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Tax changes

19 January 2021

150,000 SMEs bearing the brunt of Brexit's online charges

As UK broadcaster ITV has reported, British sellers on online marketplaces are suffering from tax changes brought about by Brexit. Avalara's vice president of global tax, Richard Asquith, said of the adjustments: “It’s the small businesses that are trading on big marketsplaces like Amazon and eBay that are hit the hardest.”

We conducted an interview with Avalara on what Brexit will really mean for selling online in October 2020, listen to the interview here.

Westminster

18 January 2021

Future UK⁠–EU relations: trade in goods

Beginning at 10:30am GMT, the UK Parliament's EU Goods Sub-Committee convokes several leading trade experts from the legal profession to discuss the free-trade agreement with the EU, and the knock-on effects for UK businesses.

You can view the live stream or view the entire proceedings after completion at this link.

car factory

18 January 2021

Rules-of-origin fiasco: an example from automotive

The world's oldest car publication, Autocar, has released a short-read example of how rules of orign threaten "to destabilise the UK car industry unless urgent action is taken."

border ready

15 January 2021

UK businesses struggling with new VAT rules

A number of businesses across the UK are struggling to get to grips with new post-Brexit VAT rules that are adding billions of pound to operating costs and could have devastating effects on small businesses too.

Tax experts VAT IT estimate the levies could add £34bn ($47bn) to the cost of UK trade with the EU.

8 January 2021

Trade expert on the tariffs and rules of origin minefield

crates

6 January 2021

High tariffs for goods processed at British distribution hubs

The Financial Times reports that goods shipped to distribution hubs in Great Britain, may face the payment of full EU tariffs when they return to the EU. Effectively, "rules of origin" in the EU trade deal will result in EU companies swerving Britain as a distribution centre for their goods. 

Shipping

5 January 2021

COVID-19 and Brexit lead to 400 per cent rise in UK shipping costs

Bloomberg reports that the convergence of the more infectious variant of COVID-19, and Brexit trade deal changes has seen supply chains become more complicated, and the price of shipping multiply fourfold. 

Duty free

4 January 2021

Tax free and duty free shopping

Brexit has made several changes to businesses and travel in general. Even more so when you consider duty free shopping on liquor and tobacco, and scrapping tax free shopping for passengers leaving the UK.

Add to that the VAT Retail Export Scheme, which previously offered VAT refunds on landside sales of goods to non-EU travellers, has been scrapped, and you can already see what type of impact travellers and businesses are going to have.

UK peace sign

4 January 2021

What is in the Brexit deal?

With the deal all but done and dusted, what is actually in it?

The UK-EU trade agreement, which contains new rules for living, working and trading together, takes affect from the 1 January, but you may not feel the affects of it straight away.

See some of the key points that affect you on the deal

Big Ben

31 December 2020

Major changes happening from tomorrow

With Big Ben ready to chime at 11pm to confirm the UK is officially leaving the EU on January 1 2021, and with the Brexit deal passing into UK law, what major changes will actually be happening.

Find out what changes will affect us all starting from tomorrow

Trade deal

31 December 2020

Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade deal becomes law

Prime minister Boris Johnson has said the post-Brexit deal with the EU marks a new beginning where the UK’s destiny “now resides firmly in our hands."

The comments followed the EU trade deal clearing Parliament after the Government rushed approval through the Commons and Lords in a single day.

31 December 2020

Post-Brexit trade deal granted Royal Assent by Queen

UK and EU flag

30 December 2020

MPs approve post-Brexit trade deal, 521 votes to 73

The House of Commons has given its overwhelming approval to Boris Johnson's post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union, passing the bill at its second reading - by 521 votes to 73.

The legislation has been hurried through parliament in record time, with the UK’s transition period with the EU set to expire tomorrow night. It will be instigated within hours.

A number of Labour MPs – including Diane Abbott and Clive Lewis – defied Sir Keir Starmer’s whip, either voting against or abstaining.

