Alternative access to the EU

For clients who rely on the UK for access to EU markets, Goodwille has looked at other setups to maintain access post-Brexit. In this article we present three possible alternatives for access to the EU market in the event of a no-deal Brexit; Ireland, E-residency in Estonia, and the Netherlands.

Ireland

Ireland will most likely be the easiest alternative to a presence in the UK. The list of positives for Ireland is long. The Irish have a similar jurisdiction to the UK, there are no language barriers, it is relatively easy to set up a company and the corporation tax is lower compared to the rest of the EU. However, one negative aspect for clients who would use Ireland as a base to import and export to rest of the EU is that Ireland could be affected heavily by a no-deal Brexit, as most trade currently goes through the UK to get to mainland Europe.

E-residency in Estonia

Estonia is a member of the European Union. Through the country’s embrace of digital solutions, it allows foreign nationals to become e-residents. Thereby, you could set up a business in Estonia from a foreign country. From what we have read, the stumbling block is whether one could get a bank account without close ties to Estonia. For those looking for subsidiary access to the EU market, it remains  uncertain whether this alternative is suitable at present.

The Netherlands and elsewhere in the EU

If you need access to the rest of the EU because you trade in physical goods, then serious consideration should be given to the European mainland. The Netherlands is an interesting alternative for a number of reasons. Just as in regards to Ireland, it is relatively easy to set up a company in the Netherlands. Due to a highly advanced transport infrastructure, the Netherlands is seen as a gateway to the rest of Europe. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Netherlands would not be affected in the same manner as Ireland would.


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.

 

No-deal Brexit from a people/HR perspective

Whilst it is clear with the appointment of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister that there will be a different tack to negotiations with the EU, at the time of writing the EU has maintained the stance it does not intend to renegotiate the terms of its deal with the UK.

In the case of a no-deal Brexit, it is likely to become more expensive and difficult for people to work, study and live across borders in the long run as well as gaining access to healthcare, benefits and social services.

For individuals

At this time, for current residents (EU citizens located in the UK by/on 31st October 2019) the UK have provided a grace period to continue to reside in the UK. They may apply for pre-settled status or settled status depending on certain qualifying conditions. EU citizens residing in the UK on exit day may also continue to receive temporary access to healthcare until December 2020. In terms of professional qualifications, EU citizens who have had their qualifications recognised in the UK by exit day will be protected.

EU Nationals who are not residing in the UK by/on exit day can still come to the UK to work or study without applying for immigration status or visas, as long as they do not stay for longer than 3 months. This means that it will still be possible for short-term business trips to happen. This arrangement will remain in place until the new UK immigration system comes into effect in 2021. For EU Nationals who are looking to stay in the UK for longer than the 3-month application free period, it will be possible to apply for Temporary Leave to Remain which grants up to a 36 month stay to work or study. Once this expires, EU Nationals will need to apply via the new immigration visa system and their time spent living in the UK via Temporary Leave to Remain will not count towards any permanent residency application. So far, the EU has granted UK nationals visa-free travel in the event of no-deal, allowing visits for 90 days in any 180 days.

For employers

There is speculation that there could be an economic slowdown due to Brexit which could in turn result in recruitment freezes. What we do know is that there will be more hurdles for HR when recruiting EU citizens into UK businesses and perhaps difficulty in replacing key personnel with certain skillsets (e.g. languages). When carrying out pre-employment screening, HR will also need to be mindful of changing data protection laws (as the UK will be considered a third country) if references need to be sought outside of the UK.

Another concern for employers is the potential change to secondment arrangements, whereby until now the UK has enjoyed favourable agreements with most EU countries for taxation and social security purposes. As of now, the UK has reached bilateral agreements with both Switzerland and the EFTA countries to protect existing healthcare arrangements in a no-deal scenario. The UK have also published draft Statutory Instruments in relation to the social security treatment of individuals in order to maintain current EU principles and rules on social security, however this does not affect social security in other EU countries.

In summary, even in a no-deal Brexit scenario, it will no doubt be more arduous but in no way an impossible situation.


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.

Alternatives to a no-deal Brexit

The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has stated that the UK is leaving on the 31st October 2019 “no if’s, no but’s”. The markets seem to believe him as the pound continues to fall against other major currencies. The EU continues to maintain that the only deal available comes in the form of the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) along with the highly controversial Irish backstop, agreed with Theresa May’s government. From the UK perspective, the WA has been rejected 3 times by the UK Parliament and therefore, it is considered dead by many, particularly the new government. Assuming the WA does not go back to Parliament, what alternative routes exist that do not result in WTO no-deal exit?

