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Brexit Readiness Briefing


This briefing outlines considerations for convenience retailers in handling the potential impacts of the UK leaving the EU with no deal and suggests some preparations they can make in advance.

The briefing reflects widely assumed implications of no deal, highlights how the Government is planning to respond to no deal and the facts about regulatory changes that could affect store operations. 

ACS’ assessment of no deal suggests that retailers would be most affected by disruption higher up the food supply chain from border delays and supply shortages. Convenience retailers should use the briefing to inform their considerations of the impact of no deal on their business and seek further information from their suppliers, wholesalers and the official government sources included in the briefing.

ACS acknowledges that there remains considerable uncertainty around the UK Government and EU negotiations, but we firmly believe that the best outcome for the convenience sector and wider UK economy is for the UK Government to agree an exit from the EU with an appropriate transition period.

For further information on this briefing or if there are any further issues you would like it to cover please contact Eleanor.O’ or call 01252 515001.

What is No Deal?

‘No Deal’ is the term commonly used to describe the UK leaving the EU without an agreement on how the UK will trade with the EU and align with its regulations.

No deal means the UK will have left the customs union and will be treated as a World Trade Organisation ‘third country’. This may mean that goods crossing the border between the UK and EU will need to be checked and new tariffs applied to goods potentially leading to supply chain disruption.

How likely is No Deal?

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the UK will leave the EU on the 31st October “do or die,” which leaves very little time for the UK and the EU to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement. This has significantly increased the likelihood of no deal.

The UK Government’s official position on EU Exit is a desire to secure a Withdrawal Agreement subject to the “Irish backstop” being removed. Failure to agree with the EU alternative arrangements to the backstop is likely to result in the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

The advice from the UK Government is for businesses to prepare as much as possible for no deal to mitigate the impact on retailers’ business and customers.

Government and Industry Guidance

The government has launched a communications campaign “Get Ready for Brexit” which aims to spread public information across the internet, television, social media and billboards.

The campaign website features a 60 second click through tool for individuals and businesses to check what they need to do to prepare for Brexit. The tool asks individuals to answer questions, resulting in links to further information. The page also features a click through tool specifically for businesses. The government has now published its planning assumptions, which include information on trade flow, food supply and potential disruptions, available here.

The government has developed retail sector specific guidance covering the entire retail supply chain. The Government’s ‘Retail Sector and Preparing for Brexit’ guidance is available here.

We strongly recommend that retailers sign up for email alerts on the Government Business Readiness tool here to receive regular updates directly from the UK Government.

The Food and Drink Federation’s Brexit Food Hub is regularly updated with guidance for businesses with an interest in food and drink.