30 December 2020

Former PM, Theresa May reminds Labour leader of her deal

Big Ben

30 December 2020

MPs prepare to vote on crucial Brexit deal

MPs and peers have been recalled to Parliament to vote on the post-Brexit trade agreement, which will govern trade, standards and travel between the EU and UK once the transition period ends on January 1.

The process is expected to continue into the night.

UK and EU flags

29 December 2020

What is actually in the trade deal?

With a deal agreed on Christmas Eve, do we know what is actually in this new deal and the detail behind it?

As quick overview, the deal is what is considered a hard-Brexit deal -   meaning the UK is leaving the Single Market and Customs Union on the 1 January 2021.

See the full details of the trade deal

EU flag

29 December 2020

Tory Brexiteers back EU trade deal

The European Research Group (ERG) said the agreement, struck with Brussels on Christmas Eve, "preserves the UK's sovereignty as a matter of law".

The backing provides a significant boost for Mr Johnson, after a number of members previously withheld their support for ex-prime minister Theresa May's divorce deal last year.

MPs are due to vote on the deal on Wednesday, with the government hoping the 1,246-page deal can be ratified by parliament in a single day.

24 December 2020

UK and EU reach historic Brexit agreement

After months of talks a post-Brexit trade deal has been agreed by negotiators from the UK and the European Union.

Secured today on Christmas Eve, the deal promises to deliver, “everything that the British public was promised during the 2016 referendum.”

Downing Street

24 December 2020

Boris Johnson poised to announce deal agreement

Negotiations continued overnight between UK and EU at European commission’s headquarters in Brussels, but it has been reported unofficially that a deal has been made.

A TV crew has been seen entering Downing Street ahead of an expected statement from prime minister Boris Johnson. A live broadcast is likely to disrupt the major television channels' schedule for Christmas Eve.

UK and EU trade deal

23 December 2020

Negotiations on Christmas day

EU and UK officials could be continuing to flesh out a deal on Christmas day if a deal is agreed before then according to Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

He continued that the talks were “all down to fish” and significant differences remained. With a deal being 'more likely' than 'less likely'

NHS and Brexit

23 December 2020

NHS leaders pen letter to extend Brexit transition

The letter, which was published today by the NHS Confederation, outlines concerns about the impact a no-deal outcome will have on delivering care to patients amid winter pressures and a rapid rise in COVID-19 infections.

“The NHS might not be perceived to be on the Brexit negotiating table, but the disruption shockwaves from a no-deal outcome could push the NHS’ ability to function over the edge,” wrote NHS Confederation chief executive Danny Mortimer

21 December 2020

Nicola Sturgoen calls for extension

Freight traffic

21 December 2020

Call for transition period to be extended

With a new strain of the virus in the UK, and currently with France, Italy, Austria, Turkey, Germany and Ireland banning travelers from the UK. Ministers have called for an extension to the transition period, to focus primarily on tacking the coronavirus pandemic.

Much attention has been on France, who have not only banned flights, but also freight trade, which has meant prime minister Johnson has had to call a COBRA meeting today.

Big Ben clock

17 December 2020

MP's on standby for festive changes

A recall of Parliament could be called over the festive period, if there are any approvals that need to be made, said commons leader, Jacob Rees-Mogg.

“Should a deal be secured, it is the Government’s intention to request a recall in order that Parliament may pass the necessary legislation.”

The confirmation on the last day of the Commons session came as Michel Barnier said there has been “good progress” in talks on a post-Brexit trade deal but the “last stumbling blocks remain”.

This comes as the EU transition period is coming into it's final few days to meet the January 1 2021 deadline.

brexit-report-gs1-uk-sme-nation

15 December 2020

Download our Brexit transition report

We are currently living through two once-in-a-lifetime events, in the form of the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit, and we wanted our members to be heard as we rapidly approach the end of the crucial UK-EU transition period.

