Importing goods to the UK after Brexit

With the UK leaving the EU on the 31st December, the way you bring goods into the UK is changing. Below is the advice from HMRC on the things you should be doing as a business to ensure minimal disruption to your business. 

Make sure you have a GB EORI

You may already have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number, but from the 1st January you will need this for custom declarations when moving goods between the UK and non-EU countries. You can register for an EORI number for free here, or you can ask your Goodwille Lead Contact to help you organise it. If you provide a service, or just move goods between Northern Ireland & Ireland, you do not need an EORI.

Start preparing to make customs declarations

It will become more difficult from the 1st January 2021 to bring goods into the UK, so if you have not already, you might want to engage a customs agents, freight forwarder or express operator to help you with declarations and ensure you’re prepared to start submitting the necessary information. This is not something that Goodwille will do. You may already have a partner helping you with this – you should check with your warehouse dispatch team, fulfilment centre or courier company initially.

Depending on whether there is a deal or not, the value and scale of tariffs, duties & quotas may vary.

If you are still unclear, you can find a list of customs agents here, or a list of fast parcel operators here. If you still need assistance, you can try these two options:

See if your imported goods are eligible for simplified, staged controls & get registered now

Many goods are eligible for staged controls, meaning you will be able to defer import declarations for up to 6 months after the 1st January 2021. The following goods are not eligible for staged controls.

  • excise goods other than alcohol and tobacco
  • controlled goods except for drugs
  • fuel
  • being used at the border
  • imported under ATA procedures
  • imported under special customs procedures
  • imported under authorisation by declaration

When you make a customs declaration on imports, you may be able to make a simplified declaration when your goods arrive at a UK or EU port or airport.

If you want to apply for simplified declarations, you will need to complete a C&E48 here to gain approval. As the form relates directly to the products being shipped, you should organise with your warehouse or freight forwarding company to complete and submit this application directly to HMRC.

Decide how you will account for import VAT when you make a customs declaration

From 1 January 2021, if your business is registered for VAT in the UK, you’ll be able to account for import VAT on your VAT Return for goods imported from anywhere in the world.

This means you will declare and recover import VAT on the same VAT Return, rather than having to pay it upfront and recover it later. You do not need to register, this will just become the new norm.

If Goodwille handles the VAT returns for you at present, we will take care of this for you when more information is announced. If you are handling your own VAT returns you can find out more information on the process here, or if you now need help with submitting VAT returns to HMRC please do not hesitate to contact us.

Check if Import VAT is due at the border

Import VAT will not be due at the border if goods in a consignment do not exceed £135 in value. The only exceptions will be excise goods and gifts. You can read more here, if you think this may be applicable to you.

Delay import declarations until July 2021, if your goods are NOT controlled

If you are bringing in controlled goods to the UK, you will need to complete declarations from the 1st January. If your goods are not controlled, you may choose to delay import declarations until July 2021.

Firstly, check if you goods are controlled here. If the goods are controlled, you should speak to your freight forwarded, customer agents or parcel operators as import declaration rules will apply from the 1st January 2021.

If the goods are not controlled, which will be for most of you, then you can record the goods in your own records without getting authorisation in advance, and account for them on your VAT returns – Goodwille will support you with this when more information is announced. As it stands, you will need to complete import declarations from July 2021, so it is good to get prepared with your freight forwarder or similar.

Review the tariff tables to see if your trade is impacted

New rates of Customs Duty for imports will be applicable from the 1st January 2021. This is called the UK Global Tariff. You can search for your goods on the database, by commodity code and/or description here. This will show you if there is any change between what you pay now, and what you will be expected to pay from the 1st January. It displays the tariffs that will be applied to goods at the border when they are imported and does not include other import duties, such as VAT.

This may vary if there is a trade agreement in place, exception applies such as relief or tariff suspension, or if the goods come from countries that are part of the generalised scheme.

