The United Kingdom (UK) officially left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020, starting a transition period set to end on 31 December 2020. As Brexit is expected to have a significant impact on the UK, EU and global economy, you can expect to hear lots of important discussions during the current negotiation process on ‘level playing field conditions’, ‘rules of origin’, the workings of the Joint Committee on the Northern Ireland Protocol and the future role of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). These will be important ingredients in determining what outcomes emerge.
Hence, we thought it was an appropriate time to take stock of how we got here, where things are and what preparations businesses can be making in the coming months, irrespective of whether an FTA is reached or not. It is critical that businesses are equipped to manage the changing business environment.
The key issue leading up to 31 December 2020 is whether all parties can agree an overall new relationship including a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) before the transition ends. Until this is clear and what the terms of any such an FTA deal are, the threat of a cliff edge, with trade in goods defaulting to tariff laden World Trade Organization (WTO) terms, will persist.