How Small Businesses Can Best Respond To The Global Challenges Ahead

On 17 January, the UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, delivered a major speech on her plans for leaving the E.U. For the first time, she has confirmed clearly and unequivocally that she will not to try to preserve membership of the European single market. Instead she hopes to conclude a deal with the rest of the E.U. that will still give business the access it needs to trade with the rest of the continent without barriers, tariffs or any new obstacles.

Scenario Planning In An Uncertain World

Given the uncertain world businesses are operating in, I thought it was the right time to look at how scenario planning will help you navigate this uncharted territory. But before we get into scenario planning, let’s spend a minute reflecting on what we do and don’t know about what’s going on in the external environment.


The Guardian
24 November 2016

Philip Hammond delivered his first Autumn Statement as chancellor on 23rd November. These are the key points, together with political analysis.

Key points to note are that Philip Hammond said growth is expected to be 2.4% lower over the forecast period after Brexit. The Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast economic growth of:

  • 2.1% in 2016 – down from 2% it forecast before the EU referendum
  • 1.4% in 2017 – down from 2.2%
  • 1.7% in 2018 – down from 2.1%
  • 2.1% in 2019 – down from 2.1%
  • 2.0% in 2020 – down from 2.1%

While the OBR is clear that it cannot predict the deal the UK will strike with the EU, its current view is that the referendum decision means that potential growth over the forecast period is 2.4 percentage points lower than would otherwise have been the case.” 

Hammond predicted SLOWER growth, HIGHER inflation, WEAKER tax receipts, HIGHER borrowing. This means the economy is expected to weaken as the Brexit negotiations intensify. To be clear, this is seriously bad fiscal news.

The Guardian runs an excellent daily business live stream, the link for which is HERE. I highly recommend it, along with the BBC Business live stream, for keeping up to date with current developments.


The Guardian
21 November 2016

For those of you here in the UK, this is a story to keep your eye on.

Theresa May was speaking to the CBI on 21 November 2016 at its annual conference, and hinted at a transition deal on Brexit to avoid a cliff edge for business. I checked other news sources, including the CBI website to find out more. At this point, the story is little more than a hint. So we’ll have to see how it develops.



4 November 2016

Following the Brexit court ruling, the BBC asked its audience to send in their questions about what the decision means. The BBC has compiled a comprehensive set of answers from more than 1000 responses received during a 5 hour period.


The Observer
6 November 2016

In a landmark legal decision on 3rd November, the high court upheld a legal challenge brought against the government by Gina Miller and others, and ruled the government cannot use the royal prerogative to trigger article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, and so formally commence the process to leave the EU, without parliamentary approval. The court’s judgment means that the process must be subject to parliamentary control and oversight.

This ruling was a strong judgment, by a powerful trio of judges including the lord chief justice, and its reasoning looks hard to overturn. If the ruling stands, it means that a Bill will have to be introduced in Parliament. Although it is highly unlikely Parliament will vote against triggering article 50, Parliament could seek to impose certain conditions on the government.

The June referendum resulted in a vote for the UK to leave the EU. However, it did not determine the way in which the UK leaves the EU. The court’s judgment means that Parliament will have a role in debating and deciding many matters, rather than their being determined in private by the executive.


How To Guard Your Business Against The Continued Fall-out

On Thursday, the UK voted to leave the EU, triggering the start of a domino effect, the consequences of which will be felt for years. The value of sterling plummeted, although it rallied again. Our economy is in a potentially perilous situation, with food prices likely to increase and the housing market set to decline as buyers adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach.

What Does Brexit Mean For UK Small Business

On Friday our Prime Minister resigned leaving a political leadership vacuum. There will be an almighty, and almost certainly bloody and acrimonious fight between the two divided halves of the Conservative party over the election of their new leader. As I write this article, the Labour party is in the throes of an entirely predictable leadership coup following Dame Margaret Hodge and Ann Coffey’s motion of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, and after Hilary Benn was sacked and a slew of shadow cabinet resignations. There are, what may seem at first glance, wild claims in the media that either the Conservative and/ or Labour parties may split. Given the deep divisions between the opposing wings of both the Conservative and Labour parties, this outcome is not as inconceivable as it might initially sound. There will almost certainly be a general election in the next few months.