The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier has warned European businesses that changes are inevitable as the countdown to the end of the transition period ticks on.
He’s told both companies and citizens that they need to prepare for the UK’s departure from the single market and that, deal or no deal, changes to way of life and doing businesses will take effect from January 1st next year.
He commented that: “The Brexit transition ends on December 31. In five months, the UK leaves the EU’s single market and customs union. Changes are inevitable, with or without an agreement on the new partnership. Companies and citizens must get ready.”
The warning carries particular urgency as Brexit could ‘risk compounding the pressure that businesses are already under due to the Covid-19 outbreak’.
Barnier’s warning comes as The European Commission issues a 39-page dossier of preparations that businesses and citizens need to make before the end of the year, giving guidance on how trade will be affected for firms, and also travel changes for tourists.
Read more: Just one in four businesses fully prepared for Brexit with five months to go
Is your business fully prepared for Brexit? A new study from the Institute of Directors has found that half of all UK firms aren’t currently able to prepare for the departure from the single market due to a combination of coronavirus and lack of clarity on what they need to do from the government.
To help, Go Exporting has created a 21-point Brexit Planning Checklist which companies can download and work through, providing a detailed planning guide and covering all the major areas that will be affected by Brexit.