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Brexit Transition Nears Its End

Nov 23, 2020

The Brexit transition ends on the 31st December 2020 and the government is encouraging businesses to act now to avoid possible disruption to business operations in the new year.

There are some areas which will definitely change once the Brexit transition ends. This is where businesses can focus their efforts whilst we await the outcome of the trade deal negotiations.

What is the latest Brexit transition news?

The Brexit transition period comes to an end on the 31st December 2020. From the 1st January 2021 we will move to a new relationship with the EU. At the time of writing this is just 45 days away.

But what exactly this new relationship looks like is still to be determined. The most recent news shows that talks negotiating a post Brexit trade deal began again on Monday 16th November. But reports suggest there is still a lot to be done in order to agree a deal. Any deal agreed would also have to be ratified by parliament in both the UK and EU.

In the absence of a deal being agreed, the UK and EU would then trade under the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Whilst we do not yet know if a deal will or won’t be agreed, there are some things which we do know for certain:

  • The UK will leave the single market
  • The UK will leave the customs union

What definite actions do businesses need to take to prepare for Brexit?

Given these two certainties, that the UK will leave the single market and customs unions, there are some definite actions that all businesses can take to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition.

The government have highlighted 5 key areas businesses should consider.

Selling goods to the EU

New customs procedures will come in to force so if you sell goods to the EU you must prepare for these. You can check duties and customs procedures for exporting your goods worldwide from 1 January 2021 on the gov.uk website.

This is a useful guide to how to import and export goods between Great Britain and the EU from 1 January 2021

Business travel to the EU

If you travel to the EU for work purposes, you will need to check if you need a visa or work permit and apply if necessary.

Refer here for additional information on business travel to the EU from the 1st Jan 2021.

Employing overseas nationals

If you hire employees from the EU, then you need to be aware of changes coming once the Brexit transition period ends.  You will need to prepare your business for the implementation of the new immigration system.

From 1 January 2021, if you want to hire anyone from outside the UK, including from the EU, you must be a Home Office licenced sponsor.

Refer to the dedicated page on gov.uk for full details of how the new immigration system will work.

Personal data

If you are a UK business or organisation that receives personal data from contacts in the EEA, you may need to take extra steps to ensure that the data can continue to flow legally at the end of the transition period.

As well as information on the gov.uk website you may also find it useful to access information from the ICOregarding data protection once the Brexit transition ends.

Providing services in the EU

If you provide services in the EU, you must ensure that your qualifications are now recognised by EU regulations to be able to practice or service clients in the EU.

Refer to this additional information and guidance for businesses offering services to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein from 1 January 2021

What Brexit resources are available to business owners?

The best place to start when it comes to Brexit, the transition and preparing your business is gov.uk/transition. Here you can complete a short set of questions to get a tailored list of actions you need to take. You can complete the questions from a business perspective as well as a personal perspective.

There is also additional support and resources available from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). You can sign up to webinars to help you check the new rules and understand the actions to take. Webinars are industry specific and can be joined live or accessed on demand. And you can also sign up to the governments Business Bulletin to receive regular Brexit transition news and updates.

The Business Support twitter account also provides useful information.

Keep an eye on the Anthony Jones blog, our Brexit page and our social media accounts where we regularly post related news, useful links and highlight actions businesses need to take to get ready for Brexit. If you have any specific Brexit questions linked to your insurance, from business insurance to fleet insurance, intellectual property insurance to cyber insurance then do not hesitate to get in touch us. We appreciate these are uncertain times and will do our best to answer your questions and provide the information you require.

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