Find the latest news on the Brexit developments and negotiations between the EU and UK.

UK-EU trade has collapsed post Brexit - as firms are still adapting
Mar 14, 2021

Preliminary imports and exports data for the first month in which the UK traded with the EU on new terms following the end of the Brexit transition period has confirmed that post-Brexit trade has indeed suffered a steep decline.

For example, the goods imports from the UK  to Germany shrank by €2bn in January compared with the same month in 2020 to just €1.6bn. This is a 56.2 per cent plunge in sales and exports. The plunge for products moving in the other direction was around 29 percent.

It is becoming more and more clear that companies are not adjusting to the red tape and non tariff-barriers. Disruptions may be down to a somewhat lower demand due to national lockdowns, however lower product exports are also undeniably due to disruptions as firms got to grips with the new paperwork and processes.

Brexit to cost UK economy more than EU
Feb 12, 2021

It is being predicted that the UK economy will suffer a lot more from the effects of Brexit than that of the EU. Experts say, UK's GDP will be down 2.25% by the end of 2022 compared to a situation of continued membership. The EU's hit in relation to its GDP is estimated to be only about 0.5% for the same time period.

Although the Free Trade Agreement negotiated softens the blow for the economy, the impact for the UK will nonetheless be felt in a number of economies. The above number is equivalent to a loss of GBP 40 bn over two years.

The EU commission said the “trade shock” from the so-called non-tariff barriers resulting from Brexit amounted to the equivalent of a tax on imports worth 10.9% for the EU and 8.5% for the UK.

Post-Brexit red tape hitting exports to EU
Feb 11, 2021

UK producers wanting to introduce products into the EU are facing substantial challenges and border disruption. A month after the implementation of new rules, the new rules are turning out to be the equivalent of non-tariff barriers. For some small and medium sized businesses these disruptions may prove to be existential.

Also, more problems are being expected in relation to the situation in Northern Ireland. The EU has ruled out a two year transition period on the Protocol as proposed by the UK government. Further, UK businesses are demanding changes for the services sector.

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Teething Problems here to stay?
Feb 10, 2021

usinesses are complaining that the initial problems and delays caused by Brexit are still persisting. Although no tariff-barriers were included in the EU-UK Cooperation and Trade Agreement, lots of small and medium sized businesses are having trouble coping with other practical barriers caused by red tape. 

Some of the non-tariff barriers being reported by businesses include having to fill out lengthy paperwork and having all goods checked extensively before being able to send these on their way. Also goods are being checked by customs agents on the border, leading to further delays.

These circumstances are currently resulting in a drastic drop in exports and a higher average price for products entering the EU from the UK.

UK Government advises firms to move to EU
Jan 23, 2021

Businesses and firms are increasingly encountering dispruptions and costs due to the effects of Brexit. In order to avoid extra charges, additional paperwork or even taxes, companies are being advised to set up separate legal entities within the EU.

Contact us, if you are looking to establish a subsidiary or even a separate company in the EU. We provide legal advice on company and corporate law and will help you set up your company as quickly as possible.

Brexit deal agreed!

Dec 25, 2020

Difficult negotiations about a future trade deal between the UK and the EU have finally come to a positive conclusion. The much expected deal was delivered by the parties as somewhat of a Christmas present on Christmas Eve. It will take a while to get to know all the details of the deal as both sides will have made concessions in order to get a deal through before the holidays. However, major changes are still in the air and the way commercial transactions will be carried out across the Channel will nonetheless change significantly on 1 January 2021.

"Moment of Truth" as time runs out for deal
Dec 18, 2020

Michel Barnier has apparently said that the main obstacle to a deal in the final “few hours” of the post-Brexit trade negotiation is whether the EU will be able to hit UK goods with tariffs if the government closes its fishing waters to EU fishing fleets in the future.

With the EU parliament having said it needs agreement by midnight on Sunday for it to be able to give its consent in a vote this year, the EU’s chief negotiator said the nine months of talks had hit the “moment of truth”.

The two sides are at loggerheads over whether the EU will be able to hit back should the UK close its seas to European vessels after a transition period of unspecified length.

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Major issues still unresolved as Sunday Deadline passes Dec 15, 2020

With just over three weeks left until the UK leaves EU’s single market and customs union at the end of the transition period, there are two issues that continue to dominate negotiations. EU leaders on Sunday described these as “major unresolved topics.” They are the future level of access to British waters given to the EU fishing fleet and, more significantly, the "evolution" or "ratchet clause" to ensure that regulatory standards do not diverge to such an extent that British or European businesses are left at a significant competitive disadvantage in the marketplace over time.

