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Understanding the referendum result

Brexit: what it could mean for your business

Britain has voted to leave the European Union, but what does that mean for your business? Adam Rowse, Head of Business Banking at Barclays, explains.

The UK’s vote to leave the European Union has been met with a lot of uncertainty from the business community, so we’ve addressed some of the most pressing questions below.

What should I do now?

The most important thing is to pause and take a breath.

The triggering of Article 50, which would start the formal process of withdrawal from the European Union, has not happened yet – and probably won’t until there is a new Prime Minister.

So, for the time being, the UK is still a member state of the EU, with no changes – including to EU business regulations.

Farmers should note that there are also no immediate amendments to the Single Farm Payment.

At Barclays, our priority during this period is to remain focused on your – our customers’ and clients’ – needs.

Will it become harder to export?

Leave campaigners have said they would look to negotiate continued free access to the EU’s single market. If this is not agreed, then tariffs could be imposed on exports. But again, nothing will change immediately.

Barclays is committed to helping UK businesses trade overseas. Our specialist international team has joined forces with UK Trade & Investment to further develop international opportunities for UK businesses, and this will continue.

How will changes to foreign exchange rates affect my business?

In the immediate aftermath of the leave vote, the pound weakened significantly – a weak pound over the long term could make any goods you sell to foreign customers more affordable. On the other hand, imports will potentially become more expensive.

If you are concerned about your exposure to currency fluctuations, you should speak to one of our International Managers.

How will my ecommerce operations be affected?

A key advantage of trading online is how easy it makes it to have a presence in foreign markets. Websites can be accessed from anywhere, and the vote to leave the EU won’t change this.

If you do sell to customers in the EU, however, you may be affected by any currency fluctuations that occur as a result of Brexit. And it’s possible these could be more volatile than usual in coming weeks.

These movements won’t necessarily be a bad thing for your business – as discussed in the exchange rate section above.

But if you’re pricing your goods in euros, you may want to pay even closer attention to exchange rates than usual to ensure those prices still work for your business.

Once the UK formally leaves the EU, exports of goods that are sold online may be subject to tariffs or other restrictions in the EU market. At the moment, it’s too early to know what those might be.

Through the uncertainty of the months ahead, be in no doubt that Barclays is ready to support your business.

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