Next week, the UK will go to the polls to decide whether it should leave the European Union. The implications for British businesses are enormous if the country votes to leave the European Union. The implications for the country are huge, but I don’t have the time or the resources to comment on the matter.
I will vote. My vote decision is not based on the outcome of the referendum. However, below I consider the implications of a Leave result for our project world.
There are many more projects
First, a leave result could mean more projects. You would be putting in place plans that were long in the making.
You know that your company has just-in-case planning. If you don’t have exit plans, there is a two-year negotiation period.
What Type Of Projects Are These?
To be honest, I am not 100% certain. The likely repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 will have a large impact on national projects. I can see Parliament being held up while it tries to determine which EU regulations are actually quite useful and need to be implemented in UK law.
We might see larger suppliers and manufacturers choosing to remain in the EU or moving to another EU country as companies make the decision for themselves. What would this mean for your supply chain? And what kind of supply chain projects would you need to replace or continue working with these vendors?
How will UK businesses be able to compete if prices rise or import tariffs go up? I see a lot of business restructuring projects that will help us to be more flexible and agile in the face international competition.
The Impact on Small Businesses
Many project management-related businesses can be found in small companies: software start-ups and training companies. Many small businesses survive by working with clients and using their project management skills.
I am a small business owner and I am preparing for Brexit.
I have to decouple my accounting and EU VATMOSS.
Making sure that my payment gateways to people who purchase my books or courses do not have to pay EU VAT We will still have to pay the appropriate taxes.
Reassuring non-EU clients that it’s all business as usual when it comes to their contracts with me
Fluctuations in the exchange rates or general uncertainty in the stock market could have an effect on my revenues, especially if I’m paid with other currencies.
You should be looking out for deadlines and time frames for all of this stuff.
The Impact on Project Teams
I can see many companies needing to review their HR policies. Although no one is advocating for thousands of expat workers and their families to be repatriated at this time, immigration policy changes will have a significant impact on recruitment. It will be more difficult to recruit skilled workers from abroad.
When I was an expat living in France, I was offered a job. I was given money to cover the cost of removals, and told to report to work. Easy. It was easy.
This could lead to your project team seeing some of your key people move back to Europe, either because they want to or because they don’t have the right to. How will this affect your ability to fulfill ongoing project commitments. Where are you going to find your next team member?
If the stock market plummets and sterling falls, your business leaders will be out meeting with shareholders to reassure them, not sitting in Project Board meetings.