John Perry, managing director of leading supply chain and logistics consultancy SCALA, commented: “With the EU leaders granting the UK a further six month extension, we are now in a very interesting, if somewhat precarious position. While May is still seemingly persisting with her withdrawal agreement, others are now seriously discussing the possibility of a second, this time binding, referendum. Meanwhile, the European Court of Justice has ruled that it would be legal for the UK to cancel Brexit, and Donald Tusk has suggested EU leaders would be happy with that decision.
“While not at long as many of us had hoped, this extension gives UK business one last chance to make our voices heard, and demand that we at the very least stay in the customs union. However, whatever the outcome in October, these additional few months give businesses an invaluable opportunity to prepare themselves as thoroughly as possible.
“The decision many companies must now make is whether or not to continue to stockpile, which is an incredibly costly endeavor, negatively impacting cashflow and increasing expenses for storage and warehousing. This extension could allow them to instead look beyond stockpiling, and put in place more effective, long-term risk-reduction strategies. There is even enough time for affected organisations to consider applying to become an Authorised Economic Operator, which is widely agreed to be one of the most effective mitigating factors in any Brexit situation.”