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Transition – What is Brexit Transition?

Brexit is the common name for the event of the UK leaving the European Union, which officially happened on 31stJanuary 2020.  However, a transition period was agreed during which there were no obvious practical changes, but agreements could be drawn up.  That transition period is due to end at 11pm on 31st December 2020 bringing new rules for 2021

At the end of transition, the UK will cease to be a member of the European Union; it will become a separate trading state and will no longer be subject to EU rules and treaties etc. drawn up between other countries and EU – pending any new deal being negotiated.

The UK used to have its own treaties and trade agreements, pre joining the Union, and some of these will come back into force.  Many new treaties have been negotiated during the transition period, some on the same terms as those between that country and the EU, for renegotiation at leisure, at a later date.  However, there may also be some countries where no trade deal exists, and default world trade rules will apply.

But trading agreements and treaties are not the only thing effected by our membership of the Union.  EU has a general single market for trade and labour whereby goods and people can travel, work, and operate between member countries, across borders, with no opposition. In fact, EU rules state that individuals and businesses should not be treated differently, across intra EU borders, and there are European courts to enforce general rules.

Following transition, UK will no longer be a member of EU and hence can be treated differently.

Specifically, there will now be border checks for people and goods.

Special arrangements called the Northern Ireland Protocol have been agreed for the Northern Ireland.

What is the EU?

The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 countries. It operates an internal (or single) market which allows free movement of goods, capital, services and people between member states.

Which countries are members of the EU?

The following countries are members of the EU

Austria France Malta
Belgium Germany Netherlands
Bulgaria Greece Poland
Croatia Hungary Portugal
Republic of Cyprus Ireland Romania
Czech Republic Italy Slovakia
Denmark Latvia Slovenia
Estonia Lithuania Spain
Finland Luxembourg Sweden

The following countries are not members the EU but are members of The European Economic Area (EEA) which allows them to be part of the EU’s single market.

  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein

Switzerland is neither an EU nor EEA member but is part of the single market

The following Crown Dependencies are not part of the EU

  • The Isle of Man
  • Guernsey
  • Jersey

Who is subject to rule changes at the end of Brexit Transition?

Anyone who has dealings with the EU or under EU regulations is affected e.g.

  • Staff or products from the EU
  • Staff or products traveling to or through the EU
  • EU products, services or business in the supply chain
  • Anyone using EU status or regulations for contracts, licenses, labeling, quotas
  • Owners of EU equity, loans, property, websites

For more information see our other blogs in this series

  1. Identity
  2. Licences & Certification
  3. Staff
  4. Exports
  5. Imports
  6. Services
  7. Actions & Costs

Or Visit HMRC

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