No-Deal Brexit – Get Ready

With a ‘no-deal’ Brexit looking increasingly likely, the consequences for companies that aren’t prepared will be significant. F&L’s Jamie Richardson shares some advice…

On 1 July 2020, a key Brexit milestone was passed. Since the vote to leave the EU back in 2016, the UK and the remaining EU States have been negotiating the terms of the UK's exit. Progress has been very, very slow and the date the UK actually leaves the EU family has already been delayed to allow further negotiation. The current extension runs out at the end of this year and the UK had until 1 July 2020 to ask the remaining EU States for another delay.

No request was made by the UK and even though a further extension is theoretically achievable, it would require huge cooperation from each Member State and asking for one would be politically costly for the UK's Conservative Government.

On that basis, the UK and EU have just six months to agree a trade deal or start 2021 without one. With six months to prepare, what can companies do, given the past four years have been clouded with uncertainty?

Prepare for no-deal. The UK and EU have sharply contrasting positions in many areas and for now, it's clear there is little intention to compromise.

As we enter this final stage, F&L will be issuing a series of articles and guidance for our clients facing up to the prospect of the UK exiting the EU without an agreement. For companies still assessing the impact of COVID-19, there will be additional concerns about staff and employment rights, regulatory matters and increasing costs, as well as practical difficulties in shipping goods between the UK and EU.

Our advice for clients is this: planning for no-deal now is your best course of action.

If between now and December there is progress and the parties sign another extension - or even a trade agreement - having to dismantle your no-deal preparation will be frustrating. However, the consequences of not being prepared at all for a no-deal Brexit in January 2021 could be far worse.

If you have any questions regarding Brexit and how it affects your operations, please feel free to ask your usual F&L contact. For anyone not yet subscribed to the F&L mailing list who would like to receive our Brexit coverage, please sign up here.

Jamie Richardson
Tel: +44 (0)20 7430 5889

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