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Brexit in a page - what do I need to know? | 17 April 2020

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

Weekly reflection

Key dates

April 2020 Trade deal negotiations to resume

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

  • Following a video conference between the UK’s chief negotiator, David Frost and Michel Barnier for the EU on Wednesday, Brexit talks are expected to resume as early as next week. A schedule of further talks for 11 May and 1 June has also been agreed. The parties will begin discussing the divisions on fishing rights and trade next week.
  • Whilst the UK government have again, yesterday morning, sent a message to the EU that there will not be any extension to the transition period, the International Monetary Fund (“IMF”) has expressed quite a different view. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director for the IMF has urged policymakers to think about reducing further uncertainty to the economy. Specifically, Kristalina Georgieva said that due the unprecedented certainty arising from the current pandemic it would be wise not to add more on top it. As to the immediate future of the global economy, Kristalina Georgieva added “I am preoccupied with trying to find ways to help alleviate a global recession we have not seen in our lifetimes”.
  • The Migration Observatory report (“the Report”) now released has warned that the number of non-Irish EU citizens living in the UK could be significantly higher than the 3.4 million estimated by the UK government. The current deadline for EU citizens to apply for settled or pre-settled status is June 2021 but, should there be an extension to the transition period, then this date may well be pushed back. Approximately three million EU citizens have already been granted permission to stay under the settlement scheme. The shortfall in the UK government’s estimates on the number of EU citizens in the UK arises from their failure to include certain groups, to include those living in care homes and caravan parks. The Report urges the Home Office to collect their data more precisely through the increased development of data tools.
  • The delay in Brexit negotiations caused by the coronavirus pandemic has increased concerns for the car industry during March. The number of new car sales are reported to have dropped by 44% across the UK, with Scotland seeing a 49% decrease. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders have estimated a full year fall of 29% in 2020 and warned the UK government that a No-deal Brexit will be catastrophic for the industry.
  • Finally, Weightmans have promoted, from the moment of the referendum result back in 2016, that businesses ought to prepare in order to survive the risk of the UK crashing out of the EU. Two businesses in the north of England have both reported that their No-deal Brexit preparations have assisted their business through the current coronavirus pandemic. Taking steps, to include holding off investing in new equipment and overstocking on supplies have assisted the businesses through the current difficult circumstances. Whilst coronavirus is taking priority at the moment, we again stress that Brexit will return and, more than ever, businesses need to be ready for every eventuality.

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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