Last week’s election result crystallised the choices ahead of the new Government. “Get Brexit done” was a great election slogan, but in reality 31 January will mark “the end of the beginning,” in Churchill’s famous words. At that point, the UK will move into a new era where the need will be to ‘Get Brexit begun.’
The Government’s first decision will be whether to retain the red lines famously set out by then premier Theresa May on taking office in 2016. Given the tight timescale for a decision, which has to be made by the end of June, its alternatives are probably limited:
- Either the UK decides to maintain more or less complete alignment with the EU on standards, regulations, etc. and adopts a Norway-type relationship with the EU27.
- Or it decides to leave with No Deal when the transition period comes to an end on 31 December 2020, and then begins to negotiate a completely new type of deal.
The reason for the binary choice is that there just isn’t enough time between now and the end of 2020 to negotiate and ratify a totally new working arrangement between the UK and the EU. It would take at least two years, and so far the Government has said that it will not request such an extension.
We look forward to continuing to support you over the coming year as these momentous decisions are made. The Ready for Brexit newsletter will move onto a monthly basis, to support you in your contingency planning for a No Deal outcome.
It will focus on providing more detail on the key areas that will be impacted by a No Deal decision – Customs and Tariffs, Finance, Legal, Services and Employment and Supply Chain. Our team knows how these areas used to operate before 1993, when the Single Market and Customs Union began.
In the meantime, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Ready For Brexit