There will be new rules for trade, travel and living in the UK and EU from 11.00pm on the 31 December 2020. Please read the information below provided by Asquith & Co Accountants.

What can we expect with less than 36 days to go?

Whatever the outcome there are significant changes ahead for travel and trade.

Travel

If you are travelling to the EU from the UK after the 1 January 2021 then check out the Government website Visit Europe from 1 January 2021

Trading

If you have not yet made your business preparations, check out the Brexit transition website

If you trade with the EU and have not yet made preparations then here is a summary of actions to take:

New Trade deals

EU-UK trade accounts for half of overall UK trade and seven of the UK’s top ten trading partners are EU members. A trade deal with the EU is, therefore, a desirable outcome, from the ongoing negotiations with the EU. See: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47213842

The Government is already negotiating new trade deals elsewhere. Whilst the UK was an EU member, the UK was part of 40 trade deals which the EU had with more than 70 countries. More than 20 of these existing deals, covering 50 countries or territories, have been rolled over and will start on 1 January 2021.

It is worth noting fifty-two countries currently have free trade deals in place with the UK for the end of the Brexit transition period, however, these deals account for only 10 per cent of the UK’s total cross-border trade (ONS).

On 23 October, the Government signed a new trade agreement with Japan, which means that 99% of UK exports there will be free of tariffs.

There are ongoing trade talks with Australia, the US and New Zealand.

In Summary

We must all be prepared for changes in the way we travel and trade with Europe. Even if there is a free trade deal, the key thing to remember is that there will be a UK border which will mean paperwork and border checks.

Businesses that trade with the EU, must get familiar with customs declarations as these will be essential for accounting for VAT.

Depending on what contracts a business has with its customers in Europe, it may have to factor in that goods could take longer to get there, meaning extra costs and administration.

In the short term there will probably be delays at the border, so it is important businesses map out supply chains and think about how to do things as efficiently as practicable post transition

All of this information is courtesy of Asquith & Co Accountants, for more information on how they can help support your business you can visit their website here