We conducted a survey on issues from the perceived impact of Brexit, to the clarity of Government guidance and whether companies have changed their minds on exporting to Europe altogether, and some of the results were alarming.

Read the report into our findings here

stockpiling-BRC-no-deal-brexit

15 December 2020

Food stockpiling discouraged ahead of transition deadline

The BBC reports that the chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson, has warned shoppers away from over-filling their baskets with a no-deal Brexit looming, saying: "There is no need for the public to buy more food than usual."

medical equipment

10 December 2020

Register to sell medical devices in the UK

From the 1 January, you'll need to register as a manufacturer with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), to sell medical devices in the markets of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

There are a number of video tutorials to help provide guidance on how to register your medical devices in preparation for the changes next year.

no-deal-brexit-eu-uk-stalemate

10 December 2020

13 December deadline set as no deal draws closer

Bloomberg reports that, after dinner-time pleasantries in Brussels last night, both the UK and EU negotiating parties are braced for the reality of a no-deal Brexit in 2021. Sunday 13 December has been designated as the point of no return for trade talks. 

barnier-no-deal-brexit-eu

8 December 2020

No deal the most likely option: Barnier

Reuters reports that the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has said that a no-deal scenario is now odds-on before 1 January 2021, and that the reading bloc's contingency planning needed to be updated.

8 December 2020

Climb down on law-breaking elements of Internal Market Bill

food-shortgae-fdf-brexit-disruption-ian-wright

8 December 2020

Can we prepare for 1 January 2021? "It's too late, baby."

BBC News reports on the evidence given to the Commons business committee on Brexit preparedness by the Food and Drink Federation's chief executive, Ian Wright, in which he warned that disruptions on 1 January would "erode the confidence of shoppers in the supply chain."

brexit-food-shortage-hauliers-erha

4 December 2020

European Road Haulers' Association warns of months of shortages

According to The i, Marco Digioia, secretary general of Europe's largest haulage trade body, has said that the end of the transition period might be the beginning of a “nightmare scenario” that will lead to “weeks, if not months" of food shortages in the UK.

Progress

3 December 2020

A deal could be days away

Progress seems to be being made, according to European Union diplomats. Where they believe a Brexit trade deal could be made as early as Friday or over the weekend.

A British minister said he believed “good progress” was being made at talks but cautioned that London would not sign up to a deal that was not in its interest.

“Good progress is being made but we’re going to do a deal that is right for Britain, if such a deal is available,” British Education Secretary Gavin Williamson told Sky.

eBay tax

1 December 2020

VAT changes for eBay sellers

As of the 1 January, 2021 eBay will begin to collect and remit VAT for all UK imports on all consignments with a value of up to £135. This means there will no longer be a VAT exemption for small consignments up to £15.

If you are an eBay seller, who is a not a UK business, but your goods are already in the UK, eBay will collect and remit VAT for goods sold to consumers within the UK, regardless of their value.

If the buyer is a UK VAT registered business and provides their valid UK VAT registration number, the responsibility to account for VAT will switch to the UK VAT registered business customer.

From 1 March 2021, eBay will make it mandatory to add the VAT rate on all UK and EU sites when listing items.

warehouse-brexit-stockpile-no-deal

30 November 2020

Warehouses brimming on pandemic, Christmas and no-deal effects

Reuters reports that companies are stocking more goods than ever with the convergence of the festive-season buying spree, the large-scale movement of shopping to online and the fears of a no-deal Brexit causing shortages and disruptions.

brexit-shortages-northern-ireland

27 November 2020

Civil unrest in Northern Ireland if food shortages hit

The Irish Times moots the possibility of civil strife north of the border if worst-case-scenario predictions come true and Brexit disruptions result in empty shelves. 

25 November 2020

Brexit and coronavirus a fiscal double whammy

25 November 2020

Further talks "probably pointless" for EU delegation

stock-market-down

24 November 2020

No deal worse than coronavirus: Bank of England

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey has warned that the long-term, economic impact of leaving the European Union without a free-trade deal will be worse than that of the coronavirus pandemic.

