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Brexit – the time, the toll and the transition

Our corporate partners offered their advice on the varying ways the Brexit transition period will affect healthcare organisations and the steps our members should take to prepare.

On the 31 October 2019 the UK could leave the European Union, in either a ‘no deal’ or a ‘negotiated deal’ scenario. Brexit continues to be hugely politically divisive, and while it is clearly a central focus for Westminster and Brussels, it is also having, and will continue to have, a real effect on the Health sector. Issues such as migrant workers, material costs, EU and non-EU competition and of course EU wide regulatory frameworks, are some of many key elements that Medilink members and the wider sector must consider.

Medilink has been asked by UK Government agencies to ensure Brexit updates and guidance are supplied to our members, which we have been providing across recent months. We got the opinion of some of Medilink’s corporate partners on Brexit and what it will mean means in their own areas of expertise.

World First, who provide a foreign exchange platform for individuals and international businesses, offered their thoughts on how Brexit might impact international payments. Chief Economist, Jeremy Thomson-Cook commented, “If you hadn’t planned around these for the March 29th deadline then you now have until October 31st to make the necessary preparations.

“Think too about receivables or bills to be paid in foreign currency too that could rapidly become more expensive if a hedging program that rolls any protection forward to maintain an adequate level of cover is not in place.”

Insurance specialists and corporate partner, Finch, provided their advice on the issues facing organisations. Director, Neal Lumb said, “Many businesses have taken the step of substantially increasing their stock levels to prevent against shortages and rising costs.

“In such circumstances, two factors need to be balanced - firstly, the level of stock insurance held by the business needs increasing to recognise the increased value at risk. Secondly, depleting cash flow to pay for stock could affect a business’s ability to buy, or be covered by, credit insurance which is a valuable tool in protecting a business from bad debt.”

Intellectual property experts, HGF gave their insight on the subject of registered EU trade marks and community registered designs. Patent Attorney, Dr Frazer Bye added: “Any registered EU trade mark or Community registered design, as of the date of the UK’s departure from the EU, will be afforded an equivalent national UK right - essentially a clone of the original EU trade mark or Community registered design in the UK.

“There will be no official fee for the creation of these clones, and the process will be automatic - so, in summary, it is business as usual. Particularly while the UK remains a member of the European Union, or if a deal is agreed and a transition period commences.”

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