WHAT DOES BREXIT MEAN FOR UK STARTUPS?
Its no longer NEWS that The UK has voted to leave the European Union. However, with the significant effects this exit is likely to have on the British economy & politics, Trade with Europe and upsets within the Financial Markets, you might also just be worried about the effect on you as an Enterprising Nigerian engaged in International Trading Services with UK & Europe and or effects on your Nigerian business.
Here are the primary things you need to know today.
Surely, Brexit won’t be an overnight process – it will take at least two years to exit the EU after UK government triggers the start of the process. There’s likely to be a lot of volatility in the market and politically, but many things related to the EU will remain the same for now.
So, trading with Europe from Nigeria through the single market and free access to trade via open borders is here to stay for quite some time to come now. – Buying through and within Europe and trans-shipping through Britain need cost you no more than it used to originally cost.
What’s changed already?
At the time of writing this article, the pound has sharply dropped, a view not too welcomed in Britain but can be a window of opportunity to local individuals and businesses back in Nigeria dependent on GBP for their imports/purchase requirements.
This could also mean uncertainty with consumers and an impact on profits for businesses – Positively we hope. If however, you sell (Export out of Nigeria) to Britain & EU countries (in and outside the EU) this could be a negative trend more pronounced, due to the current weakness of sterling and Euros.
Is Britain still a member of the EU?
Yes – Britain will be until two years after the government triggers termination, via article 50 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty. At the time of writing, the process to start Brexit hasn’t happened yet.
Does Britain still have to charge VAT?
Yes, Yes and Yes – VAT is a Europe-wide tax, and you’ll still be required to comply with EU and UK VAT obligations as usual if procuring for use within UK and or the EU.
However, for International Trade outside of the UK and the EU i.e international buying for import into Nigeria, trade transaction remains ZERO rated for exports outside of UK and the union.
What about EU laws – do we still obey them?
Fortunately and for the greater good of all, the answer is yes. If you are a Nigerian exporter – exporting goods and services to Britain, you’re still bound by any EU legislation that affects your trade and export of such goods and services. Most of the EU legislation’s currently in place guiding trade are for the general good, we don’t anticipate a drop in law to compromise standards.
What does it mean for investment in my business?
If you’re a Nigerian Export business, there will still be support from financial institutions such as banks to support your International Trade Ventures.
Financial incentives and support currently in place are still in place and likely to remain so…. More than ever, investment into Nigerian Exports needs to be encouraged and supported by all.
Is my EU Certification to export still valid?
Don’t worry – your trade permits (If currently in force and applicable to your type of export trade) is still valid and enforceable. It’s really unlikely that this will be affected even post-Brexit.
What about duties, and other fees related to selling to Britain from Nigeria?
Right now, things continue as normal. However post-Brexit it will all depend on how Britain decides to conduct business with the rest of the world and more importantly the Commonwealth Countries.
What about my visa/right to be in the UK for Business, or that of my children studying in Britain?
Everything should remain the same for now, unless changes are announced by the government – Very unlikely for now. For EU nationals though, the free movement of people will still apply until Brexit – For those of us married to EU nationals, don’t worry or fret just yet, our loved ones are not about to be ceremonially sent packing back home. Not now or anytime soon. Infact, It’s really unlikely that this will ever be the case, even post-Brexit.
To Summarise, no gloomy outlook for our dear and great nation – Nigeria. The future can only be brighter for us all, Britain included. That’s it for now, will keep you good people posted as events unfolds further.