The Trader Support Service will help you if you

1. Move goods between Great Britain & Northern Ireland
2. Bring Goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK

The Northern Ireland Protocol comes into force on the 1st January 2021, and there will be changes to the way you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. If this applies to you, sign up here to their free support service which will help you with declarations, and guiding you through changes to moving goods across the borders.

This service is not available for goods moving between the UK & EU.

What else can my business be doing to prepare for Brexit?

  • There are likely to be delays at ports from the 1st January 2021, so you may wish to increase your current stock holding in the UK to avoid future supply issues.
  • To combat the delays at ports, consider taking alternative routes for the movement of goods – this is something you should discuss with your freight forwarder in more detail.
  • Review and map out your supply chain, so you can identify areas which may cause you future problems.
  • There is a shortage of qualified experts when it comes to customs declarations in the UK, so act promptly to ensure you have the necessary support.

If you need more information on any aspect of this, please do not hesitate to reach out to your lead contact in the first instance.

Letter from the CEO on Brexit

Despite the challenges globally relating to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the UK has now formally confirmed to the EU that it will not seek an extension to the transition period at the end of December 2020. This leaves about 6 months for the UK government to clarify a number of areas.

While there have been numerous cliff edges over the last few years, this feels like the one that will finally take the UK out of the single market and the customs union, with all the headaches and challenges that entails. While preparations at the borders on the EU side appear to be complete, the UK side will look to relax requirements temporarily on goods coming from the EU and you can find our article on this here.  On the impacts to freedom of movement and individuals wanting to work in the UK, this is part is relatively clear and we have all the updates for you here.

However there are still many niche and regulated sectors such as Finance and Medicine that will want to know how things will operate after December. Not to mention the complexities of resolving the situation in Northern Ireland and the knock on political and negotiation effects.

What kind of trade deal the UK ends up getting is still anyone’s guess, much of the talk is whether it will be a “Canada” style Comprehensive Trading Arrangement (CTA) or an “Australian” one which is basically a deal on WTO terms. Any trade deal will only remove tariffs and not the need for declarations, creating more administration for companies moving goods between the two jurisdictions. From the numerous experts I have listened to the belief is that a basic goods FTA will be in place by the end of the year, but in this ever-changing landscape one needs to monitor the situation closely.

At Goodwille we will be tracking progress of the talks and you can follow our timeline here to see key dates in the future. We will also be working with our network and partners in the UK to make this transition as smooth as possible for your businesses. The number of Brexit newsletters will no doubt increase over the next few months. As always we will endeavour to make you aware of updates and clarifications to rules and regulations to the way you do business in the UK. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions.

Alexander Goodwille,

Brexit timeline of key events from referendum to EU exit

On January 31 2020, Brexit finally became reality as the United Kingdom officially left the European Union – more than three and a half years since the Brexit referendum. 2020 will be a transition period with most arrangements remaining the same and virtually nothing will change for businesses or for the public during this time. However, on June 15 2020, the UK and the EU announced in a joint statement that the UK will not seek an extension to the transition period meaning that the clock is ticking for the two to agree on their future relationship by the end of this year.

Below is a summary of the key events since the referendum 2016 as well as the important deadlines to look out for in 2020.

23 June 2016

EU referendum

UK holds referendum on its membership of the EU, commonly known as the Brexit referendum. It results in 51.9 per cent of votes being in favour of leaving.

Invocation of article 50

The at-the-time Prime Minister Theresa May triggers Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union, which begins the UK’s withdrawal.

29 March 2017
29 March 2019

Original Brexit day

The UK was originally set to leave the EU on this day. However, the process is delayed as the Withdrawal Agreement drafted and negotiated by the then Prime Minister Theresa May was not approved in the British Parliament and the EU agreed to grant an extension.

Theresa May resigns

Theresa May announces she will resign as Prime Minister.

