Brexit agreement in place - what does it mean?

5. January

After 10 months of intensive negotiations, the EU and the UK managed to land an agreement when a pure Christmas miracle occurred on the afternoon of 24 December  - just seven days before the deadline. A 'hard Brexit' was thus averted, and both parties approved the agreement in their respective assemblies on 30 December.

However, there is still a lack of final approval from the European Parliament, as the 27 member states chose to make use of a so-called "provisional application", which means that the agreement applies from the turn of the year, provided it obtains final approval from Parliament before the end of February.

Does that mean you can breathe a sigh of relief and continue to run your business as you always have, then? No, unfortunately not. On the contrary, you must, among other things, pay attention to the following:

  • Although the agreement includes e.g. no customs duties and no quotas, this only applies to goods originating in the EU. This means that if you sell goods originating in, for example, China, which are imported via the EU and on to the UK, any customs duties or quotas may be imposed regardless of the agreement. Furthermore, the current requirements regarding import and export continue to apply, as the UK is considered a third country as of 1 January 2021. Also, remember that a different set of rules applies when trading with Northern Ireland.

  • Trade in services is no longer secured in the same way as trade in goods. There are still many unknown factors and only time will tell how this will be enforced from both sides.

  • The free movement of workers has been severely restricted, so if you have employees based in the EU that are working in the UK for a shorter period, you need to be aware of the new requirements that apply to this.

Trade between the EU and the UK has undoubtedly become more cumbersome since the turn of the year, as bureaucratic procedures will become a reality in the wake of the UK's withdrawal. In the near future, we, therefore, encourage you to be patient, as authorities in both the EU and the UK must adapt to the new reality and are currently updating various systems, etc. to be able to implement and meet the new requirements.

Do you have questions regarding Brexit?

We are in contact with the relevant authorities etc. daily and therefore continuously receive the latest knowledge - for the benefit of you and your business. Contact us today if you have any questions about how Brexit affects your business. We are ready to help you.