Brexit trade

23 November 2020

Prepare your business for January 1, 2021

Transition Period Webinar for UK Businesses

The end of the transition period means businesses should take action now to prepare for changes and new rules from January 2021.


The Department for International Trade (DIT) has organised a free webinar on December 3, 10:30am - 11:30am to help UK businesses understand the new trading rules which will come into effect. Sign up today, as spaces are limited.

Register

port-disruption-brexit

23 November 2020

Expect up to 300% price hikes, warn supply-chain bosses

The problems that supply-chain disruption will cause are closer to home than you think.

The East Anglian Times reports a warning from shipping agents that white-goods providers and food importers could see a trebling of the cost of their items due to congestion at UK ports.

Butter

19 November 2020

Tariff increase costs will be passed onto the consumer

A major EU dairy producer, today corrected a mistake by UK ministers on post-brexit costs.

Alra, which produces items like Lurpak butter, said the environment secretary was incorrect to suggest the company could simply move part of its production to Britain in the event of a no-deal scenario.

In fact doing so would be illegal, as their products, such as Lurpark, are legally protected to only be sold in Denmark. He also confirmed that any increase in tariffs would most likely lead to price rises in UK supermarkets and a potential drop in availability. 

"We would have to pass on the cost to our customers."

Trading and export

18 November 2020

Transition Period Webinar for UK Businesses

Prepare your business for January 2021

The end of the transition period means businesses should take action now to prepare for changes and new rules from January 2021.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has organised a free webinar on Thursday 19 November, 10:30am - 11:30am (GMT) to help businesses understand the new trading rules.

Reserve your space today, as places are limited.

Register your place

christmas-brexit-shortages

17 November 2020

Christmas is not cancelled - but the presents might be

A perfect storm of pandemic and stockpiling has contributed to retailers not receiving Christmas inventory in good time, perhaps leading to empty space under the Christmas tree at the end of December.   

According to Sky News, that this festive season might require a little less wrapping paper than previous years.

brexit-lorry-traffic-port

17 November 2020

Deal or no deal, is disruption the new normal?

The new year will bring changes in trade and security, regardless of a breakthrough in transition talks with the European Union.

The Guardian reports on eight areas that will see a significant change in 2021, irrespective of whether the UK and EU negotiating teams find a compromise. 
 

16 November 2020

Calais-crossing congestion chaos?

brexit-deal-last-chance

13 November 2020

Leaders' summit last-chance saloon for Brexit deal

The video conference summit of 27 EU heads of state and government, scheduled for 19 November, will be a defining moment in the Brexit journey, reports The Guardian

According to one EU diplomat: “If there isn’t good news by then, then you really have to say that time is up – it just isn’t possible.”

city-of-london-brexit

12 November 2020

Will the door be slammed on City of London?

The European Union is set to freeze out the City of London from 1 January 2021, by not granting regulatory equivalence to financial markets before the end of the Brexit transition period.

City AM reports that this could cripple the UK's financial services industry, which exports around £26bn of financial services to the EU every year.

colin-stansbury-between-the-lines

10 November 2020

What Brexit will really mean for selling online?

It might not be the sexiest thing in the world, but tax is one of the things that business owners are the most worried about when it comes to the end of the EU transition period.

That's why we spoke with tax expert Colin Stansbury of Avalara, about the perfect storm of liabilities, responsibilities and changes that will affect online sellers from 1 January 2021.

Listen to the podcast here.

Smiling Joe Biden

9 November 2020

What does a Biden win mean for Brexit?

With Joe Biden declared as the next President of the United States, what will this mean for the EU-UK transition deal, and that all too talked about UK-US trade deal?

Some have argued Joe Biden's stance will be very much similar to that of his predecessor, but maybe not as loud, and could give 10 Downing Street something to think about as Brexit discussion come near the end.