7 June 2019
23 July 2019

Boris Johnson wins the leadership race

Boris Johnson is elected new leader of the Conservative party with almost twice as many votes as his opponent Jeremy Hunt.

Boris Johnson becomes the new Prime Minister

Following an audience with HM The Queen, Boris Johnson formally becomes the new Prime Minister of the UK and commits to taking the UK out of the EU on 31 October.

24 July 2019
31 October 2019

Brexit deadline

The UK is supposed to leave the EU, but the departure is yet again delayed despite Boris Johnson earlier vowing that Brexit will happen on this day, ‘no ifs or buts’.

General election in the UK

Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party wins a landslide victory taking 365 seats, with the Labour Party second on 202 seats.

12 December 2019
31 January 2020

Brexit day (for real) & Transition period begins

At 11 pm UK time, Brexit finally becomes reality as Britain officially leaves the European Union and enters a transition period that is due to run until the end of the year.

UK-EU future relationship negotiations in 2020

The UK-EU negotiations in 2020 will take place over several negotiation rounds. Areas of discussion include a new trade deal and the terms of the future relationship on a wide range of matters such as good and services, fishing and farming, security cooperation, data policy, education and science.

The transition period
2-5 March 2020

The first round of negotiations takes place

The first rounds of negotiations between the UK and the EU are formally launched in Brussels by the UK’s Chief Negotiator, David Frost, and by the European Commission’s Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier. Barnier warns of serious differences after the first round. The second round, due to take place in mid-March, is postponed due to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Europe.

The second round of negotiations takes place

Due to COVID-19, the second round of negotiations takes place via video conference. After the talks, both the UK and the EU issue a similar statement, expressing that limited and disappointing progress has been made so far. The pain points relate especially to fisheries matters, governance and “level playing field” for businesses.

20-24 April 2020
11-15 May 2020

The third round of negotiations takes place.

The third round ends in a similar mood as the second round. Both sides report that little progress has been made on the most significant outstanding issues, with only one scheduled negotiating round left before the crucial June summit.

The fourth round of negotiations takes place

The negotiations end yet again without any major breakthroughs, putting the pressure now on a high-level political meeting between Boris Johnson and the EU’s top official Ursula Von der Leyen, who will meet later this month.

2-5 June 2020
15 June 2020

UK and EU agree not to extend transition period beyond December 2020

A high-level video conference takes place between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and top EU officials, including European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Following the call, the UK and EU confirm that Britain will not seek an extension to the transition period. However, both parties agree to intensify talks in July.

Further negotiations

July – October 2020
31 October 2020

Deadline for the “legal text” of the agreement to be in place

Taking into account the time needed to ratify a deal, the EU’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier has stated that a full “legal text” must be in place by this date – at the latest.

Ratification of agreement?

November – December 2020
31 December 2020

Transition period ends

If a trade deal is not in place by this date, the UK will fall back on to WTO rules.

Want to keep up with the latest updates on the Brexit discussions?
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Brexit: Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) & Border Arrangements

Free-Trade Agreements (FTA)

The UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020, losing its membership of the EU’s political institutions such as the European Parliament and European Commission. The Transition Period began immediately after Brexit day and is due to end on 31 December 2020. During this 11-month period, the UK remains in the EU customs union and single market, which means that the current rules on trade, travel and business for the UK and the EU continue to apply.

The UK and the EU are currently negotiating what the future relationship will look like, notably a comprehensive Free-Trade Agreement (FTA). Such an agreement is defined by the World Trade Organisation as an agreement between countries that removes tariffs and other restrictions on ‘substantially all’ goods traded between them.

Unfortunately, though the UK and the EU share the goal of a Free-Trade Agreement, like the EU’s agreement with Canada with no tariffs and no quotas, there are huge differences over how to reach it. Goods travelling between Britain and Northern Ireland remain a major issue. Additional disagreements include access to British fishing grounds and data protection. The EU will not allow the UK unfettered trade access as this would undermine the EU’s single market, whilst the UK will not accept requirements to align with EU rules.

