AdvocacyBrexitEU

Does the Brexit blockage make public affairs pointless?

Brexit

If Brexit is frustrating the British public at the moment, just imagine how it feels if you work in and around Westminster.

Everything has ground to a juddering halt as MPs and Peers wrestle with trying to find a solution to Brexit that they can agree on. As we have seen in recent weeks they are not making much progress.

But while solutions are not forthcoming, the Brexit conundrum has become all-consuming. It is taking up almost every spare second of Commons time and on the odd occasion when something else does make it onto the Business timetable, it is inevitably met with a host of MPs asking why isn’t that time being dedicated to solving Brexit?

The Brexit log-jam means that, at the moment, nothing else is getting discussed, never mind, resolved in Parliament at the moment.

For public affairs companies like us, this is undoubtedly a problem. Many businesses and organisations who are keen to talk to government about different issues are also giving up and stepping back from their public affairs agendas until the Brexit is sorted one way or the other.

But this article is not just a self-indulgent rant by a bedraggled public affairs consultant. Because, while the Brexit backlog does make achieving meaningful policy or legislative change is tough right now, it does also present an fantastic opportunity for public affairs agencies and their clients.

The fact is that Brexit is going to be resolved sooner or later and regardless of the eventual outcome, when Parliament is ready to resume other business there will be much to be done and plenty of opportunity.

The likelihood is that there will be a new Prime Minister, possibly an entirely new government, by that time and this means new policy priorities and a government keen to deliver change to justify its own existence. With change comes a need for expertise and stakeholders will have opportunities to input into this new government’s legislative agenda.

If Brexit is going ahead, then the repatriation of legislative responsibility across a whole range of sectors to the British Parliament also offers great opportunity. Whole swathes of EU law will need to be rewritten into British law and there will again be amply opportunities for stakeholders to have their say on how these laws should be implemented and improved.

It is also likely that Britain’s trading relationship with the EU and indeed the rest of the world will be in a state of transition and this again will offer an opportunity for companies and organisations affected by these changes to have their say.

You might think this means that you would be right to step back from public affairs until the route forward is clearer than it is at present.

In fact, the opposite is the case. Delivering effective public affairs policies is a complex business and they can’t be pulled together overnight. Once the Brexit backlog is resolved, a lot is going to be happening very quickly. And if your business or organization wants to be fully involved, they need to be ready to go from Day 1.

That means that now is the time to be devising your post-Brexit public affairs strategy. Now is the time to be preparing for every possible outcome and ensuring that, no matter how Parliamentarians solve the current impasse, you are ready to move.

At Barndoor Strategy, we are already helping our clients prepare for the post-Brexit world. Our senior consultants are hard at work with each and every client designing future-proof strategies to ensure they enjoy the best Brexit possible. Why not contact us today to see how Barndoor Strategy can help your business be ready to thrive in post-Brexit Britain?

No matter what your personal views are, be sure that your business makes the most of Brexit.