Government loses control

Boris Johnson has a very narrow majority in Parliament. However, Brexit is a cross-party issue. It could either be through a vote of no confidence, leading to a government of national unity, or a general election, or even just to control the legislature to block a no-deal exit, resulting in a further extension of Article 50 or even a revocation should there be perceived lack of appetite from certain EU leaders for a further extension. If this were to take hold, it would need to happen in early September, and even then, the Remain side have been fighting among themselves to decide who should lead this group.

WA without backstop

The backstop remains one of the most controversial elements of the current deal available to the UK. The EU has consistently stated that it would not entertain removing the backstop and, for the time being, we should hold them to their word. Recently, Boris Johnson has been given the challenge to come up with credible “alternative arrangements” by the 20th September to allow the backstop to become redundant. There is scepticism this can be delivered, and therefore this avenue seems unlikely.

Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

There were rumours that the EU had always been prepared to offer a Free Trade Agreement before Theresa May started negotiations that lead to the Withdrawal Agreement. Many of the current Conservatives have wanted to work towards an FTA, similar to Canada’s, from the very beginning. Though it is quite unlikely, this could be implemented or agreed upon in the short period of time remaining. This may be the final destination for the UK-EU relationship, but it is not going to happen by 31st October.

EEA (Norway Style)

A type of Brexit that seems to never go away is the Norway style membership or EEA membership. In some ways, this provides the most deliverable transition at this juncture with the least disruption, considering the constraints of time and distance in consensus between both UK and EU parties. It would need ratification by the EU and the other members of the EEA group. So far, the UK has not entertained this option, but with all sides not wishing for a no-deal Brexit, this could and would be pushed through should the UK head for this option.

Standstill Agreement

Should a no-deal exit look very possible as we approach 31st October, or even have come to pass, there have been persistent rumours that some form of Standstill Agreement would apply to minimise the disruption. The Institute for Government have produced a good, concise article covering what is probably possible and the difficulties of achieving a Standstill Agreement.

In Summary

Even with 2 months to go, it is impossible to say where we might end up. There are still many things that can and will happen between now and 31st October. Should none of the above options come to pass, then the default remains a no-deal exit, with all the unknowns and likely disruption that will occur to both sides.


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.

Updates to the EU Settlement Scheme

Following the resignation of Prime Minister Theresa May, and with the race for a new Prime Minister and leader of the Tory Party already in full-swing, the level of uncertainty in the Brexit process has definitely increased and muddied potential outcomes. Nevertheless, the UK is still due to leave the EU on, or before, 31 October 2019 as agreed with the EU in April. This has led to a shift in the timetable of the Brexit process and some deadlines for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

In January 2019, we published our guide to the EUSS; a flowchart looking at 3 primary questions concerning EU citizens’ rights in the UK post-Brexit UK. There have since been some notable changes to the EUSS flowchart, such as the UK government opening the EUSS to the public at no cost in April as promised, the possibility for iPhone users to also use the Home Office App later this year to upload passport information, the UK government noting that EEA country citizens would also be able to apply for EUSS, are but a few changes of noteworthy importance. There is more information in our flowchart, which is accessible on the link below.

We understand the uncertainty surrounding the fate of all EU citizens in the UK in a post-Brexit Britain, and our guide aims to shed some light on the changes to the rights of residency for EU and EEA citizens in the UK. Our flowchart will forward you to relevant sites and offer professional guidance concerning any aspects of the relevant law, and hopefully, provide you with a piece of mind regarding your rights to remain in the UK post-Brexit.

Access our guide to the EU Settlement Scheme here.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about your rights to reside and do business in and with the United Kingdom after Brexit.

Brexit Update from Goodwille – April 2019

It’s been a while since our last update on the Brexit discussion so we felt it was time for another one, even if we are still waiting for a final decision as to how and when Brexit will happen.

What has happened since our last update?

Very little that has brought any clarity. Our belief that a delay was more likely than a No-Deal was confirmed when the EU accepted Theresa May’s letter to extend Article 50.

What happened on Friday?

Theresa May’s latest attempt to get her deal through failed, albeit by a smaller margin (58 votes).

What is going on at the moment in the UK Parliament?