The soon to be appointed President, has met all UK Prime Ministers from as far back as Margret Thatcher, to Theresa May, but has yet to meet Mr Johnson. They do seem to have a few things in common though, such as climate change and Nato to be bolstered.

Brexit negotiations

6 November 2020

Upheaval significant even with a deal

The UK's public spending watchdog predict that there will still be a major shift and upheaval, even if a deal was struck between the EU and UK.

They believe many traders and third parties will simply not be ready for the changes, and won't have time to adapt and be ready for the new EU controls.

Major corporations such as Tesla and Kraft Heinz Co are and will likely to be affected by these changes.

fishing-rights-Brexit

5 November 2020

Brexit deadlock: LPF, fish and dispute settlement

With the clock ticking until the mid-November deadline in Brexit talks, the UK and EU transition teams remain at an impasse around three key issues: the so-called "level-playing field", fishing rights, and the way that the two parties police parts of their new trading relationship.

The White House in America

5 November 2020

US elections slowing trade negotiations

There have been a few rumblings, that the US elections could be slowing down trade negotiations, as the UK, and in fact the world await the results to see who will announced as the 46th President of the United States.

With President Trump, the UK Government has some form of relationship, and they have at least had some positive discussions on terms.

Whereas Mr Johnson has had no contact with Biden. If he were to to become the next President, formulating relations with the UK, are likely to be far down the list of things to do.

Voting day

4 November 2020

US election results and free trade

With votes still being counted in the US, UK foreign secretary, Dominic Raab has said there is an "excellent" free trade deal to be had with the US, regardless of who is elected to the White House.

He went on to say: "Every time I go out to Washington I see politicians from all sides of congress and I am confident the relationship will be in good shape and I'm confident there's an excellent free trade agreement to be done."

He also said there was no threat to the Good Friday Agreement in Brexit talks, although Mr Biden, who has Irish heritage, has previously said it could be a sticking point in a UK-US relationship.

UK-Brexit-transition

3 November 2020

How ready is the UK for Brexit? Not ready enough, says report

According to a 57-page study released by the think tank, the Institute for Government, there are still significant holes in the UK's preparation for the end of the Brexit tranistion period by 1 January 2021.

Among issues the report covers, is the "inevitable" disruption at the border, unclear communication as to the business impact of leaving the single market and customs union, and the Northern Ireland Protocol remaining unready by 1 January 2021.

2 November 2020

No reply to Northern Irish businesses

Chicken Farm

2 November 2020

No to chlorinated chicken

It looks like the UK governement has taken steps to maintain high animal welfare standards, during EU-UK transition discussions. These steps could potentially block the likes of chlorinated chicken from the US, being sold in UK supermarkets; which has been a massive talking point for some time.

There will be an amendment to the Agriculture Bill made, that gives the new post-Brexit commerce watchdog, the Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC), more powers to prevent trade deals that could water down UK food standards.

Trade deals

29 October 2020

Progress made

There are rumblings that a deal could be reached by early November according to those familiar with the discussions.

The two sides have begun work on the text of an agreement on the level competitive playing field. Although there is still much to be completed, the advancement on the text, show signs they are a step closer to breaking the deadlock.

EU and UK flag

27 October 2020

Trade services curb

According to the all-island professional body Chartered Accountants Ireland, regardless of the outcome of Brexit, trade in services between the Republic and UK will be severely affected.

They believe, even if some form of a deal is reached, it is likely to prioritise areas such as avoiding tariffs and quotas, and unlikely to focus on services.

Australia

16 October 2020

Aussie solution

In preparation for a no-deal Brexit, prime minister Johnson announces that the UK should adopt Australia solution.

Little more than a week after senior cabinet ministers said that Britain had a 66% chance of a trade agreement, the prime minister says the EU had “abandoned the idea of a free trade deal” and had “refused to negotiate seriously for much of the last few months”.

EU march

7 September 2020

Deal deadline

Prime minister Johnson gives an ultimatum to EU negotiators, saying the UK and Europe must agree a post-Brexit trade deal by the date of 15 October, or Britain will walk away with no-deal.

