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The prime minister is being touted as having just a day to save her job as her government was subject to a defeat heavier than anything else faced by a PM in decades last night. But what will prove to be the biggest problems that we face in implementing Brexit and how can technology potentially help ease this transition?

 

On industry that relies on the number of workers coming into the country from the European Union is the agricultural industry. Low paid, low skilled work is typically undertaken by migrants from the European union so with more restrictions on immigration in place and the limiting of the freedom of movement; industries such as farming could suffer.

A decrease in the access to workers may decrease people coming to work in the agriculture industry however, this could drive technology to develop better, more efficient ways to work in order to try and close the gap on workforce deficit – only possible in some areas and may limit low profitability.

According to Ben Hatton, key accounts director at farm business software company, Farmplan;

 

“Farmers need to scrutinize and question costs; which is where software can work perfectly in terms of management.”

 

Irish Border

The main issue is of course in the northern irish border. 6,000 heavy goods vehicles cross the border each day; two million per year and this is the major sticking point in the deal thus far. With there being no clarity around this and there being uncertainty over the whole backstop premise in the case of a no-deal Brexit, the historic loss last night was delivered.

Britain wants to leave the Customs Union and the Single market but have no hard border between Northern and Republic of Ireland. But this isn’t possible:

 

“There is no scenario where the UK can have both, which is why the issue of the border on the island of Ireland is now so contentious,” – Katie Daughen head of Brexit policy at the British Irish Chamber of Commerce,

“The UK Government has pointed towards technology as the solution but the technology they are relying on is either untested or does not exist,” says Daughen “which is why we have so much attention now focused on the UK remaining part of a broader customs arrangement with the EU.”

This raises even more questions about what exactly will happen with the arrangement between Britain, the EU and the border between Ireland (most likely to remain soft) and just how Theresa May will fare when trying to renegotiate some sort of deal in the next few days.

A potential customs partnership would rely on a specific software system being built bespoke for the tracking and tariff calculation for cross-border goods. However this has yet to be built and would be essential in working out which market that goods will eventually land in.

An alternative to this model is something called “Maximum Facilitation” which will be a multitude of various different technical solutions that the government could introduce to help avoid too much friction at the borders. This is also extremely up in the air and not determined; testing and uncertain times indeed.

 

Blockchain

Blockchain, something that we have talked about quite regularly in our posts at Kaleida could be the key to determining how this problem with the border might work. The technology that is most commonly associated with cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin can be applied to a number of different problems effectively. Blockchain effectively works as an electronic record that’s publically shared between all users to create a secure digital ”paper trail” that can’t be changed or edited by anyone – this making it solid.

In the context of Bitcoin as an example, the blockchain is used to record every single transaction that takes place and therefore allows you to pinpoint every unit of the currency every time it is sold or bought by any user, all the way to the point it was originally “mined”. These attributes make it perfect for managing a supply chain such as ones that will come up against potential issues with border and customs checks if there was to be some sort of border when the UK leaves the European Union.

Since the technology became more prominent, there has been take-up in a number of different industries from finance to farming that have explored how to best use it.

Oscar McCarthy, an associate partner with management consultancy Avantage Reply said:

 

 “The technology allows multiple users within a particular ecosystem to see at what point you are in the supply chain,”

“If you think of a shop and a factory which regularly do business with each other, this allows you to keep an up-to-date inventory review on both sides.”

This can be potentially upscaled for something like the use needed for Brexit borders. But is it too late to start considering this now?

It is a good show however of how important bespoke software and technology development is. It shows that with proper planning you can create solutions that perfectly fit your requirements and make things much easier for you and your business. This will mean that you can improve productivity whilst improving efficiency by cutting down on time-consuming processes.

We work across a number of business sectors to provide effective bespoke software solutions. To discover more of what we can do, get in touch with our team today.

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