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Brexit in a page - what do I need to know? | 30 April 2020

Brexit expert Jacqui Bickerton summarises all you need to know about Brexit.

Weekly reflection

  • This week has seen fresh calls on the UK government from several think tanks to change the new proposed immigration criteria coming into force on 1 January 2021. There are a significant number of EU carers and NHS workers who have been working on the front line in the UK’s battle against coronavirus. However, such workers, due to the salary requirements of the proposed new regime, would not be eligible to enter the UK from 1 January 2021.
  • Retailers this week have called on the UK government again to extend the transition period to enable their businesses sufficient time to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. Footwear retailer, Drapers’ Managing Director said “This is an exceptional time. Let’s get through coronavirus first – it’s not disappearing overnight. And let’s delay Brexit by a year”. They have contacted the Prime Minister’s office for comment.
  • The British Retail Consortium have reiterated that their priorities are zero-tariffs on qualifying goods and preserving key UK-EU supply chains with as few new barriers as possible on customs, transit, safety and security, and border and regulatory checks on goods.
  • Lloyds Bank have reported, following a survey of 1,200 companies between 31 March 2020 and 16 April 2020, that UK businesses adopted a pessimistic outlook following warnings of a deep recession. A drop in demand in the manufacturing, retail and transport sectors is increasing business pessimism together with the uncertainty about the impending end of the transition period and trade talks.
  • Michel Barnier has expressed his anger this week towards the UK, accusing the UK government of deliberately slowing down the talks and creating a no-deal cliff edge scenario. The statement resulted from the UK government refusing to extend the transition period beyond 31 December 2020. Michel Barnier said “Never in the history of important negotiations have we been under such time pressure. The UK cannot impose this short, brief timeline and at the same not budge on topics that are of important to the EU”.
  • Further, Michel Barnier has reported “vast differences” remain between the UK and EU during its trade negotiations and, as a result, is resuming the EU’s preparations for a no-deal Brexit on 31 December 2020. A key proponent of the current talks focuses on the fisheries policy. The EU want continued access to the UK’s already over-fished waters and have accused the UK of failing to provide draft proposals on this subject. The UK government have confirmed that their fisheries policy proposal will be tabled next week.

Key dates

April 2020
Trade deal negotiations resumed

11 May 2020
Further trade deal talks between the UK and EU

June 2020
Final date for the UK to request an extension to the transition period

June 2020
EU Summit to assess the progress of talks

26 November 2020
End date for the trade deal to be finalised

31 December 2020
End of the transition period

To discuss any concerns about how Brexit may impact your business, please contact Jacqui Bickerton or visit our Brexit Hub to find out more. 

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