What does Brexit mean for trade?

On the back of the UK's historic vote to leave the EU, retailers should be prepared for the possibility of significant swings, particularly in the exchange rate and consumer confidence
What does Brexit mean for trade?

Now of today Brexit’s vote in which UK citizens has decided  to leave the EU, EuroCommerce, which represents retailers and wholesalers across Europe, has called on the European Commission, European Parliament and European Council to ‘push for a new approach to make Europe work for its citizens, to restore confidence and create growth and jobs’. At the same time, the British Retail Consortium has called for clarity from the British government on how the process of disengagement will proceed, in order to maintain stability in the sector. ‘We are already seeing the commencement of a period of considerable volatility as financial markets react to any emerging information that might indicate how the new relationship to the EU might be shaped,’ the BRC said in a statement.

DUTIES WILL IMPACT ON PRICES – It added that in order to ‘keep prices down and to deliver the best possible choice for consumers, retailers’ top priority in the short term will be to ensure the continued ease and minimum additional costs of importing EU goods into the UK for sale to customers’. A fall in the value of the pound will impact import costs and ultimately consumer prices, but this will take time to feed through. In its exit negotiations the Government should aim to ensure that the trade benefits of the Single Market (i.e. the absence of customs duties) are replicated in the UK’s new relationship with the EU.'”Keeping the cost of goods down for consumers and providing certainty for businesses must be at the heart of the Government’s plans for life outside of the EU,” said BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson.

ASDA: UK WAS STRONGER IN EUROPE – Retailers have largely remained silent on the matter, however, Asda’s Andy Clarke recently stated that he believed that the UK was stronger in Europe. Last month, the British Retail Consortium, which is a member of EuroCommerce, said that while it is ‘neutral’ on the matter of whether the UK should remain or exit the EU, it called on both sides of the debate to focus on issues that it believes will impact the trade: the ease and cost of moving products across borders, the regulatory framework for retailer operations, and the viability of local food supply chains. But now, the very fact for European retailers is that complexity  and uncertainty are bad for business as well as, many managing directors think, a single market is less complex than negotiating new trade deals with Europe, and that leaving the EU will take Britain into the unknown at a delicate time for the global and domestic economy. The BRC did not be advocate for one side of the campaign or the other, but instead press both campaigns to make it clear what their policies will  be remaining honest and coherent in order to meet new market needs as officially said the group’s chief executive, Helen Dickinson.

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