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Brexit Bulletin – September 2019
Brexit Bulletin – September 2019

Welcome to the September 2019 edition of the BPIF’s Brexit Bulletin. With just a month to go, uncertainty remains very much the status quo. Despite that, we’ve got our usual mix of practical guidance and information from the industry and beyond.

You can add colleagues to our mailing list by logging into the members’ area of the BPIF website or contacting your Regional Director.


In this month’s Bulletin:

1. Brexit update

2. Funding for export training

3. British Chambers of Commerce – Impact Survey and No-Deal Dashboard

4. Government's Ready for Brexit roadshows

5. CBI Industrial Trends Survey

6. Latest publications


1. Brexit update

In a remarkable and historic decision, the UK Supreme Court, on 24 September 2019, ruled that the decision of the Prime Minister to request the Queen to make an Order proroguing parliament for a five-week period was unlawful. This meant that the prorogation was void, allowing the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, to announce that the House would sit again the following day. MPs returned, and almost immediately voted against a recess which would allow Conservative MPs the usual time off to attend their party conference, due to be held in Manchester 30 September – 2 October.

Before Parliament was suspended on 9 September, the European (Withdrawal) (No.6) Act, was passed. The Act provides that if the Government has not reached an agreement with the European Union by 19 October 2019, and has not voted in favour of a No Deal exit, the Prime Minister must seek to obtain a three month extension to Article 50 in order to further delay Brexit. If the prime minister refuses to seek an extension there is likely to be a legal battle. While Cabinet ministers have said the government will obey the law, the Prime Minister has stated he will not ask for an extension. There has been some speculation about finding a loophole in the law or using another device to avoid Mr Johnson himself having to ask for the extension.

At their party conference, the Liberal Democrats pledged to revoke Brexit without a referendum if they were to be elected with a majority. At the Labour Conference the party voted – much to its leader’s relief - against a motion to officially back Remain in any future referendum. If elected, the party will instead take a neutral stance while negotiating a new deal with Europe within three months, and hold another referendum within six. A special conference would be held nearer that date to decide whether to back Leave or Remain.

As usual, the BBC’s What happens now? guide is the best we’ve found to explain what’s going on.

2. Funding for export training

A new funding stream has been announced by Government to help businesses train staff in making customs declarations and to invest in IT. Similar funding was available earlier in the year, but had to be taken up by April.

To apply for the grants, your business must either complete customs declarations for yourself or someone else (or intend to in the future) and you must import from or export to the EU.

It can be used to cover:

  • Training that helps your business to complete customs declarations and processes
  • IT improvements to help your business complete customs declarations more efficiently

You can use the funding to reimburse what your business has spent on relevant IT improvements and training since 31 July 2019, as well as in the future.

The grant will give you up to 100% of the cost of training for your employees, up to a limit of £2,250 for each course. It will also cover the cost of training you run internally, up to a limit of £250 for each employee on the course.

You can find out more and apply here

3. British Chambers of Commerce – Impact Survey and No-Deal Dashboard

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has conducted a survey of 1500 business leaders, who were asked whether their business would make a change if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

  • 24% said they would revise investment plans down (4% would revise up)
  • 1 in 5 say they would plan to move some or all of their business overseas
  • 22% of businesses say they will revise recruitment plans down (3% would revise up)

The BCC’s No-Deal Dashboard has been updated this month. The dashboard evaluates the quality of official guidance given by Government across a number of practical areas. Only five areas are marked ‘green’, indicating that the BCC considers adequate information has been given. 10 are red, indicating that no information has been given, and 21 are amber – in these cases the BCC considers that only partial information has been supplied (or that its quality is questionable).

4. Government's 'Ready for Brexit' roadshows

The next phase of the Government’s multi-million pound campaign to get individuals and businesses prepared to leave the EU has swung into action. Half-day events are running across the country, combining a keynote address, interactive support, advice stands and in-depth sessions led by subject matter experts.  

Some sessions have already taken place and were flagged on in the news section of our website earlier in the month. Still to happen are:

Week commencing 30 September

Monday       Southampton

Tuesday      Brighton

Thursday     Plymouth

Thursday     Hull

Friday          Leeds

Week commencing 7 October

Monday            Derry/Londonderry

Monday            Cambridge

Tuesday            Belfast

Tuesday            Ipswich

Wednesday      Newcastle upon Tyne

Friday                 Carlisle

Week commencing 14 October

Monday       Cardiff

Monday       Liverpool

Tuesday      Wrexham

You can register (and check for more locations being added) at the events pages of the Ready for Brexit website.

5. CBI Industrial Trends Survey

The Confederation of British Industry’s Industrial Trends Survey found that manufacturing output was flat in the three months leading to September 2019. 13% of manufacturers reported total order books to be above normal, and 41% said they were below normal, giving a balance of -28% (from -13% in August) – compared to a long-run average of -13%.  

6. Latest publications

We've trawled through the latest publications about Brexit of particular relevance to the printing industry.

You can view these here


For further information, please contact Carys Davis, Public Affairs Adviser, at [email protected] 

01 October 2019

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For more information please contact:
Carys Davis
Carys Davis
Public Affairs Adviser
07854 950316
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