As the British government edges closer to the Brexit cliff edge coupled with the prime minister's risky strategy of no-deal threats, compounded by his stance of "remove the back-stop or no more negotiation", has created an environment where British businesses are facing a stark challenge to maintain the same level of competitiveness as their global business rivals.

The Confederation of British Business (CBI) has issued a serious warning to the government to the effect that neither the UK or the EU is properly prepared for the potential of a no-deal Brexit in October. A CBI spokesman said "while the UK's preparations to date are welcome, the unprecedented nature of Brexit means some aspects cannot be mitigated," said the CBI. The minister responsible for planning a no-deal Brexit, Michael Gove, has worrying commented that a no-deal is a very real prospect. The CBI's comprehensive analysis of the situation outlined in their report, What Comes Next? The Business Analysis Of No Deal Preparations, has 200 recommendations aimed at mitigating a no-deal Brexit. A CBI spokesman commented using the analogy of a storm, pointing out that in the event of a storm the sandbags laid down may not save the kitchen but may save the bedrooms and suggested that the UK is now in such a position. The overarching conclusion is that the UK is nowhere near ready for a no-deal Brexit and furthermore the EU holds all the cards. The report acknowledges that whilst many businesses have been attempting to prepare for a no-deal Brexit they have been severely hampered by vague advice from the government, moveable timelines, not to mention the very real costs involved. Despite producing a report containing the 200 recommendations regarding Brexit the CBI has not changed its position and continues to take the view that Remain is the better option.

The Institute of Government has also produced a report with an extensive list on the steps that it believes the government should be taken in preparation for a no-deal Brexit, crucially pointing out that when October 31st dawns the UK exit from the EU will not be instant or completely achieved on that day; both the UK and the EU will be embroiled and dominated by this issue for some considerable time. Also, it is likely to derail some of the domestic the government's domestic policies and a considerable number of civil servants will have to be diverted to deal with the issues too numerous to mention that inevitably will be thrown up.

SME businesses will have to strengthen their businesses to make them more attractive to potential trade partners and those businesses that depend on cross-border trade may have to take the well-worn step of merger to strengthen their position and enable their ability trade between EU countries to continue. Brexit may eventually turn out to be a force for the good, compelling businesses to re-think their business model and strategies in a way that they would never have considered without Brexit. Giambrone is well-positioned to assist businesses in European cross-border mergers and acquisitions Our reach across Europe and the Mediterranean enables our lawyers to assist our clients with a broad range of multi-jurisdictional matters. Our lawyers have considerable commercial expertise in the area of elevating businesses to the next level, as well as having English speaking lawyers in all our European offices.

For more information about how you can strengthen your business in anticipation of Brexit please click here.

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