rtc-service network neil warwickNorth East businesses are being invited to find out what Brexit is likely to mean for them, and how they can best prepare themselves for the UK’s formal separation from the European Union.

Neil Warwick, head of EU and Competition at Square One Law in Newcastle, will be looking at the issues in a Service Network presentation at RTC North in Sunderland on Thursday August 25.

Brexit means Brexit …. But what does Brexit actually mean? will address issues around future trading prospects and potential benefits and problems for North East businesses.

Neil Warwick said: “There has been a great deal of speculation before and after the referendum, but very little factual analysis”.

“My presentation will lay to rest some of the myths about Article 50 and address the actual mechanics of exiting the EU.

“I will also cover the potential exit outcomes based on current law, and what businesses should be doing from a legal perspective to ensure they are in the optimum position when we start the exit process.

“It’s a time for calm reflection now the result of the referendum is known.  For businesses who are prepared there will be new opportunities.”

“The fastest timeline for exiting the EU is two and a half years; realistically, it could be four years, and there will still be a lot of work after that. Potentially, there is a decade’s worth of change; on the one hand, there is a lot of time to deal with things but on the other hand, it’s sensible to start now.”

Service Network, which has acted as the voice of the region’s professional, creative and technical services sectors since 1995, is managed by leading business support organisation RTC North. Its monthly meetings are organised to provide networking opportunities as well as focused advice and support on different aspects of doing business.

The Brexit discussion is aimed at all businesses.  Even if a business thinks it is not exporting, the chances are if it has a website it will be doing some international trade.

Mr Warwick said there is currently no clear approach to the issue of Brexit within the North East business community.

He said:  “Some businesses have assumed there will be little or no impact on them, whereas others are extremely worried.  The only constant is that the better prepared businesses are already seeking out opportunities.”

However, he advises every size of business to start thinking about the repercussions of Brexit now, and to begin preparing their organisations for it.

Mr Warwick said: “Things like checking jurisdiction clauses in contracts – a key area that affects every single business – is something you can do now and put in place. If people in your business are internationally mobile, you could check what that could mean in the future.

“It will probably also have a calming effect if you start doing things now and get into a mindset that this is just a new way of doing business. It’s a time to be focused and to keep it simple.”

The Service Network’s and RTC North’s Jamie Ollivere, said: “We’d urge businesses with an interest in how Brexit will affect them to come along for what promises to be an informative and practical session, which will give them some ideas about where to go from here.”

The Service Network’s AGM and post-Brexit for businesses talk by Neil Warwick takes place at 11.30am,Thursday 25 August at RTC, Loftus House, Colima Avenue, Sunderland Enterprise Park, following the annual general meeting. A free networking lunch will be provided.

Businesses interested in attending can book their place online via Eventbrite – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/brexit-means-brexitbut-what-does-brexit-actually-mean-tickets-27000339743