Paul Aplin, A.C. Mole and Sons

I cannot remember a time in my life when there has seemed to be so little point in reading the newspaper: By the time you open it the news has already changed.

We are heading for Brexit, have a new Prime Minister and a new Chancellor.

What will all this mean for businesses?

We have already seen significant movements in the stock market and a fall in the value of Sterling.

An interest rate cut was widely expected last week but it did not come (only a month ago we were expecting an increase).

We have no idea what kind of deal we may be able to secure with the European Union.

The word I come back to again and again is “uncertainty” and it is likely to be with us for some time. This makes it incredibly difficult to plan.

Many businesses are already considering the effect of the fall in the value of sterling.

The received wisdom is that this must be good for exporters but bad for importers.

The ever-sensible Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, however wrote a piece in the Times a few days ago painting a more complex picture of the effects on business and the economy.

It is well worth reading.

Many businesses will be unable to plan effectively until negotiations are well under way, especially those with overseas workers – including many in the agricultural sector in Somerset – and those who import or export.

One way or another, changes will impact on us all. But until we know what they are, we will have yet more uncertainty.

What effect will that have?

Will it cause your customers to put off investment decisions?

Will you need to make changes to your business to survive until things settle down?

Will you have enough working capital to act as a buffer in the interim?

Will the fall in the pound push up your costs or help you?

Then there is the new Chancellor.

I think his approach is likely to be different and while we may get a flavour of his thinking over the summer, we will have to wait until the Autumn Statement to be certain.

2016 and the next few years will see huge changes. Businesses will need to plan – and re-plan – constantly and carefully.

Uncertainty appears to be the new “normal”.

Things we have taken for granted may no longer hold true.

Good tax and business advice will be more important than ever.

Paul Aplin OBE is a tax partner with A C Mole & Sons and Vice President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales; you can follow him on Twitter @PaulAplinOnTax.

He can be contacted on 01823 624450.