Contrary to normal procedure, there are two parallel processes going on in Parliament at the moment. Theresa May and the Government are trying to get her Withdrawal Agreement through and the rest of parliament are trying to find a majority for anything. They failed at the first attempt, with another referendum coming closest even though it was heavily defeated back on 14th March. Most likely because a large number of MP’s supporting the Government is abstaining from the current parliamentary process. In a bizarre twist even if parliament found a majority for something, Theresa May could ignore it.

What are the EU doing?

The sentiment seems to be one of growing frustration amongst EU27. Albeit Leo Varadkar (Irish PM) and Michel Barnier (EU Lead negotiator) have added to the confusion stating that in the event of No-Deal that there would not be a need for Border checks between Northern Ireland and Ireland. This appears to contradict the most contentious aspect of the Withdrawal Agreement.

What appear to be the options now?

In essence, a No-Deal Brexit on the 12th April or, more likely (in our opinion) a long extension under conditions to be defined by the EU. Though there are still some lingering hopes by the Government that they might be able to get the Withdrawal agreement considering the narrowing margin of votes. Either way, Tusk has called a meeting of the European Council for the 10th April.

What has Goodwille been doing in the meantime?

Goodwille has:

  • Been developing our contacts and network within the customs industry so that we are well positioned in the event of a No-Deal exit
  • Look further into the impacts of Data Protection in the event of a No-Deal exit
  • Working with many of our clients to help prepare them and their staff for a possible Brexit
  • Getting thoroughly frustrated with the uncertainty and hoping that someone makes a decision one way or the other soon

We will continue to monitor the progress of the Brexit discussions, and will regularly send out updates via email and update our website with any recent news. Subscribe to our Brexit Newsletter to receive our updates directly to your inbox, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions on how Brexit will impact your business.


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 – March 2019

With goalposts constantly moving and timings changing, we want to give you an update on the latest of the Brexit negotiations.

What are the new dates we have to contend with?

The new Brexit date is set to be 12th April 2019, assuming MV3 (third meaningful vote, i.e. parliamentary vote on Brexit) does not get passed, however there are uncertainties whether this needs to happen this week. Otherwise it will be the 22nd May 2019. There is also a possibility of a longer extension to prevent a No-Deal scenario, but this will need to come with a clear direction from the majority of Parliament.

What are the indicative votes happening today and what power do they have?

There are 7 options, which still need to be defined (soon to be announced), including everything from ‘Remain’, ‘Revoke Article 50’, ‘Another Referendum’, ’Various forms of customs union and single market access’, a ‘Free Trade Agreement’ to a ‘No-Deal’. It is worth noting that these can all be ignored by the Prime Minister, although it might lead the Parliament to take more powers back from the Government.

Is a No-Deal likely?

At Goodwille, we see the risk of a No-Deal increasingly plausible, but still not very likely to happen. This is based on the fact that the Parliament does not want a No-Deal (as voted by a majority to express no desire to exit in this manner) and neither does the EU (particularly Ireland).

Will there be a hard border in Ireland?

This remains more unclear than ever and is heavily politicised due to the history of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Both Leo Varadkar (Irish PM) and Michel Barnier (EU Lead Negotiator) have recently come out stating that in the event of a No-Deal, there will be no hard border and checks will be taken away from the border. Though by Barnier’s own admission, there will need to be checks on animals crossing the border. As it stands, the question of hard border and checks remains unresolved.

Do business have more certainty?

At present, we do not feel there is certainty given the question of how the UK might be leaving the EU and the date keeps getting extended.  There is also a possibility of UK not leaving EU (No Brexit) and specific details are yet to be defined by both UK and EU governments.

Which type of businesses might be most impacted by a No-Deal?

Going by communication from UK authorities, we foresee issues more significantly for those importing/exporting goods to/from the EU (mainly by freight) and also industries that are heavily regulated, such as finance or biological/medical etc. Air cargo will not be as heavily impacted due to investment in technology to improve processing of paperwork.

What can businesses do?

As frustrating as it is, assuming you have taken action on the recommended items highlighted in the previous newsletter updates, we have to wait until the Parliament has taken a final decision.

We will continue to monitor the progress of the Brexit discussions, and will regularly send out updates via email and update our website as and when we feel there is a meaningful development. Subscribe to our Brexit Newsletter to receive our updates directly to your inbox, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions on how Brexit will impact your business.


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.

The EU Settlement Scheme: Everything You Need to Know 

With Brexit just around the corner and a no deal looking more likely, what are the implications for EU citizens? 

