Has the Brexit transition been delayed by the Coronavirus?

April 28, 2020

What is the latest on the Brexit negotiations?

There are eight months to go before the transitional period between the United Kingdom and the European comes to an end. The United Kingdom officially left the European Union on January 31, 2020. So what is the status of negotiations? 

Evidently, the current Coronavirus pandemic has been the major focus for Boris Johnson and the United Kingdom's government, led by the Conservative party, however, Brexit discussions have been on-going albeit via video link as opposed to face to face meetings. The United Kingdom is hoping to sign a free trade agreement with the European Union similar to the deal the country has with Canada. The European Union, on the other hand, are requesting that the United Kingdom adheres to European Union regulations which the United Kingdom has rejected as a possibility. 

The transitional period ends December 31st, 2020.

In order to ensure that a deal is in place before the 31st December 2020, the agreement would need to be completed by July 1st 2020, however, there is a provision to extend the transitional period by up to 2 years if both sides agree. Boris Johnson is reluctant to agree to any further extensions.

Below is the 2020 Brexit timeline published on the House of Commons library:

Brexit timeline

Current issues being discussed between the EU and UK:

•    United Kingdom are looking for a Free Trade Agreement similar to Canada
•    European Union want full fishing rights in UK waters
•    The European Union want the United Kingdom to adhere to EU regulations. 
•    The United Kingdom do not have the intention to be subject to EU regulations after 31st December. However, some regulations currently in place will be written into British legislation.

What if there is no deal?

Assuming that a deal is not agreed between the two parties by December 31st, 2020, the United Kingdom will not gain any benefit from the numerous trade deals in force with the European Union.

However, the British government has a number of deals that are expected to be in force from the 1st January 2021. Here are the trade agreements that have been signed already:
•    Kosovo 
•    Jordan
•    Morocco 
•    Georgia 
•    Southern African nations 
•    Tunisia 
•    Lebanon 
•    South Korea
•    Central America
•    Andean countries
•    Caribbean countries
•    Pacific Islands 
•    Liechtenstein 
•    Israel 
•    Palestinian Authority 
•    Switzerland 
•    The Faroe Islands 
•    Eastern and Southern Africa 
•    Chile

Negotiations are ongoing with a further 16 countries, including Canada and Mexico.


If you are concerned about how Brexit will affect your business, we can address any questions you may have, please don't hesitate to reach out!

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