The EU published its Brexit preparedness documents on 19 July. The documents contain a strong message for businesses that they need to act to ensure they are prepared for a potential hard Brexit. This was followed this week by the Westminster government announcing its preparation for both an agreed deal and for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.
Sean McGinness, VAT director at Saffery Champness and a member of the firm’s Landed Estates Group, commented:
“Most businesses are aware that there will be changes to regulations – including VAT and customs – following Brexit. The statement from the EU last week that businesses must act to prepare for a hard Brexit should be seriously considered by those involved in cross-border trade, not least those in our agriculture/exports/imports sector.”
“Also, those involved in services, particularly regulated sectors such as insurance, need to consider what changes they need to make to ensure that their businesses can continue after exit. This applies to both UK businesses trading in the EU, EU businesses trading in the UK and overseas businesses that trade in both the EU and the UK.”
“The EU has made it clear in its most recent documentation that transitional arrangements will only apply if a deal can be reached. In the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit it appears that the EU position is that businesses must be ready for the new trading landscape earlier than the proposed end of the transitional period of 31 December 2020. We are working with clients both in the UK and through our Nexia International network to ensure they are considering options and steps they need to take to be prepared for the exit date, whenever that will be and, in the case of ‘no deal’, potentially sooner than later.”