Despite the Coronavirus outbreak, Boris Johnson’s government insists it will not extend the Transition Period. Although little time remains, EU-UK talks will intensify through July, August and September with the hope of securing an outlined deal by autumn where the future trade of goods and services will be outlined.

If a new trade agreement between the UK and the EU cannot be agreed in time, then the UK faces the prospect of having to trade with no deal in place.

Border Arrangements

Regardless of whether an agreement is done with the EU or not, the UK government has confirmed that border controls on imports will be introduced at the end of the Transition Period.

The UK had committed to introduce full import checks on EU goods at the border after the Transition Period, but Coronavirus has forced the UK government to rethink. Instead, border controls for EU goods imported into the UK will be three-phased, to give business affected by Coronavirus more time to prepare.

Phase 1) From January 2021: In this first stage, full custom checks will be imposed on ‘controlled’ goods, such as alcohol and tobacco, and on animals and high-risk plants. Importers of ‘standard’ goods, ranging from cloths to electronics, will need to prepare for basic customs requirements, such as keeping sufficient records of imported goods, and will have up to six months to complete customs declarations. Businesses will also need to consider how they account for VAT on imported goods.

Phase 2) From April 2021: Checks will be extended to all products of animal origin, including meat, pet food, honey and milk, with pre-notification of imports required by the authorities.

Phase 3) From July 2021: All goods will be subjected to customs declarations at the point of importation and relevant tariffs, which will be determined by the outcome of the current Brexit talks.

Here is more detailed information from the government’s website.

Checks on exports to the EU are being determined by Brussels and in response, the EU has said it will implement full checks on UK exports at the start of 2021.

How to prepare your business (if moving goods between the UK and the EU)

  • Make sure you have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. Goodwille can help you with this.
  • Look into how you want to make customs declarations and whether you need a customs agent. The government has put together a list over customs agents who can help you with this.
  • Refresh understanding of any logistics or supply chains involving UK-EU trade.
  • Set up a limited company or branch to ensure continued operation in the UK market. Goodwille can help you with this.

Data protection & Brexit

If the UK leaves the EU with a limited or no deal at the end of the transition period, you will need to take certain steps to ensure that data can continue to lawfully flow.

If you are a UK business that receives data from the EEA, you will need to take extra steps to ensure that the data can continue to flow freely and lawfully. The UK Government has stated that transfers to the EEA will note be restricted, but data coming from the EEA will need to be handled in a GDPR-compliant way. There are some tools available in the GDPR legislation which enable data transfers from the EEA to third countries, and for most businesses the use of Standard Contractual Clauses are likely to be the best way to keep data flowing to the UK.

If you are a UK business with offices, branches or other establishments in the EEA, your European activities will be covered by EU law, while UK activities will be covered by the Data Protection Act 2018.

Goodwille can support your business in many of the areas mentioned above, including setting up a Limited Company or a UK branch, help applying for an EORI number, as well as advice you on any HR and staff related questions. Contact us for more information on how we can support your business in preparing for Brexit. 

Sources and more information:

The HR implications of Brexit: What changes for employers and individuals?

Brexit is a word that has not been heard in a while given the headlines which have dominated the Global press of late. However, 31 December 2020 is the end of the transition period and from 1 January 2021 we will be ringing in the end of free-movement for the UK. We blogged about Brexit and People considerations in August 2019, but there have been many changes since then.

For Employers and Individuals alike, there have been a range of messages given over the past year concerning actions to be taken. We hope to provide some clarity in this article.

For individuals

As stated in our previous article, for EU citizens who are resident in the UK by the end of the transition period, they will be able to continue to live, work and study in the UK provided that they take certain actions. The options for these residents will be to apply for Pre-Settled Status or Settled Status depending on certain qualifying conditions.

