The UK government has formally notified the European Union that it won’t be seeking an extension to the Transition Period and wouldn’t accept one should it be offered.
Following the announcement, the government set out details of its accelerated border planning for controls on EU goods coming into the Great British marketplace from January 1st next year – planned to be rolled out in a phased way to help businesses adjust – as well as additional funding to grow customs operations.
“We have informed the EU today [12th June] that we will not extend the Transition Period. The moment for extension has now passed. At the end of this year, we will control our own laws and borders which is why we are able to take the sovereign decision to introduce arrangements in a way that gives businesses impacted by coronavirus time to adjust,” Michael Gove said in a statement.
“Today’s announcement is an important step towards getting the country ready for the end of the Transition Period, but there is still more work to be done by both government and industry to ensure we are ready to seize the opportunities of being a fully independent United Kingdom.”
Is your business still ready for Brexit?
For many companies, Brexit was already the biggest upheaval in their company’s history following years of uncertainty where the best approach was typically preparing for the worst but hoping for the best. The best being a free trade agreement, the worst being a cliff-edge departure from the UK’s largest international trading post.
However, few firms would have foreseen a year where Brexit would be married with a pandemic, although studies have shown that those businesses who were best prepared for Brexit have also done better at mitigating the damage caused by Covid-19.
Read more: Firms prepared for a no-deal Brexit better placed to deal with pandemic crisis
What recent announcements show though is that, virus or no virus, Brexit will be going ahead as planned. And, once more, there’s a real possibility that trade talks could yield no agreement on free, unimpeded trade between the UK and European Union.
So, despite the immediate threat to all businesses and livelihoods being the coronavirus, organisations can’t take their eye off the ball when it comes to Brexit. It’s less than six months away and there’s no transitional buffer on the other side. The dress rehearsal is almost over, here comes the real thing.
Here at Go Exporting, we’ve been helping businesses to understand the impact that Brexit can have, where threats to operations lay and how to mitigate for a worst-case scenario.
If your company needs support, learn more about our Brexit Audits here.