Following an eventful month for Brexit, the Government published their Brexit White Paper on 12 July 2018 and debated the Customs Trade Bills in the House of Commons.
The publication of the Brexit White Paper on 12 July 2018 is a key milestone in the Brexit process. Clarification of the Government’s proposed negotiating position has been largely welcomed. However, many have already expressed concern over a number of significant gaps. We have provided an overview of the key points from the White Paper, with a particular focus on those with a tax impact.
What does the White Paper say?
The Brexit White Paper sets out a number of proposals, including many with a tax impact:
What does it mean for business?
Although the White Paper does not offer additional certainty on the final Brexit deal, it provides some much sought after clarity on the UK’s negotiating position. Its publication offers businesses an opportunity to get their teeth into the detail and analyse some key issues, such as the separation of goods and services. However, key questions remain, both in terms of detail (for example on the proposed common cross-border processes for VAT) and the EU’s response to the UK’s proposals.
What happens next?
The Prime Minister has charged the UK’s negotiating team to proceed at pace in discussions with the EU on the basis of the proposals in the White Paper.
A detailed EU response to the UK’s proposals is provisionally expected in September 2018. Assuming political consensus has been reached, the Withdrawal Agreement would be expected to follow in October 2018, ahead of the transition period beginning on 29 March 2019.
With the current level of uncertainty, we expect that businesses will continue to adopt a pragmatic but determined approach to Brexit planning: keep making ‘no regrets’ decisions; undertake ‘worst case scenario’ analysis and contingency planning; and be ready to implement any necessary changes once there is clarity on the final deal.
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