There is still no as far as Brexit is concerned, whether it is white or black. The silence suggests that negotiations are intensifying. In the meantime, business is continuing its preparations. But is everyone ready?
Now that the negotiations are still in full swing and the clock is almost twelve o'clock, there are noises coming from Brussels that a Plan C is being worked on. Around the two 'hot potatoes' in the negotiations - state-aid and fisheries - there might also be a temporary agreement. This would take three to five years to see if the agreement works well on both sides of the canal. But given the radio silence from both sides, this is purely speculation.
Deal or no deal, preparations continue for the final farewell of the United Kingdom (UK). For example, French border officials have been testing immigration procedures that could come into force if Britain and the European Union do not reach a trade agreement by the end of December. The result: a five-mile traffic jam in Kent at the entrance to the Eurotunnel. It could be a daily routine on 1 January 2021. In the absence of politics, this sort of thing is going to continue in preparation for practical matters," says Tim Sarson, Value Chain Management Partner, KPMG UK.
Leon Kanters, Brexit specialist at KPMG, sees that too. He has listened to many Brexit preparation plans of companies. Despite the fact that many companies had organised most things well, there are still often aspects that companies have not yet thought about. For example, that there is a risk of having to pay double import duties when you receive and return goods from the UK, Kanters said. I would advise companies to look at this carefully before they find themselves in a situation they are facing on 1 January. Some things can no longer be repaired because it takes too much time and we do not have that time'.
Another thing that cannot be waited too long is arranging documentation for frontier workers. Robert-Jan de Wit, Director at KPMG Meijburg & Co, has previously given an update on how this immigration issue should be tackled. For workers from the UK who live and work in the Netherlands, the situation is unchanged. A special group of employees for whom the Brexit may have important implications are British citizens who live in the UK and work as cross-border workers for a Dutch employer in the Netherlands.
They will need a 'Frontier Worker' document from 1 January 2021 to prove that they are entitled to travel to and from the Netherlands. The conditions for this document and the registration procedure with the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INS) are now known with an important condition: that it concerns British workers who work in the Netherlands on the basis of a Dutch employment contract. Employees posted to the Netherlands by their British employer are not covered by this scheme and must therefore have a different work permit by 1 January 2021. And I know enough companies for which this could become an issue', says De Wit.
A further explanation of the document and the procedure can be found here: Implications of Brexit for frontier workers – update
This was KPMG's fifth Brexit Update Call, which takes place every fortnight. Topics discussed include import, labour, supply chain and financial services. The fortnightly call takes half an hour. The next one will take place on 10 December. Subscribe to Brexit: Same book – Final chapter!