EU ambassadors told deal almost done, as UK tells firms time is running out to prepare for new rules

Fri 20 Nov 2020
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

Time is running out for businesses to prepare for the end of transition period, whatever the outcome of the negotiations, the government has warned businesses.

However, the likelihood of a deal being reached is looking increasingly high, after the European commission’s most senior official, Ilze Juhansone, told EU ambassadors in Brussels that a deal is almost reached.

The majority of the major negotiating points have been resolved, with the “joint legal texts with fewer and fewer outstanding points”, she said according to the Guardian.

Still work to do

European commission president Ursula von der Leyen welcomed progress in the recent talks, which had stalled over level playing field rules and fisheries.

However, she warned, is “still a lot of work to do”.

“Within the frame of the level playing field, progress, for example, has been made on the question of state aid, but there are still quite some metres to the finish line so there’s still a lot of work to do”. She said.

Time is running out to prepare

Deal or no deal, the UK government is continuing to urge businesses to prepare for new trading arrangements with the EU – regardless of whether a deal is secured or not.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) this week launched the ‘Time is running out’ campaign urging businesses to ‘act now’.

Five steps to prepare 

BEIS is urging businesses to take key actions to prepare for all economic eventualities post-transition, “whether we end up with Australian or Canadian-style trading arrangements,” the department said in a press release. 

  1. Selling goods to the EU

    Government instruction: prepare for new customs procedures. Visit GOV.UK to check duties and customs procedures for exporting goods worldwide from 1 January 2021.

  2. Travelling to the EU for work purposes

    Government instruction: check if a visa or work permit is needed and apply if necessary.

  3. Employing overseas nationals

    Government instruction: prepare for the implementation of the new immigration system. From 1 January 2021, if you want to hire anyone from outside the UK, including from the EU, you must be a Home Office-licensed sponsor. 

  4. Data from the EEA (European Economic Area) 

    Government instruction: UK businesses or organisations that receive personal data from the EEA may need to take extra steps to ensure that the data can continue to flow legally at the end of the transition period. 

  5. Qualifications 

Government instruction: Firms providing services in the EU must ensure their staff qualifications are now recognised by EU regulations to be able to practise or service clients in the EU.