EU citizens who arrive in the UK by 31 Dec 2020, but have not lived in the UK previously for 5 continuous years can apply for Pre-Settled Status. EU citizens who arrive in the UK by 31 Dec 2020 and do have a record of living in the UK continuously for 5 years can apply for Settled Status. There are regulations around what is considered as living in the country continuously.  As applications are taking longer than expected, applicants have an extended period until 30 June 2021 to make the application.

Pre-Settled status will be granted for five years, but will be lost if the individual leaves the UK for a period of two consecutive years. An individual granted Pre-Settled status may apply for Settled Status once five years continuous residence is met. Individuals granted Settled Status will lose this if they leave the UK for a period of five continuous years.

EU citizens who apply for Pre-Settled Status or Settled Status will be able to access healthcare in the UK, however other benefits such as support for ill health or unemployment are only able to be accessed by those granted Settled Status at the time of writing.

EU Nationals who are not residing in the UK by/on exit day will be subject to the UK new points-based immigration system from 1 January 2021. The new system will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally. From 1 January 2021, anyone coming to the UK to work will need to have a job offer from an approved employer sponsor. Points are assigned for specific skills, qualifications, salaries and shortage occupations, Visas are then awarded to those who gain enough points.

For employers

It is key at this time to understand the composition of your existing workforce. If you do currently employ EU citizens, then you should understand what their plans are by way of remaining in the UK; and if they desire to apply for Pre-Settled Status/Settled Status. It is however entirely probable that you will need to hire employees again in future, whether this be for a new vacancy or a replacement hire.

Employers who want to recruit workers from outside the UK’s resident labour market from 1 January 2021 will need to apply to become an approved sponsor in the UK. Therefore, in order to maintain a skilled and diverse workforce, then this is something to consider. As an employer, you can apply online and the standard processing time for an application is usually 8 weeks. EU citizen staff who are already in the UK or arrive before 1 January 2021 can continue to work without needing to show settlement status until 1 July 2021.

Irish and UK citizens will be able continue to travel freely for business travel and to live and work between both countries under the Common Travel Agreement (CTA). Irish nationals currently working in the UK will not need to apply for settled status in the UK.

As highlighted in our previous article, when carrying out pre-employment screening, HR will also need to be mindful of changing data protection laws.

In terms of whether an employer may place an EU employee on secondment to the UK, until now the UK has enjoyed favourable agreements with most EU countries for taxation and social security purposes. Negotiations are still underway of whether such favourable arrangements may continue in future.

Brexit: Norway and UK

An event hosted by the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce

In light of the upcoming trade negotiations between Norway and the UK, the Norwegian Embassy in London hosted an event under the topic “Brexit: Norway and UK”, together with the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce on 12 March. The NBCC invited its members to participate in a two hour engaging discussion about the future economic relations between the two countries, giving various perspectives from both the Norwegian embassy, the separate governments as well as affected traders.

Event Space

Opening remarks were made by the Ambassador, Wegger Chr. Strømmen, himself, followed by an update from Simen Svenheim, also representing the Norwegian Embassy, regarding future agreement outlooks, trade of services and mobility. In the case of mobility, the general consensus is that neither will be seeking free moving of people. Those areas where UK and Norway currently have free trade are not likely to change, though trading of financial services will. To summarize – some areas will cause friction in terms of negotiations, some will remain unchanged.

Brexit Business Impact

To get a corporate perspective on the future negotiations and the economic relations between the two countries, the event evolved around an open dialogue with the audience regarding their concerns and priorities for the negotiations. Further, David Cairn, current Vice President for the large Norwegian corporation Equinor, was included among the speakers.

In response to the general concerns, representatives from the UK government were present to update the audience about ongoing negotiations. With expected changes in trade regulations, the primary concern seemed to be around the survival of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME’s).

The government representatives agreed that there will indeed be disagreements involving three areas; governance, fishery and customs, though the Prime Minister has the intention and desire to seek similar arrangements with EEA countries as prior to Brexit.

