Brexit – what happens next?

The UK is set to leave the European Union (EU) on Friday 31 January 2020 at 11 pm – but what happens next?

Negotiating a trade deal with the EU

The Government will now begin detailed trade negotiations with the EU as they manage the withdrawal agreement. There is currently little information available about the Government’s plans for Brexit, but they have stated that a tariff-free deal is top of the agenda with the EU.

The transition period begins immediately after Brexit and will end on 31 December 2020, giving the UK 11 months to negotiate a new trade deal. During the transition period, the UK will adhere to the EU’s rules and the current trading relationship will be maintained.

What is the Brexit deal?

Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal encompasses an array of issues, such as healthcare, agriculture, trade, travel and citizen’s rights, and has now been signed by the European Commission.

The deal states that the UK will leave the EU customs union and agree new trade deals with countries around the world, while the Irish backstop agreement has been replaced with a new agreement that will begin when the transition period ends.

What must be agreed?

The free trade agreement will encompass a large amount of information, with the UK set to leave the single market and customs union. This allows goods to move freely between EU countries without additional checks and charges, and the Government will aim to agree this before the end of the transition period.

If the UK fails to agree a trade deal with the EU before 31 December 2020, then they will leave in a ‘no-deal’ scenario, meaning that tariffs would be payable on goods travelling to the EU and other trade barriers.

Other aspects of the agreement will need to be agreed, such as security, data sharing, aviation standards, gas and electricity supply and the regulation of medicines.

For help and advice on what Brexit means for you and your business, and to ensure that you are prepared, contact our expert team today.