Brexit – axe it, ace it or alter it?
The UK is heading for a general election on Thursday 12 December. With a deal on the table, all things Brexit are to be put on hold…but with the EU’s revised 31 January 2020 date for exiting looming fast.
The new government will have a little over seven weeks to resolve the Brexit question. The options it will face are:
- Seek a vote on the current Withdrawal Agreement Bill
- Renegotiate the deal with the EU
- Cancel Brexit altogether
- Have a second referendum, or
- Look to exit with no deal.
After all the heated debate over the past three years, remarkably the same options are still on the table and nothing can be ruled out. However, forming a new government might yet be the hardest part of all.
One very important point to stress is this: While the Brexit date itself has been pushed back again, the end transition date (31 December 2020) remains unchanged. During the transition period, current trading arrangements between the EU and UK will continue. The idea is to give time for a new deal on the future trading and political relationship between the EU and UK to be worked out after the UK leaves.
The UK will continue to abide by the EU’s rules and be subject to the rulings of EU courts but will have no voice at the EU table. In fact, the transition period may even be extended until as late as December 2022, but only if both sides agree. The can has been kicked down the road, but there isn’t much road left!
In the absence of a trade deal come December 2020, tariffs and VAT will be on everyone’s lips whatever the tongues being spoken. Businesses should be aware of this as they plan budgets and forecasts.
Putting the politics to one side, our advice remains the same: be prepared! Explore our Brexit hub for guidance on what to do and how Moore Kingston Smith can help.