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Brexit Outcomes – November Update

By David Hooper, November 19th, 2019, Category: General News

The outcome of Brexit now depends on political developments and the outcome of the General Election on the 12 December. This article aims to summarise some of the possibilities following the outcome of the General Election and identify how this will affect businesses involved in international trade with the EU.

Withdrawal Act is Approved

The Government put forward the Withdrawal Act and Parliament approves it before the end of January – this would result in the UK leaving the EU before the end of January 2020. However, under this scenario it’s likely that there would be a 12 month transitional phase. Therefore there would be no significant change to the way businesses export and import to and from the EU until the end of this transitional phase.

Withdrawal Act Removed or Rejected

The Withdrawal Act could be removed by Government or rejected again. This may lead to a further extension of Article 50. However, the EU would need to approve this. Under this scenario nothing would change but would lead to more uncertainty.

Leave with no-deal in Jan 2020

The UK could leave the EU without a deal before the end of Jan 2020. This scenario does not go away and businesses would again need to prepare in the same way as before. This would result in overnight changes to the way shipments are exported and imported to the EU at the end of January.

Revoke Article 50

The new Government could revoke article 50 and cancel Brexit. This would obviously result in the UK staying in the EU and procedures would remain the same.

Extend Article 50 or Another Referendum

A new Government could hold another referendum and ask for article 50 to be extended. Again this would be at the discretion of all the EU member states. Procedures would remain unchanged until this outcome was resolved.

In the end, all options are still very much on the table, if option 1 does go ahead and trade talks breakdown a No-Deal Brexit could still happen at the end of that period. If a Free Trade Agreement under option 1 is agreed then goods non-originating in the UK and EU would still be subject to tariff measures.

Our Advice to You

Therefore we recommend that businesses use this time to ensure they are prepared for a hard Brexit. We have already worked with a large number of our clients to ensure that they are prepared for this scenario. Some clients have also used this opportunity to start exploring new markets further afield. If you need advice or are planning on entering new markets, contact us and we can advise you on your options for sea freight and air freight to these new countries. Don’t forget we operate as a customs broker and can work with you to ensure all your paperwork is compliant.