S-RM has been asked by a number of our clients to explore how their existing crisis and business continuity arrangements would hold up in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

In a worst-case scenario, a no-deal Brexit could have wide-reaching consequences for businesses, customers and employees (in both their working and personal lives). Disruptions to supply chains, shortages of fuel, food and medicine, lack of access to labour, transport challenges and frustrated mechanisms for cross-border trade are all possible issues to be resolved.

With certainty regarding how (or even if) Brexit will take place being limited, the risk of some form of business and/or societal disruption is now sufficiently high to warrant further action.

 What can you do to prepare for a no-deal Brexit? 

  • Consider how the impacts of a no-deal Brexit might affect your employees, customers, suppliers, finances and wider business operations.
  • Familiarise yourself with your existing crisis management and business continuity arrangements; make sure those involved understand their roles and that plans are up to date.
  • Evaluate how effective your existing arrangements would be in addressing the possible outcomes of a no-deal Brexit.
  • Identify steps that can be taken today that might help limit the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit. These could include, for example:
    • Run a table top discussion with your executive team; give business leaders the chance to discuss the challenges associated with a no-deal departure within the context of your existing plans;
    • Liaise with your staff (based both in and outside of your office) to establish their concerns and collectively problem solve before the event;
    • Assess the extent of exposure to disruption within your supply chain;
    • Build possible border and transport delays into your travel plans;
    • Agree supplementary communication protocols with key customers and suppliers;
    • If you have offices located in city centres, consider how access and egress might be affected in the event of large-scale public gatherings.

 Key points to remember when preparing for a no-deal Brexit: 

  • There are, of course, no guarantees anything will happen as expected – or at all.
  • If you have up-to-date crisis and business continuity arrangements, it is likely you are already prepared for some of the possible impacts of a no-deal exit.
  • Try to see where the possible impacts of a no-deal exit diverge from your existing planning assumptions: For instance, would your existing alternate arrangements still work in the event of a wide-scale or extended disruption?