Editor | 4 September 2019
Amazon Sellers Could Be Blocked By No Deal Brexit

Amazon Sellers Could Be Blocked By No Deal Brexit

Revelations from a leaked government document suggest that thousands of online sellers could find their businesses blocked on popular marketplaces in the event of a no-deal Brexit. 

The news which could leave British Amazon and Google sellers hamstring was revealed when confidential details of the government’s Operation Yellowhammer no-deal contingency planning were leaked to the press. 

Sole traders and larger businesses that use multinational sales platforms to sell goods could find themselves blocked if the EU does not recognise UK data protection standards following a tumultuous no-deal Brexit.

Although the UK has already said that it would accept EU data compliance when Britain leaves the single market, the EU has made no reciprocal pledge. 

This could leave online retailers stranded because large amounts of data held by companies like Amazon and Google are stored in European data centres. 

The Yellowhammer papers say that no decision on personal data sharing between Britain and the EU would be taken before Brexit day. It also suggests that the necessary deal ‘could take years’ to agree.

It adds that this scenario will “disrupt the flow of personal data from the EU, where an alternative legal base for transfer is not in place”. Experts believe that this could result in a “data cliff edge” and cause massive disruption for businesses. 

“Data flow is so ubiquitous in our day-to-day lives that if it stops, [we don't know] exactly what will happen,” Claire Edwards, a partner at the law firm Pinsent Masons, told the Sunday Times.

The government says that the Operation Yellowhammer document is out of date and is not an accurate representation of  Britain’s level of preparedness, but interest groups say that small firms are not ready for the changes. 

A CBI spokesperson told the Financial Times that businesses “remain hampered by unclear advice, timelines and costs”, while the Institute of Directors’ Allie Renison said that many small firms were unconvinced that no-deal planning was necessary. 

Jason Bradley, Business Development Manager at CloudAccountant.co.uk, said: “If these no-deal planning papers are accurate then Britain’s smallest online retailers could face very high levels of disruption.

“Amazon sellers that depend on a single online marketplace for all of their revenue could face disaster if sales dry up overnight after Brexit and there is no telling how long these issues would take to rectify.”

Cloud Accountant specialise in cloud-based accountancy solutions for online sellers. For more information, speak to a member of the team today. Call: 0808 281 0303.