The UK’s departure from the EU

The biggest change for British businesses for a generation


New UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he plans to renegotiate the Brexit deal agreed with the EU by his predecessor Theresa May. He says he is committed to leaving on 31 October come what may.

Whatever happens, The UK is in the final stages of implementing the result of the June 2016 vote and it is crucial that, if they have not already done so, businesses are doing all they can to prepare for life outside the EU.

Although a difficulty has been a lack of clarity from the UK government due to the complexity, and uncertainty, of the negotiations, BCC has put together resources to help businesses plan for the change.

Visit our Preparing for Brexit page below to learn what practical steps your business can take now to be better prepared for the challenges and opportunities that will result from the UK leaving the EU and becoming an independent global trading nation.

Brexit has undoubtedly turned out to be tougher and more divisive than many believed with tightly-argued, conflicting opinions voiced during the last two-and-a-half years both in Westminster and Brussels.

During this time BCC has focused on getting answers to basic, practical questions about future trading arrangements and evaluating what the political process actually means for running a UK business involved in international trade now, and in the future.

Government launches its ‘Prepare for EU Exit’ hub

On 8 January the government launched a new hub for no deal Brexit information on the hub, which has dedicated sections for businesses, individuals, UK nationals in the EU and EU nationals in the UK. The webpages include a tool for filtering the technical notices, partnership packs and other guidance based on company sector.

Government announces 'Temporary import tariff rates and quotas after no-deal Brexit'

The temporary non-preferential tariff rates and tariff-rate quotas (TRQ) on imports if the UK leaves the EU with no deal can be found here.

The document is a draft. A final version will be uploaded with the legislation which is subject to Parliamentary approval.

If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, you may need to pay different rates of customs duty (tariffs) on imports into the UK from the EU and the rest of the world. The temporary rates would be in place for up to 12 months. The government will then introduce a permanent tariff regime following a public consultation.

Important dates:

EU leaders at the European Council meeting on 10 April 2019 agreed to extend the Article 50 period in order to delay Brexit for a second time.

Unless the relevant dates in the WA are amended, a longer Article 50 extension will reduce the duration of the transition/implementation period provided for by the WA. The WA transition period lasts until the end of December 2020, with a possibility of a further extension of one or two years. A UK-EU agreement to further extend the transition would need to be reached by 1 July 2020, eight months after the possible Brexit date of 31 October.

This shortened transition period would also mean less time to negotiate a future agreement governing UK-EU relations, given that the EU has reiterated that these negotiations cannot start until the UK actually leaves the EU.    

Click here to see the possible options going forward.

Possible future dates

31 October 2019 - EU leaders at the European Council meeting on 10 April 2019 agreed to extend the Article 50 period in order to delay Brexit for a second time. The UK is now scheduled to leave the EU by 31 October at the latest. 

21 December 2020 – The current plan, if Parliament agrees, is for a transition period of 21 months to smooth the path from Brexit to the UK and EU’s future permanent relationship.