At the same time Johnson is seeking to override parts of the previously agreed-upon Brexit withdrawal deal with his own UK internal markets bill.

Lorry drivers view

21 August 2020

Lorry driver rights

The two sides fail to make progress over a long-standing disagreement over lorry drivers’ rights after Brexit, with Barnier expressing surprise over the UK debate about the loss of haulage rights after Brexit, while stressing that any future access would depend on accepting EU standards on hauliers’ working time and other regulations.

no one at podium

30 June 2020

No extension

The UK government allows the deadline to apply for an extension to the transition period to pass, increasing pressure on both sides to reach a deal before 31 December 2020.

Fish

20 April 2020

COVID delay

After a long delay, during which Prime minister Johnson is hospitalised with coronavirus, there are still a number of issues to be discussed on the future trade relationship, including security policy, trade rules and the contentious issue of fishing rights.

The UK Government's hopes of a Brexit deal dim as the European Union’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier Barnier loses control of talks on fishing rights.

transition

31 January 2020

Transition period

At 11pm on 31 January 2020, the UK left the European Union and entered a transition period that is due to run until the end of the year.

Most arrangements remain the same until that date, but both London and Brussels face a race against time to finalise a deal on their future relationship.

2 flags

3 October 2019

Rejected plans

An new Brexit plan is sent to Brussels, which includes the removal of the backstop. It is rejected by the EU 3 days later.

EU-UK plans all but collapse, until on October 28 the EU agree to offer the UK flexibility on Brexit agreements until January 31 2020. This is formally agreed. 

 

boris johnson

23 July 2019

Johnson appointed

Boris Johnson wins the Tory leadership contest with 66% of the vote, over closest rival, Jeremy Hunt.

On the 24 July Johnson is sworn in as the new prime minister, with his commitment to ‘get Brexit done‘ by 31 January 2020.

resignation of Theresa May

24 June 2019

May bows out

After failing three times to get her withdrawal agreement through Parliament, Theresa May sets her resignation date for 7 June.

The visibly moved leader added she would leave "with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love”.

EU negotIations

14 March 2019

Changed dates

The UK had originally been expected to leave the EU at 11pm on 29 March 2019. However, following a House of Commons vote, the Government sought permission from the EU to extend Article 50 and agree a later Brexit date.

After numerous discussions on extensions after failing to come to an agreement on 10 April 2019, the UK and EU agreed to extend Article 50 until 31 October 2019.

On 28 October 2019, EU Ambassadors agree a further Brexit extension to 31 January 2020. Prime minister Theresa May confirms the UK’s agreement to the new date.

Theresa may

13 December 2018

May forced out

Prime minister, Theresa May barely survives a vote of confidence in her leadership of the Conservative party. As a result, she is forced to promise to step down before the next election due to the backlash over her Brexit deal. 

 

EU

7 May 2018

Chequers plan rejected

Prime minister, Theresa May reveals her anticipated Chequers plan, focused around a much 'softer' Brexit, than originally stated.

Brexit minister David Davis resigns shortly after the announcement of the plan, followed shortly by foreign minister, Boris Johnson. All in all, a total of 18 ministers quit over Brexit by the end of the year.

Theresa May signs article 50

29 March 2017

Article 50 triggered

Newly appointed conservative prime minister, Theresa May, begins the two-year countdown to the UK formally leaving the EU by triggering article 50. This started a two-year countdown to UK leaving the EU, and for trading talks to begin.

UK votes to leave the EU

23 June 2016

The UK votes to leave

Despite polling predictions in the run-up to the EU referendum, expecting British voters to opt to stay in the European Union, most didn't expect to see the Leave campaign win, with 51.9% vs 48.1% for Remain. 

After the result, prime minister, David Cameron announced his resignation the very next day.

Useful links

Discover more helpful information to get you prepared for the end of the transition period