The transition period for the UK leaving the EU has ended. The EU and UK have struck a trade deal, and this has been ratified by the UK Parliament so from 1 January we are trading with the EU quota and tariff “free”. There are new Customs regulations and VAT requirements to get to grips with, but we have every confidence once we get used to the new systems, imports and exports will continue to flow.
The full agreement is entitled “trade and cooperation agreement between the European Union and the European atomic energy community, of the one part, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, of the other part” and can be seen at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/948119/EU-UK_Trade_and_Cooperation_Agreement_24.12.2020.pdf
The key points of the agreement are outlined below:
- Travel – UK nationals will need a visa for stays longer than 90 days in a 180-day period and there will be new procedures for UK travellers at EU borders. European Health Insurance Cards, (EHIC) cards will remain valid until they expire. Mobile roaming charges may change so if you are using your phone abroad check with your plan provider first.
- Trade – There will be no tariff charges on goods or quota limits on the amount that can be traded from 1 January. However there will be Customs checks at borders and customs declarations will need to be made by exporters from the EU and the UK.
- Services – UK financial businesses lose their access to EU customers (many larger firms have already established subsidiaries within the EU to continue access) and whilst the UK has granted EU businesses temporary permission to continue servicing UK customers, there is no reciprocal EU agreement for UK businesses as yet.
We expect regulatory discussions about “equivalence” in 2021 and hopefully, an arrangement whereby UK firms will get access to EU customers.
There is a Government Brexit checker to assist with the planning for business, family, and personal circumstances. Use the Brexit checker to get a personalised list of actions. You can also sign up for emails to get updates for what you need to do.
There are other agreements on fishing, security, the Justice system and study which have been widely commented on in the last few days and it is now a question of moving forward with the agreement and dealing with the new lockdown rules and planning for recovery.