a UK E-notification service instead of the European OJEU/Tenders Electronic Daily (TED). This will continue to be done via Sell2Wales, so should make very little noticeable difference to users. Sell2Wales is the free online service which helps suppliers find out about business contracts and opportunities with the Welsh public service.

Further information

Public-sector procurement after a no-deal Brexit on GOV.UK

Data protection

Is your company data (e.g. customer records, accounts, management information) held on the Cloud? If the answer’s yes please visit the Data Protection page – it’s important.

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