However, there is again growing optimism in regards to a deal being struck before the end of the year as apparently both sides have given ground in the past days. 

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Sunday Deadline set for Brexit Deal
Dec 10, 2020

Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen have apparently agreed that any Brexit deal must be sealed by Sunday or there will be no deal. The pair met in Brussels on Wednesday for high level talks which however, only lasted three hours. There still seem to be "very large gaps" remaining between the EU and UK. Ursula von der Leyen will today report back to the EU leaders and their parliaments.

Before flying to Brussels for talks with Ursula von der Leyen, Boris Johnson is said to have told the Commons that the EU had "tabled terms no British prime minister could accept".

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EU ready to accept "no deal" Brexit
Dec 9, 2020

Angela Merkel has stated the EU might be ready to accept a "no deal" Brexit as Boris Johnson heads to Brussels for last ditch high level negotiations.

The EU is still looking for ways to manage risks of regulatory divergence and to minimise the risk of unfair competition between the EU and UK markets.

For the UK, sovereign control over its fishing waters is still a decisive point and may prove to be critical if a deal is to be concluded.

Both sides are still looking to mitigate legal risks in areas such as environmental law and labour law. The prospective legal framework for many legal areas is still unclear and will provide a big risk for businesses and private persons alike.

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Breakthrough on fishing but deadlock on single market?
Dec 7, 2020

It is being reported that negotiations have experienced a major breakthrough regarding the rights of European fleets to fish in UK waters. Terms for access for EU boats to the UK's exclusive economic zone have been all but finalized with a transition period of between five and seven years seeming likely.

Talks are set to resume and any deal now hinges on a demand of a "ratchet clause" requiring the UK to follow EU environmental, social and labour standards as they develop or else risk facing tariffs on British exports.

Other sources report that talks were still on "a knife edge" as the sides remained deadlocked on how to maintain a "level playing filed" for competition after the UK leaves the EU single market on December 31, 2020.

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Brexit deal hanging in Balance?
Dec 4, 2020

A Brexit deal is again looking less likely after French president Emanuel Macron intervened on fish and state aid, apparently alarming the UK prime minister Boris Johnson. The previous days had made the public believe that progress was being made towards a Brexit deal possibly evening being concluded by the end of the week. However, the latest developments seem to be somewhat of an obstacle.

Hopes remain on both sides that the last-minute bust-up can be resolved and a deal be reached by next Monday or Tuesday. The EU is still confident it can hammer out provisions that would prevent either side from gaining an unfair competitive advantage through state aid.

Michel Barnier is apparently adamant that any deal should provide “definitions, principles and binding, workable and operational enforcement”.

"Thin" Deal looking more and more likely
Dec 2, 2020

The word from both sides of the negotiation table is that a deal may be struck soon. 

However, in the UK the Labour Party is still unsure whether it should support this "thin" deal. Labour Leader Keir Starmer and his Labour colleagues have mostly been against Brexit and are indecisive as to whether to back a Boris Johnson deal should he be able to negotiate a trade deal with the EU.

In the EU Michel Barnier is being urged to take a harder stance. The Financial Times reports, that Paris and other European capitals have "heaped pressure on EU negotiator Michel Barnier to wrench concessions from Britain on a trade deal".

Urgency growing in Brexit deal talks
Nov 26, 2020 

Tensions are again on the rise, as Michel Barnier, the EU chief negotiator, has indicated discussions might not continue unless the British side signals a willingness to engage further.

The EU is hoping that Boris Johnson will look at this week's Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts for the costs of a no-deal exit, and decide that it is clearly in the UK’s interest to pay the price for access to the market that takes nearly 50 per cent of its total trade (the UK resists this, because it can see itself becoming trapped as an EU tributary state, over time).

Review clauses the key to a Brexit deal?
Nov 24, 2020 

The UK and EU negotiators are exploring the idea of review clauses to break the deadlock in trade talks. The possibility was raised that parts of the deal could be revisited several years after they take effect. The UK is hoping this may lead to the possibility to re-establish tariffs on trade in goods if Britain no longer wanted to abide by the terms of the level playing field in areas such as state aid.

It is also being touted that preparations may be completed on time for the new UK-EU trade border that will come into force on January 1, including computer systems, lorry parks, customs agents and vets required to complete export declarations to the EU.

Medium term solution being favored over "No deal"
Nov 19, 2020 

Although both parties are reiterating their intention to negotiate a deal, no deal is still looking likely. However, it is being recognized that both parties – although still unwilling to comporise – are trying to find a solution, albeit this meaning a "medium term" deal. 

From an EU point of view the political costs of a no deal scenario may outweigh the risks and may be willing to enter into a trade deal even though this may damage the integrity of the single market.

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