Brexit trade agreement summary
Jan 13, 2021
Key Dates News
As we are all aware, the transition period for the UK leaving the EU has ended. At the 11th hour, the EU and UK struck a trade deal, and this has now been ratified by the UK Parliament. This means that as of 1 January 2021 we have been trading with the EU ‘quota-free’ and ‘tariff-free’. There are a number of new customs regulations and VAT requirements to get to grips with, but we have every confidence that once we get used to the new system imports and exports will continue to flow.
The full agreement, which is over 1,000 pages long, can be read on the Gov.uk website and carries the snappy title of “Trade and Co-operation agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, of the one part, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, of the other part”.
Key points of the agreement:
To save you trawling through the whole document, here’s a summary of the key points:
- Travel – UK nationals will need a visa for stays longer than 90 days in a 180-day period, and there will be new procedures for UK travellers at EU borders. European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) will remain valid until they expire, and will be replaced by Global Health Insurance Cards (GHIC). Mobile roaming charges may change, so if you are using your phone abroad check with your plan provider first.
- Trade – There will be no tariff charges applied on goods, nor any quota limits on the amount that can be traded from 1 January. However there will be customs checks at borders, and customs declarations will need to be made by exporters from the EU and the UK.
- Services – UK financial businesses lose their access to EU customers (although many larger firms have already established subsidiaries within the EU to continue access), and whilst the UK has granted EU businesses temporary permission to continue servicing UK customers, there is no reciprocal EU agreement for UK businesses as yet. We expect regulatory discussions about “equivalence” in 2021 and hopefully, an arrangement whereby UK firms will get access to EU customers.
There is a Government Brexit checker available to assist with the planning for business, family, and personal circumstances. You can use the Brexit checker to get a personalised list of actions, as well as sign up for emails to get updates for what you need to do.
Other specific agreements are now in place covering fishing, security, the Justice system and study, and these have been widely commented on. It is now a question of moving forwards with the overall trade agreement and we will keep you informed of any of the practical measures that follow.
If you are concerned about the uncertainty posed by Brexit please talk to us, and we will be happy to help you with your forecasting and future planning for 2021.