Brexit has been postponed once again. EU leaders voted on a new deadline to reach an agreement—October 31, 2019—yet it comes with no guarantee that we will avoid a hard Brexit, which would separate the UK from both the single market and the customs union. The terms of the extension are flexible, meaning the UK can exit at any time before October 31 if the UK Parliament finally reaches a compromise. Theresa May hopes to achieve this before the European elections, which take place May 22. Otherwise, the UK must take part in elections according to EU law or else be forced to exit on June 1.
So, will the UK reach an agreement, or join the EU for trick-or-treat? President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has expressed his concern about a no-deal exit, despite the agreed extension. If the withdrawal agreement is ratified by both parties before Halloween, the withdrawal will take place on the first day of the following month, November 1.
Planning Their Costumes: What Will No Deal Look Like?
While the outcome of Brexit remains in limbo, both sides have created documentation to help businesses prepare for a no-deal scenario. Here is a list of resources we have compiled.
The European Commission has provided practical guidance to ensure a coordinated EU approach.
- From taxation to licensing to travel, the EU has laid out notices should no deal be agreed upon.
- The EU urges businesses to prepare for the UK withdrawal if they haven’t done so, and has provided a customs guide for businesses on How to Prepare for Brexit.
- For businesses that want to trade with or move goods through the UK, the EU has compiled a Brexit Checklist for Traders.
The UK has also published precautionary information to prepare traders for no agreement.
- Guidelines for how both sides can prepare have been laid out in Trading with the EU if the UK leaves without a deal.
- Specific information has been provided for users of roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) ports and Eurotunnel, including:
- New requirements for trades, hauliers and operators at ro-ro ports and Eurotunnel
- Guidelines for importers and exporters using ro-ro ports and Eurotunnel
- Flowchart showing the day-one process flow for ro-ro imports
- Flowchart showing the day-one process flow for ro-ro exporters
- Guidelines have been established for exporters, freight forwarders, fast parcel operators, customs agents, and traders who move their own goods
- Guidance has been provided on how to set up and use a customs warehouse to store goods with duty or import VAT suspended.
- Guidance for goods moving between Ireland and Northern Ireland
In addition, several countries have assembled country-specific guidelines to prepare for a no-deal scenario.
- Anticipate customs declarations for hassle-free crossing
- French customs guidelines
- Imports from the UK sanitary and phytosanitary controls
- Imports from the UK preparations for sanitary and phytosanitary controls
Trade, VAT, and Services will also be impacted.
- Trading with the EU if the UK leaves without a deal
- Impact Assessment
- Gov.UK = Full impact assessment
We’ll keep following the progress closely to keep you informed and inspired. Stay tuned!