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Home > Brexit > Brexit Update: Significant Risks Remain; Businesses must Prepare

Brexit Update: Significant Risks Remain; Businesses must Prepare

Posted on: 12/11/2020

Brexit Update 9 November 2020 by Camilla Call, Brexit Advisor

The National Audit Office (NAO) published its report on preparation for the end of the transition period, concluding that significant risks remain. With this milestone fast approaching, a series of checklists for different industries has been produced to help businesses prepare for 1 January 2021. The Government has also released the second phase of webinars to help businesses to prepare. 

The UK is facing further legal action from the EU after failing to respond to the letter of complaint regarding the Internal Market Bill, which breaches the Withdrawal Agreement as it would ban border checks on goods moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain (Independent 4 November). The EU has said this needs resolving if a Free Trade Agreement is to be agreed and a UK Government spokesperson said “We are committed to working through the Joint Committee process to find a satisfactory outcome for both sides… We will respond to the next stages of this process in due course.”

Names of suspected criminals and missing people are being recorded in the Interpol system to mitigate the risk of the UK losing access to the Schengen Information System (SIS II) in the event of no deal being drawn up with the EU (Independent 4 November). Lord Rickets, a former government national security adviser, said this “would be quite serious for UK policing.” Boris Johnson is facing criticism for not prioritising this, however, membership of Europol and the European Arrest Warrant will be lost even with an agreement.

Sky News reported on 5 November that key differences remain in the UK-EU negotiations and Michel Barnier stated the UK has “blocked progress”. He mentioned the level playing field as being the most fundamental difference and refutes claims in UK media that a deal is close on fisheries. Both sides are accusing each other of wasting time in order to put pressure on the need to agree a deal.

Simon Roberts, Chief Executive of Sainsburys, is calling for clarity from the Government on the Northern Ireland situation, and said without this “we will see a restriction on the ranges of products we can sell (Guardian 5 November). This is not one or two products in stores I am talking about, it is a substantial number of products and quite key, everyday products too.” The current deal means checks will be required on goods but in a meeting held last week, trusted trader status was mentioned as a means to ensure supply isn’t disrupted. This issue is not limited to Sainsburys and will affect all major supermarkets.

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a report on “The UK border: preparedness for the end of the transition period”. This concludes that significant risks remain with little time left to prepare.

Alok Sharma, Business Secretary, has reached out to businesses and urged them to:

 

New and Updated guidance
With the transition period ending on 31 December 2020, time is running out to prepare your business. A series of checklists have been produced to help you prepare for 1 January 2021:

Electronics and machinery sector: 9-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021

Consumer goods sector: 13-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021

Automotive sector: 10-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021

Aerospace sector: 9-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021

Science, research and innovation sector: 8-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021

Life sciences sector: 12-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021

Construction sector: 11-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021

Arts, heritage and culture sector: 7-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021

Telecoms and information services sector: 6-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021

Tourism sector: 6-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021

Gambling sector: 5-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021

Civil society sector: 4-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021

Creative industries sector: 6-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021

 

New webinars to help businesses prepare for the end of the transition period
Alok Sharma is also encouraging businesses to sign up to a second phase of webinars on key issues that could affect businesses in multiple sectors, including personal data, and regulations on manufactured goods. Webinars from the first phase of webinars are also available to view via this link and cover ten industries.

Providing services in the EU: professional qualifications, audit and accounting, and legal services – Wednesday 11 November

Chemical regulations – Thursday 12 November

Using personal data from 1 January 2021 – Wednesday 18 November

IPO (incl. EU Trade Marks, copyright, patents) – Tuesday 17 November

Ministry of Justice webinars for legal professionals

Webinars for exporters of animals and products of animal origin to the EU

 

Dorset Chamber delivers a free of charge Brexit advice service to all businesses, funded by BCP Council and Dorset Council. For information and advice please contact us at [email protected] / 01202 714800 or visit dorsetchamber.co.uk.

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