Brexit is now looming uncomfortably large for everyone. For all the difficulties surrounding the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK is still due to leave the EU on 29th March 2019. However, while many of the details about how the UK will leave remain up in the air, the Government has at least confirmed that the European Settlement Scheme (EUSS) will still be implemented even in the event of a no deal.

Already being trialled in some parts of the UK, the EUSS is intended to give EU citizens in the UK a degree of certainty. It implements the citizens’ rights aspect of the Withdrawal Agreement and allows EU citizens to achieve either pre-settled or settled status.

In many ways it goes further than the withdrawal agreement, but with that agreement looking unlikely to pass parliament – at least in its current form – there may still be changes to the way it is rolled out.

Getting ready for Brexit

Goodwille, together with the expert immigration lawyers at North Star Law, have compiled in diagram format three main questions which we feel address the primary issues surrounding EU citizens’ rights in post-Brexit UK.

The diagram is aimed at both EU citizens, who are currently resident in the UK, as well as non-EU family members of an EU citizen (who is resident in the UK), and who arrives to the country before December 2020. However, although a no deal scenario would remove the transition period and mean any new arrivals would have to enter the UK by March 2019 in order to be eligible for the EUSS, we have also considered this scenario and shown what might then be done.

In either case, EU citizens living in the UK can apply for either settled or pre-settled status. Those EU citizens who have lived in the UK for less than 5 years when applying will have to apply for pre-settled status, whereas those who have lived more than 5 years in the UK will be able to apply for settled status. Moreover, the diagram also considers those persons who already hold a permanent residence document and are thinking about applying for British citizenship.

The deadline for applying for pre-settled or settled status will vary depending on whether the UK leaves with or without a deal. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, you can apply for settled or pre-settled status up until June 2021, but this is shortened to December 2020 under a no-deal scenario.

However, if you’re an Irish national, the good news is none of this applies to you. You’ll be treated as settled in the UK, but any non-EU family members will have to apply under EUSS. If you come from Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Switzerland, you are not currently covered by EUSS, but you should be by March 2019.

Applying is relatively simple and straightforward, and the government has recently announced that the application fees will be scrapped.  If you fulfil all the requirements, you should have few problems having your status confirmed, unless you have any criminal convictions. You may also have to provide additional evidence if HMRC records do not prove five years of continuous residence when applying for settled status.

We understand the uncertainty surrounding the fate of all EU citizens in the UK in a post-Brexit Britain can be distressing, and we hope our diagram will shed some light on the process, forward you to relevant sites and offer professional guidance concerning any aspects of the relevant law, and hopefully, provide you with a piece of mind.

Access the diagram HERE.

Brexit Update from Goodwille – January 2019

The last few weeks have been eventful and no doubt by the time we have completed writing this update something else will have happened. Either way, we thought this was a good time to provide an update after all the events last week and highlight any actions that you can do right now, while Parliament works out what kind of deal can get passed through.

What happened in the hast 10 days

  • May’s Withdrawal Agreement defeated emphatically, with the Irish Backstop being the main culprit
  • May survived a no-confidence motion to remain PM
  • A faction of Parliament moving to block a No-Deal in March
  • May’s Plan B was very much a repeat of her Plan A
  • May announced that EU nationals will not have to pay for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) / will not have to pay to obtain “Settled” or “Pre-Settled Status”
  • The Government is now working to see what can get through parliament

What some import/export businesses have been doing preparing for possibility of No-Deal

  1. Stockpiling 6 months’ worth of goods
  2. Acting on HMRC Guidance, by applying for a UK EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) number. Please get in touch with us if you would like help with this.
  3. Contacting the organisation that moves your goods to ensure they have all the information they need for your products.

We are also looking into the best way to ensure import/export declarations will be done for you in the event of No-Deal Brexit.

What steps have we taken for Goodwille EU National staff

With many of our staff being EU nationals, we want to do our utmost to support them and inform them on their rights and status in the UK post-Brexit. Following our guidance we have:

  • Conducted a review of staff whose status will be affected post-Brexit.
  • Worked with immigration expert partners to keep staff updated on Brexit and relevant changes.
  • Made a commitment to support them through the process.

As we know that many of our clients employ EU Nationals, we have created a diagram which shows the different options available for securing their status in the UK post-Brexit. Access our diagram here to read more about the EUSS and EU residence rights in the UK after Brexit.

