As we head towards the 15th October deadline, you may be wondering what the likelihood of a UK-EU deal is. Here is some insight into what’s been going on and how you can prepare for the outcome.
It is incredibly important that the UK knows what the outcome of the negotiations is going to be relatively soon in order to begin to prepare for a smooth transition into 2021. This means that there is a really limited amount of time to formalise negotiations and begin to formulate and develop a plan based upon the outcomes of trade discussions.
Whilst the official deadline is midnight on the 31st December 2020, the planned 15th October deadline will hopefully give the Government enough time to begin to implement and create legislation in order for businesses to adjust to the changes. If we are using the 15th October date as a baseline, it is important to note that we don’t currently have a deal ready, which may be something to keep at the forefront of your mind when planning for the next few months.
You may remember that in January prior to leaving the European Union, the UK signed a withdrawal agreement. This agreement laid out all of the terms of the UK withdrawal from the European Union (including the Northern Ireland Protocol) and provided a framework from which a trade agreement could be drawn from.
Recently you may have heard the news regarding the UK’s decision to break international law by amending some of the terms laid out within the Withdrawal Agreement. The UK has released a bill with amendments to the Withdrawal Agreement with regards to our relationship with Northern Ireland following the end of the transition period. Cabinet Office Minister, Michael Gove discusses how this will seek to protect peace within Northern Ireland and reduce political tensions. The EU, however are arguing the opposite. They believe it would worsen the situation and that the imposition of this bill would break international law. A very serious offence.
The disparity within the discussions surrounding the Withdrawal Agreement may impede on the fluidity of negotiations between the UK and the EU, impacting our ability to reach a deal.
EU officials have noted that they are doubting the trustworthiness of the UK following the disagreements surrounding the legality of the UK’s actions with regards to the Withdrawal Agreement. This therefore hinders the likelihood of the UK’s ability to secure a deal with the EU. This prospect is reiterated by EU officials who believe that the prospect of a no-deal Brexit is looking evermore likely as time progresses.
Unfortunately, these are still uncertain times and until the UK and the EU have announced the final outcome of the divorce agreement there is no way we can say anything with much certainty. However, looking at the current climate and political landscape we can make proficient estimations and, currently, the evidence makes it seem as though the UK is headed towards a no-deal transition.
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