Many UK businesses held their collective breath in December 2020 while Brexit negotiations went down to the wire, with the EU and UK signing off a Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement deal last minute, in what some may see as a generous Christmas gift from the EU to the UK. Speaker bureaus, in particular, wanted to know how the process of introducing international talent to GB clients would be affected, and what the deal or no deal knock-on effects would be on UK businesses working with clients based overseas. So, has anything changed how JLA the speaker bureau supplies to EU based clients? Not much, it seems, yet. Though like many UK businesses, there is a suspicion that this could merely be the eye of the storm.
It’s easy to become anxious looking at the current media focus on the physical movement of products over borders, with goods turned away at the Kent border in Dover, Europe based companies discontinuing import of goods to the UK due to tax changes and fisherman concerned about losing their businesses due to watered-down Brexit agreements. The lack of information available certainly seems to indicate that the import and export of supply of services between the EU and the UK had been put on the back burner when it came to trade negotiations, despite UK Government statistics suggesting that services accounted for 42% of the UK’s exports to the EU in 2019. Like many UK businesses supplying specific services, this speaker bureau has automatically reverted to ROW rules when it comes to accounting for VAT during the course of sourcing and supplying our extraordinarily diverse range of speakers to EU clients, though ultimately there is little to no change in our ability to continue with business as usual when providing speakers for events taking place in the EU. And, in the short term, with almost all current events taking place via digital channels due to the coronavirus pandemic and resulting restrictions, we continue safe in the knowledge that all is largely as it was before the TAC deadline. So, what next?
There was anticipation that the UK’s extraction from the EU would mean a lot of new forms of red tape popping up. Along with this speaker bureau, service-based businesses are treading carefully with bated breath and eyes wide open, into a country we believed might look significantly different in 2021. However, as JLA speaker Joanna Lumley recently said regarding the UK’s relationship with the rest of the EU since January 1st ‘nothing’s changed’. And we’re beginning to believe that too, for now. JLA’s eyes and ears remain open, even if the EU border is a little less so, and we will continue to ensure that any and all obstacles are surmounted so that our EU clients benefit from the same high level of customer service from JLA as our UK clients, and we will be sure to advise on any changes that affect our ability to source the best talent for your event, if any, due to Brexit.
And our overseas clients should rest assured that we can still assist in the supply of copies of the latest books for your audiences to accompany speeches by esteemed speakers such as Tim Harford, Todd Buchholz and Tal Ben-Shahar and we’ll happily post you a copy of Noreena Hertz’s The Lonely Century: How to Restore Connection in a World That’s Pulling Apart. Our speaker bureau will do the work necessary to keep services accessible, and we’ve got our EORI number ready to go for inclusion with any required border check documents for any physical products needing EU delivery if the need arises too.
We sincerely hope this will be the sum total of hurdles that our speaker bureau has to jump in order to keep the best keynote speakers at your events wherever they take place worldwide, albeit for now often from the comfort of people’s homes. Keep us in mind. This speaker bureau continues to keep clients, at home and abroad, at the forefront of ours.