The newly extended Brexit deadline creates some new challenges for businesses as they continue to prepare for Britain's departure from the EU.

Tonight was to be the already extended deadline for the UK to leave the EU, but that has now been pushed out to Hallowe'en at the latest.

David McGee, Brexit partner with PwC, said there was a general welcome for the extension in that it avoided the cliff edge of no deal.

However, there are some downsides.

"No deal is still on the table. There is also an immediate problem in that businesses do not know what date they're planning for. Bad and all as the last few months were, at least we knew what dates we were shooting for," he explained.

It also leaves businesses having to deal with contingency plans that they had put in place and how to go about unwinding those. 

"If you've built up stock here or in Britain, what do you do with that now? There's also a cash flow impact and a direct cost in terms of the storage of that stock."


Mr McGee said there were a number of things that businesses could do to make best use of the next few months.

Only around a half of companies that trade with the UK had registered with the Revenue Commissioners for certification to trade with the UK after Brexit.

"If the UK is outside the EU, you will need this Economic Operators' Registration Identification certificate (EORI). It's a compliance document. People can get that done now in the time they have.

"Companies in regulated sectors will be trying to get their regulations in line," he stressed. 

David McGee said there was a danger that complacency could set in among businesses who had already prepared for Brexit and are now having to unwind and revise those plans.

"The threat of no deal has not gone away and the UK system has proven inept at getting to an outcome. The challenge for business is what do we do now. The danger is that companies got ready for this and nothing happened. What will happen the next time that comes around?," he asks.