What we have been reading

All corners of Parliament are now working to see what kind of deal could be agreed on, including promoting their own deals contrary to parliamentary precedence of only the Government presenting legislation. Patience is wearing thin on both sides of the English Channel, and Theresa May’s Government still unwilling to budge on it’s “red lines”, coupled with a large faction of MP’s seeking to avoid a No-Deal Brexit. There is a lot still to be achieved in the next 65 days and still not much detail on what a No-Deal looks like for UK businesses. We shall continue to keep you updated on key events.

We will continue to monitor the progress of the Brexit discussions, and will regularly send out updates via email and update our website with any recent news. Subscribe to our Brexit Newsletter to receive our updates directly to your inbox, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions on how Brexit will impact your business.


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 – December 2018

A lot has happened in the month since our last update! In the short space of time we have seen:

  • A Withdrawal Agreement has been agreed between the UK and EU’s negotiating teams.
  • UK Prime Minister Theresa May has survived a leadership challenge within her Conservative party, not to mention the possibility of a no confidence motion.
  • The UK Government confirmed that it will be going ahead with its EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), which set out the process EU nationals will need to follow in order to remain in the UK after Brexit.
  • The UK also announced its controversial immigration White Paper outlining the rules-based system for EU immigration after Brexit.
  • Most recently, both the EU and UK Government have been ramping up No-Deal planning and publishing related guidance.

With less than 100 days to go, concern and frustration is growing – particularly since the default outcome on the 29th March is a No-Deal departure.

The message from Goodwille remains the same: to not read too much into media hysteria and instead watch the positions of the EU and UK Government closely. Neither side shows any desire to leave on No-Deal terms. Since our last email; however, we do feel the risk of No-Deal Brexit has increased – though we await further details from both sides as to what a No-Deal entails. We expect more detail to be drip-fed over the coming months.

Next Key Date: Between 7th and around 17th January 2019: House of Commons approves the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration.

Next Update from Goodwille: Depending on the events over Christmas, we will be looking to send something out early to mid-January.

Brexit and EU migration: Is your status settled?

Whether there be a Deal or No-Deal scenario, on 29th March 2019 current EU rights of residence will fall away with the UK leaving the EU.  The UK Government published a ‘Statement of Intent’ in June 2018, whose focal point was not only to detail Britain’s attitude towards immigration in a post-Brexit era, but also to introduce the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

The EUSS is designed for both EU citizens and their family members to obtain either pre-settled or settled status which will ‘replace’ the automatic rights they currently enjoy with the UK being an EU member state.

Upon Brexit, gaining formal settlement status via the EUSS is critical for all EU citizens currently residing in the UK. As stated by the Government, it will allow them continued and unhindered access to work, study and the right to receive benefits, healthcare, pensions, public services and countless other rights currently enjoyed by EU nationals living in the UK.

Therefore, Goodwille together with North Star Law, experts in immigration law, have answered 3 key questions, which are relevant to individuals, family members and employers. Follow the link to get started.

No-Deal planning updates

The HMRC has already published a number of technical guidance notes on various areas of No-Deal preparation, and these can be found here. On Wednesday 19th December 2018, the EU published a memo outlining their No-Deal preparations.

  • In reference to air transportation, the EU states that only basic connectivity would be guaranteed and that UK-registered airlines will be allowed to operate point-to-point flights from the UK to EU airports, but only until 31st December 2020. However, British citizens transiting via EU airports would not have to undergo additional security checks in EU airports and the UK’s aviation security scheme will be recognised as equivalent for a limited period.
  • Further to this, all relevant EU legislation on imported and exported goods will apply as of the withdrawal date, and all remaining member states are asked to take all necessary steps to be able to apply the Union Customs Code and any relevant rules on indirect taxation to all imports from and exports to the UK.
  • UK registered passenger cars will continue to be allowed to drive to the EU and vice-versa, under the assumption that the vehicles as well as the drivers comply with the relevant regulations set up in the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road traffic.

Alex Barker, from the Financial Times, noted that the EU does not address the Northern Ireland border, the EU budget and, to some extent, fish in the event of a No-Deal scenario.

See the EU’s published preparations for a No-Deal Brexit.

White Paper on post-Brexit immigration

The UK Government’s White Paper on post-Brexit Immigration was published on Wednesday.  This outlines the Government’s plan to introduce a single immigration system and aims to end free movement.  Effectively, the Government will introduce a new, skills-based immigration system where the workers’ skills are valued above their country of origin. Further to this, the system aims to continue to attract the best and brightest workers without overlooking British citizens. However, the proposed minimum income threshold of £30,000 has been met with criticism. Read the full white paper here.

