SMEs to We need vouchers for tech and training ahead of final Brexit curtain falling

'Still no clear sense of what we'll be transitioning to' warns Fed of Small Biz

18 Reg comments Got Tips?

SMEs in Britain are urging the government to provide ‘transition vouchers” to be spent on tech, expertise and training as a way to help smooth the waves when the country exits the European Union.

The plea for help was made by the head of the Federation of Small Businesses today as negotiators for the UK administration and the 27-member-state economic union meet to again begin thrashing out a trade deal acceptable to both sides.

The economy is in a very different place today compared to the last time we were told to prepare for a no-deal outcome

Britain left the EU - a political and economic union of European countries - at the end of January but as part of the departure agreed a transition period until 31 December during which it is still governed by EU regulations and remains part of the single market and customs union.

Mike Cherry, chairman at the FSB, warned the clock is ticking and yet SMEs “still have no clear sense of what they’ll be transitioning to.”

Trucks queue at the port of Dover.

Brexit border-line issues: Would you want to still be 'testing' software designed to stop Kent becoming a massive lorry park come 31 December?


“The economy is in a very different place today compared to the last time we were told to prepare for a no-deal outcome. Small firms don’t have the time or money to get across new bureaucracy or stockpile,” he said.

Just last week, Logistics UK - formerly the Road Haulage Association and the Freight Transport Association - told The Reg of concerns of members about the impact on their business of border systems that have yet to be user-tested months before the exit date.

Businesses crave predictability, but Brexit uncertainty, compounded by the impact of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic - along with the accompanying furlough scheme provided by, which is due to close next month - has left many fearing for the future.

Cherry added:

“Given that small firms have been flat out managing coronavirus-linked disruption for the past six months, the government needs to step in with substantial financial support to assist with transition preparations.

“Transition vouchers mark a sensible way forward: set sums that can be spent on expertise, tech and training that will ease the small business community’s move to a new relationship with the EU,” the FSB chair added.

In a statement, a government spokesperson said:

“Our goals remain reaching a trade agreement with the EU that recognises the fundamentals of our position as an independent, sovereign country, and we continue to work hard to achieve that.” ®


Keep Reading

Your anti-phishing test emails may be too easy to spot. NIST has a training tool for that

Phish Scale hopes to make life easier for blue teams gazing at click rates

No wonder Brit universities report hacks so often: Half of staff have had zero infosec training, apparently

Plus: Don't worry, students. The attackers told us they destroyed your data

Irony, thy name is SANS: 28k records nicked from infosec training org after staffer's email account phished

Updated Names, email addresses, phone numbers, job titles, company names, country of residence etc. pinched

UK lawmakers welcome Microsoft's sack of training pressies for hard-pressed Brits as jobs searches spike

New skills aplenty and Teams tweaks from Uncles Brad and Satya

NEC insists its face-recog training dataset isn't biased, but refuses to share details of Neoface system with UK court

Magical Black Box of Suspects to Arrest is updated annually, says firm

NCC Group admits its training data was leaked online after folders full of CREST pentest certification exam notes posted to GitHub

Exclusive 'Inhouse crt rigs to solve... book before ur exam' as firm claims 'some' of the content wasn't theirs

EU aviation wonks give all-electric training aeroplane the green light – but noob pilots only have 50 mins before they have to land it

So don't expect to go very far

Typical '80s IT: Good idea leads to additional duties, without extra training or pay, and a nuked payroll system

Who, Me? We know it is a bore, but check your backup and restore

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020