Government support for SME’s

The audience presented concerns regarding whether the government will be supporting smaller players exporting to the UK, and how they assess the knowledge amongst these SMEs in terms of the financial consequences of Brexit. With all the uncertainty involving when and on what terms Brexit would actually happen, there was a perception of smaller business owners feeling “Whatever happens, happens”.


Overall the event, very purposely, gave insights into the struggles and concerns of the Norwegian businesses, with takeaways for the governmental parties to include in future negotiations and subsequently offer solutions. As NBCC manager Kyrre Haugen mentioned during his speech – SMEs contribute to the majority of the Norwegian economy, therefore, let’s hope they become priority for the upcoming negotiations.

Brexit update from Goodwille – November 2019

Two major events have taken place in the past month; the decision to have a general election in the UK, and an agreement to another Brexit extension.

General election in the UK – 12th December 2019

Last week, it was decided that a general election will be taking place in the UK on 12th December. This is the third national referendum since 2015.

The current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, called for the election with the hope of resolving the Brexit deadlock. More Conservative seats would make a Brexit deal easier to pass.

However, the results could be the most unpredictable in a generation. According to recent statistics from the BBC, the EU/Brexit question tops the list of issues that British people care most about. Three and a half years since the Brexit referendum, every option is still a possibility.

Brexit Extension – 31st January 2020

The UK was set to leave the EU on 31st October 2019 and although Boris Johnson achieved a revised Brexit deal with the EU, the vote on the deal in the British Parliament did not go through.

In addition, British Members of Parliament adopted an amendment, commonly known as the Benn Act, which aimed to make sure that the UK could not leave the EU on 31st October without legislation in place.

Therefore, on 19th October, Prime Minister Johnson sent a letter to the EU asking for a Brexit delay for a third time. The EU agreed to a further extension until 31st January 2020, with an option to leave sooner if the British Parliament approves a deal.

Brexit will, of course, largely depend on the outcome of the general election.

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This update is for general guidance only. Specific legal advice should be obtained in all cases. This material is the copyright of Goodwille Limited (unless otherwise stipulated) and is not to be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written consent.

Brexit Timeline of Events

23rd June 2016

The United Kingdom European Union membership referendum takes place, commonly known as the Brexit referendum. It results in 51.9 per cent of votes being in favour of leaving.

29th March 2017

The at-the-time Prime Minister Theresa May trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union, which begins the UK’s withdrawal.

29th March 2019

The initial Brexit day, when the UK was originally set to leave the EU. However, the process is delayed as the Withdrawal Agreement drafted and negotiated by the then Prime Minister Theresa May was not approved in the British Parliament.

7th June 2019

Theresa May announces she will resign as Prime Minister.

23rd July 2019

Boris Johnson is elected new leader of the Conservative party.

24th July 2019

Boris Johnson becomes the new Prime Minister of the UK.

31st October 2019

The UK is supposed to leave the EU, but the departure is yet again delayed.

12th December 2019

General election in the UK.

13th December 2019

The results of the General election are announced.

31st January 2020

Brexit day. The UK is set to leave the EU on this date.

Want to keep up with the latest updates on the Brexit discussions?
Subscribe to Goodwille’s Brexit Newsletter to receive the latest news straight to your inbox! 

This update is for general guidance only. Specific legal advice should be obtained in all cases. This material is the copyright of Goodwille Limited (unless otherwise stipulated) and is not to be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written consent.

Goodwille announces partnership with ECUS – and other things we have been doing

Since the result of the Brexit referendum in 2016, Goodwille has been working together with clients, preparing  for the day where Brexit might happen. The preparations continue as the situation develops and more details concerning the British withdrawal from the EU become clearer. In this article we announce our most recent partnership, ensuring that we can help our clients’ businesses thrive in this period of uncertainty.