What we are reading

Technical

Blog Articles

We will continue to monitor the progress of the Brexit discussions, and will regularly send out updates via email and update our website with any recent news. Subscribe to our Brexit Newsletter to receive our updates directly to your inbox, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions on how Brexit will impact your business.


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 – November 2018

As the March 2019 deadline approaches, there is definitely an air of uncertainty surrounding the whole Brexit process. What shape will it take? Will it even happen? Not to mention that the process of leaving has never been executed by an economy as large and as heavily integrated into the EU before. The irony that the leaving process was written by a Brit has not been lost in the UK! Beyond the media hysteria and emotions running high on both sides, the complexity of leaving the EU cannot be dismissed. In the next few paragraphs, we will cover what we at Goodwille have been doing behind the scenes, why we believe now is an important time to update clients and what you can expect from Goodwille in the coming months.

What have we been doing?

Since the result of the referendum back in 2016, we have been acutely aware of the possible disruption Brexit would have for our clients. As such, we have been monitoring the progress very closely for any clues, convening a Brexit committee regularly to discuss updates on how this might affect not only our clients’ businesses, but also their staff, who most likely have an EU contingent. On top of this, being a much more difficult task, we have been trying to weigh up the risks of leaving abruptly in March 2019 versus allocating resources to cater for a number of different worst-case scenarios. Key to this has been our insistence on maintaining a cool head, evading media sensationalism and observing the scene from the position of both parties. This has been made possible by our multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural team.

Why now?

At the time of writing, there is still very little clarity on what form Brexit might take (options as we see them are listed below). However, the possibility of a No-Deal looms ever larger on the horizon and the team at Goodwille believes in the next coming weeks, action will need to be taken as the risk becomes acutely greater.

Between the Special EU Summit on the 17th/18th November, where Theresa May will be hoping to return with a deal, and the Government stating that it will need to formally start executing their No-Deal strategy in the middle of November, we believe that we are at a critical point in the negotiations. Subsequently, Goodwille will advise our clients to start planning and executing contingencies for a No-Deal exit.

What can you expect from Goodwille

Firstly, you can expect another update from Goodwille after the Special EU Summit to let you know how the negotiations have developed, but also more detail on how to plan for the months ahead.

Secondly, as we have been considering and following developments concerning the human factor with utmost interest, we will be providing guidance for employers and employees, in conjunction with our immigration experts, on how to ensure EU nationals and their families can remain in the UK after Brexit.

Thirdly, should a No-Deal outcome become more likely, we will be supporting any clients that require our help to get their businesses ready for this contingency. This will be achieved by leveraging our network of experts and recognising that a lot of our clients are in the same position. This allows Goodwille to provide cost effective solutions and pooled resources, from which we can offer more unique solutions catering to individual clients.

Finally, Goodwille will be providing regular updates as we approach March 2019.

 

We have also listed a few other points that might be of interest below:

What are the Brexit options facing the UK/EU*?

Politically, it is deemed impossible by the ruling party in the UK not to implement Brexit, and therefore questions have arisen which ask what kind of Brexit will occur. An answer would fall broadly into below two categories:

  1. A Withdrawal Agreement with a commitment to a Customs Union or Free Trade Agreement, or
  2. A No-Deal Scenario on EEA/EFTA or WTO terms.

One could argue that there are several third options here; a delay, particularly in a No-Deal scenario, but politically this is mired with complexity and lack of clarity in how this could be achieved. However, this is countered by the fact that neither side wants/needs/can afford a No-Deal fall out of the European Union by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

*It is important to note that this is a simplified overview of the possible outcomes to clarify the perceived best-case and worst-case scenarios.

What can clients do in the meantime?

We imagine a lot of you will have given this a lot of thought and some of the larger clients will no doubt have already executed some contingencies. At this point, we believe clients need to sit tight and await the middle of November. Should clients have the spare resources or the urge to act, then we suggest doing a risk assessment on key parts of your business that might be affected by a No-Deal scenario. This will then form the basis of where to focus efforts, should the worst come to happen. The UK Government has also released guidance online to prepare if the UK leaves the EU with no deal; Gov UK Link here and a useful diagram from the Institute for Government can be found here.

We will continue to monitor the progress of the Brexit discussions, and will regularly send out updates via email and update our website with any recent news. Subscribe to our Brexit Newsletter to receive our updates directly to your inbox, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions on how Brexit will impact your business.


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.