LONDON, October 11th – The UK government on Sunday urged businesses to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period, saying that they must take action whether or not a trade deal with the European Union is reached.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stated that the UK will not extend the transition period, which ends December 31st, and that progress will need to be made in the coming days to bridge the significant differences between the two sides if an agreement is to be reached.
The Commerce Department argues that most of what companies need to do is the same regardless of the outcome of the negotiations, and has scheduled a series of sector-specific webinars for October.
“With 81 days to go to the end of the transition period, companies must act now to ensure they are ready for the UK restart in January,” said Economy Secretary Alok Sharma, who will write to companies regarding the changes.
“There will be no extension of the transition period, so there is no time to lose”.
Companies need to do things to ensure that employees register for residence rights and prepare for customs procedures in trade with the EU, the government said.
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The UK formally left the EU on January 31, but more than four years after voting 52% -48% for Brexit in a 2016 referendum, both sides are haggling over a trade deal that will come into effect if informal membership is granted ends on December 31st.
The EU’s two chief negotiators, Michel Barnier and Britain’s David Frost, say they are moving towards an agreement before October 15 but that there are still major gaps in the areas of fisheries, level playing field and governance. Both sides have planned a no-deal scenario. (Report by Alistair Smout; Editor: Christina Fincher)