With the Europe and North West Africa region manager at Preciosa Lighting, how her work in the UK has been affected by Brexit and what she has had to deal with the most.
Brexit has been a huge nut in terms of the pandemic in Great Britain, a very turbulent time. Of course, we tried to prepare all kinds of analyzes and surveys for the various development variables, to be prepared. The biggest problem arose when the United Kingdom agreed to leave the European Union. The point was that just before the end of the transitional period we did not know, respectively. No one knew how it would be set up, whether the agreement would ever take place or not, and if so, what and so on. So it was a very uncertain period.
We are now in 2021, projects and trade between Great Britain and the European Union continues. For us, communication is the main topic right now. They communicate with clients about how best to resolve the situation. Of course, at the moment we are dealing with import duties, import VAT etc., because we are not the only suppliers from Europe that companies cooperate with. So the biggest problem is communication, service and solving the situation as such, in terms of what is actually the most appropriate option for the end customer.
So what is the biggest problem you face today?
The current situation is when we plan to install the lighting fixtures here in London. Of course, we send our technicians, our mechanics, from the Czech Republic for that. And for now we have to decide, which is linked to Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic, how to do it as effectively as possible. It is a question of quarantine, testing, transporting goods to London, customs clearance of goods, etc. Of course, it also has to do with how they are communicated to customers, etc.
In your opinion, how is the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom in general developed? Are you missing something in it, do you see judgments that might not be resolved happily ever after?
I wouldn’t say I have a big problem with that, it’s really about how we communicate with customers and how to satisfy them. So, as I said, the agreement contains certain limitations in the form in which we have to clear the goods at once, because the free movement of goods between the European Union and the United Kingdom is no longer possible. in another meaning. We have to pay some fees and take other administrative steps, which of course complicates the whole process a bit. But this is not something we are not ready for and it will greatly limit our trade.
I said that for you, Brexit basically means a slightly different connection with customers. What content of the new communication should you tell them about Brexit?
For example, we had to communicate with a client who prepared for this situation a little differently and set up a subsidiary for him within the European Union by trading with him directly. So the movement of goods will be within the European Union and this is how the invoices themselves will be issued. So it’s more about reassuring the client that we can find ways to make it as easy as possible for them.
How do you perceive the reality of the weather in the UK? How are people reacting to Brexit today, even under the influence of reports of a deteriorating economic situation, etc.?
Most people in Britain approved of Brexit. Of course, I see her in London, where she lived for a long time, where people opposed her. In my opinion, not many people realize what Brexit actually means. But at the same time, Londoners accepted him as he is. Moreover, under the influence of Covid, the perception of the situation is slightly different at the moment. The UK had a large population with the disease in the first and second waves, hospitals were crowded and were already on the verge of happening. But at this point, I would say people are more united. They understand the procedures, follow them, and of course look to ease them. I certainly don’t see any hatred, resentment, or unwillingness to follow the rules here. Probably because the British are a very proud nation. So if actions are properly communicated, they accept, understand and follow.
From a business point of view, and from the economic situation in general, it is perhaps difficult at this moment to determine exactly the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and how exactly the situation is affected by Brexit. This will likely become apparent over time.
I agree with that. Today, the British government spends billions of crowns a month to support the people most affected by the pandemic. This is employees and companies. This is, of course, a heavy burden on the budget of the British economy, and it will only become clear over time how they will be able to plug and deal with the state budget deficit. we will see.
“Proud twitter enthusiast. Introvert. Hardcore alcohol junkie. Lifelong food specialist. Internet guru.”