The European Commission published a new ‘Communication’ on 9 July 2020 calling for businesses to prepare for “the inevitable changes” that will occur to the trading relationship between the UK and EU at the close of the Brexit transition period from 1 January 2021 irrespective of whether the talks progress past the current stalemate.
The Communication entitled “Getting ready for Changes” provides an overview of the main areas where there will be changes for businesses and individuals regardless of the Brexit negotiation outcomes. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has stalled talks making the need for preparation more pressingespecially for companies that export goods between the EU and the UK, work in transport, and in energy services
“There will inevitably be barriers to trade in goods and services and to cross-border mobility and exchanges. Public administrations, businesses, citizens and stakeholders on both sides will be affected and must therefore prepare.”
The document highlights that even if a mutually beneficial outcome is reached by the two negotiating parties; untying decades of close co-operation and alignment will take time. Businesses should be prepared for disruption under any scenario, including the best case. The Communication was released just ahead of the conclusion of talks between the two parties this week, which Michel Barnier warned had failed to alleviate key points of tension between the sides.