With less than six months until the exit, the main risks areas businesses may face are as follows:
1. Cyber-attacks: future cooperation between the UK and EU on this issue remains uncertain. No deal will have a knock-on effect on security. Businesses are concerned that the future involvement of the UK in organisations such as the European Cyber Crime Centre and the European Network and Information Security Agency is unknown.
2. Workforce: the next big risk is the loss of employees (including key employees) who are no longer entitled to stay if there is no deal. The UK Government has made various proposals to ensure a long transition period for EU nationals living in the UK, and so far there has also been little progress regarding the situation for UK citizens living in the EU.
3. Legal framework: the future legal framework relating to free movement, transport, taxation, medicine, the environment and health and safety remains uncertain. Inevitably, EU organisations will cease to apply to businesses working from or with the UK. This is likely to create a string of new regulations that companies will be required to adopt, possibly at short notice.
4. Supply chain: the supply chain (with higher tariffs on both sides) is also likely to be affected with perhaps more issues on the UK side.
5. Duration: if the period of uncertainty drags on, business, investment and trade will be affected.
6. Other risks: exchange volatility, travel restrictions, financial shocks and slow economic growth could also result.