Unless you have been hiding under a rock for nearly three years, you will know that on Thursday 23rd June 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU). To follow the process of leaving, Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty was triggered back in March 2017, giving both the UK and EU, two years to agree on the term of our ‘divorce’.
On Friday 29th March at 11pm (UK time), the UK will leave the EU with or without a deal, so we interviewed service manager, Ashley Benfield, to find out what P & I are doing in the build up to the UK’s departure.
What do you think could be the biggest impact of Brexit on the critical power industry?
For anyone in our industry, we would be looking at a potential impact on lead times for critical spares from the EU. Purchasing new equipment could also see extended lead times and potential price increases, as the majority of suppliers are based in Europe. We have already seen prices rise in the build up to Brexit so it is highly likely, these prices will continue to rise after Brexit.
Do you have a business continuity plan in place, in the event of a hard Brexit?
Yes, we have been actively increasing our stock holdings of common parts, to reduce the impact of lead times for our customers. We have been assisting our customers with their business continuity plans for Brexit, by advising them to carry out testing. This will allow P & I to solve any equipment issues before we leave the EU.
Do P & I purchase goods from Europe?
Nearly all of the spare parts we purchase are obtained from the UK, however, having audited our supply chain, we found that all major distribution hubs are in Europe. As discussed in the first question, capital equipment like new generators are supplied from within the EU so we could see a potential impact on lead times and prices moving forward.
What plans do P & I have to alleviate the impact of Brexit?
Due to the potential disruption that the European hubs could cause, as mentioned in a previous question, we have been stockpiling common parts in our warehouse from multiple suppliers we have relationships with. We do not believe that we can do much more to ease the potential problem.
In the event of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, will P & I still be able to fulfil their contractual duties to their customers?
Yes, a ‘No Deal’ Brexit would not impact our engineers from carrying out normal service work. There could potentially be delays for those customers purchasing hardware, however, this shouldn’t be an issue for P & I as all of our major suppliers have warehouses in the UK.
What advice would you give your customers in the build up to Brexit?
I would advise our customers to do the following:
- Test your equipment,so any issues can be resolved prior to us leaving the EU. We would strongly recommend this was a black start test, which simulates a real-life mains fail.
- Fill your diesel tanks to their maximum to prepare for potential issues with price fluctuations and availability. It will also allow formaximum run time in the event of a power failure.
- Consider rental generators for high level critical sites, for example, sites that pose a risk to life or environmental issues, in the event of a power outage. This would be a preventative measure, should the worst happen with Brexit.
If you would like to discuss your critical power plans in the build up to Brexit, please call our team on 023 9278 3450 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.