Building and maintaining partnerships

It is important for us to ensure we minimise the issues of importing and exporting goods in the event of a no-deal Brexit. We are therefore excited to announce our partnership with ECUS, a Swedish company founded by Peter Jacobsson, that specialises in facilitating trade and customs.  The partnership between Goodwille and Ecus ensures we have a plan for the longer-term logistics of moving goods between the EU and the UK.

Moreover, Goodwille continues to work closely together with North Star Law, for immigration expertise, taking the work out of staff movements cross-borders.

Finally, Goodwille will be handling GDPR and VAT changes internally and through our expert network.

Monitoring the risk of no-deal Brexit

One might think that a no-deal is unlikely given the facts that Boris Johnson is lacking a majority in Parliament, and because of the law recently in place to prevent a no-deal Brexit. However, as we have all learnt from the last years in British politics, nothing is impossible. A no-deal Brexit is thus less of a risk than it was a couple of months ago, but it remains a risk.

Keeping up-to-date on relevant updates from HM Government

Since Boris Johnson came to power, we have seen more detail from the government on how to prepare for Brexit. Goodwille encourages all clients to continue to monitor the British government’s website for information relevant to your business.

Updating through our newsletters

Goodwille continues to try to keep you updated through our newsletter and through your contact points at Goodwille. Subscribe to our newsletter here if you haven’t already done so. We encourage feedback and would love to hear what you find useful and if there are any other areas you would like covered. Please email us on if you have any thoughts to share.

This update is for general guidance only. Specific legal advice should be obtained in all cases. This material is the copyright of Goodwille Limited (unless otherwise stipulated) and is not to be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written consent.

Brexit update from Goodwille – October 2019

In this Brexit update from early October 2019, we take a look back at the events of the last month and give you a glimpse of the format of regular bulletins we will be sending in the run up to the current October 31st Brexit date.

PM Prorogues Parliament, and Supreme Court Appeal

Prime Minster Boris Johnson has been fighting the EU on one side and UK Parliament on the other. In an attempt to be able to focus on getting a deal with the EU, or enable a no-deal Brexit depending on who you believe, the PM prorogued parliament, basically shutting it down, for 5 weeks on 10th September. This was later ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court and Parliament was subsequently re-opened on 25th September.

The Benn Act and Government Losing Majority

In an attempt to prevent a no-deal from happening in October, Parliament took control of proceedings and enacted a piece of law intended to force the Prime Minister to extend Article 50, should no deal be forthcoming in the negotiations with the EU. In the days preceding the law passing, and during the fallout after, the Conservatives ended up losing their majority in parliament.

Parliament rejects a General Election

In a frustration for the UK government, Parliament has rejected calls for a General Election. The opposition maintain it is to ensure a No Deal exit cannot happen. With Boris maintaining that he needs the threat of no-deal to get the EU to move its persistence to push for the Withdrawal Agreement, which has thrice been rejected by the UK parliament.

Boris Johnson’s alternative arrangements

Any documents or plans the government have so far presented to resolve the current impasse in negotiations, have been rejected by EU as not doing enough to replace the Irish Backstop. Opposition parties are concerned Boris Johnson is just trying to look busy and whittle down the clock to a no-deal Brexit.

Party conferences underway as Government parties prepare for possible General Election

In the UK it is party conference season, where parties decide their latest policies. The Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party had theirs during the shutdown of parliament. In a bizarre twist the upcoming Conservative conference is happening with Parliament still running, due to the Supreme Court ruling. Requiring Conservative MP’s to need to shuttle back and forth from London and Manchester.

Talks of a Government of National Unity

Since Boris Johnson lost his majority in the UK parliament, there have been widespread rumours of the possibility of a Government of National Unity to take control of proceedings. The only problem with this is no one seems to be able to decide who that should be and what price that support would cost.

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This update is for general guidance only. Specific legal advice should be obtained in all cases. This material is the copyright of Goodwille Limited (unless otherwise stipulated) and is not to be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written consent.
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