In late 2018 we issued a statement relating the UK’s exit from the EU at the end of March 2019.
As we are all aware, that exit date was extended to October 31st 2019 and we now potentially face a totally different set of circumstances in the event of a no-deal situation.
Although we are part of an industry which represents the second largest exporter to the EU and the second largest manufacturing sector in the UK overall; in common with the rest of the industry we are forced to adopt a wait and watch approach following closely any Government/ Civil Service generated information on what may, or may not happen in the event of such a no deal.
We believe we have triaged the company to ensure the impacts on our ability to maintain supply of products to our customer base are limited, and intend to increase stock holding levels as we approach the end October deadline to help buffer any impacts; we would suggest to all our customers they take a similar approach so we can work together to reduce any product delays and shortages.
Taking such actions and working closely with our haulage and European based supply partners will also enable to us to avoid the potential impacts of increased border checks and delays and to avoid any early adverse effects of tariffs impacting on costs.
Obviously, only time will tell how, trading under WTO rules, tariff levels are affected and how, our departure from the EU will affect the value of the £Pound and the subsequent effects of raw material prices and increased transport prices. Clearly, we will continue to keep our customer base fully updated on any changes we see coming through and work with both our suppliers and customers to help to minimise any impacts.
We are, in addition, well advanced with any legislative compliances, working with the UK Reach-IT system and continually monitoring any changes or amendments to requirements under the exit from the Reach-EU system advised by the UK HSE.
As and when more clarification is available and the potential impacts become more clear, we will, of course adapt our approach and update this statement accordingly.