At present the effect of Brexit upon the industrial gas industry is unknown. There are simply too many unknowns to reliably predict how Brexit will influence trade between the UK and EU.

That’s the message from gas analysis expert Cambridge Sensotec when gasworld spoke exclusively with them earlier this month to find out what effect the company thinks Brexit will have on the industry.

The UK was originally scheduled to leave the EU today (29th March), but as it currently stands the country is in deadlock over its withdrawal from the EU, and when and how that will take shape.

Cambridge Sensotec anticipates that the UK will ultimately try to maintain being as closely aligned to the EU as possible in order to maximise trade and minimise disruption.

“Impulse buyers on both sides of the channel might be less inclined to trade in the short term if a no-deal Brexit were to occur, yet established trade between the UK and EU should continue despite increasing costs and probable shipment delays providing suppliers and customers are able to adapt quickly to new trade rules,” the company told gasworld.

As for the company itself, Cambridge Sensotec anticipates Brexit will have a minimal impact on its domestic operations and non-EU trade.

“Cambridge Sensotec operates on a global scale transcending the EU free trade area, with established trade both within the EU and worldwide. Consequently, we have extensive knowledge and experience of international trade, which will be essential in a no-deal scenario or if a special trade agreement is signed between the UK and the EU.”

The Cambridgeshire-based firm said its main aim is to continue trading as smoothly as possible with its European partners.

“There are several matters which will influence trade if the UK leaves without a deal and defers back to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules such as supplementary import duties will inflate the cost of EU supplies or our EU based customers will be subject to further duties when importing our gas analysis equipment into their country.”

“We also anticipate additional clearance delays while transport companies adjust to new rules which are likely to arise in the immediate aftermath of any change to customs guidelines.”

“As a precautionary measure we are stockpiling essential parts and components from our EU suppliers to alleviate delays in our core product range.”

“Despite these issues hampering trade in the short term, we are hopeful that the opportunities which may arise from future trade talks between the UK and other nations globally will ultimately benefit our company with Cambridge Sensotec ready to take full advantage of them.”

gasworld was speaking to Cambridge Sensotec in early March 2019 at which time Brexit was still planned for 29th March. Given the political climate surrounding this subject, the situation is subject to change.