The UK is leaving the EU Single Market and Customs Union and the end of the ‘Brexit transition period’ on 31 December 2020 will affect citizens, businesses, as well as travel to and from the EU. With the prospect of Mersey Maritime businesses, family and personal circumstances all being impacted, we are calling on our members to make sure they are fully prepared and up to speed with the preparations they can make now to see them through this period of unprecedented change in recent times.
Many Mersey Maritime members have already approached us with practical questions and challenges they need answers to. What will the impact be on supply chains? What are the implications for trade in goods and customs and for those who trade in services? How will businesses deal with their workforce and personnel requirements? What are the practical challenges around regulation, compliance, tax, finance, legal and contracts and IT systems and data?
With the future relationship negotiations coming to a conclusion, the ongoing Covid-19 challenge can’t just be the main topic of debate in the business community. There’s less than two months to go before the end of the transition phase; this is a pressing reality too in the grand scheme of events.
Commenting, Chris Shirling-Rooke said:
“It feels like we’ve been here before! More or less this time last year, with the general election on the horizon, there was massive uncertainty around whether or not the ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ would be signed and the United Kingdom would start the formal process of leaving the European Union. To an extent that uncertainty still exists but the clock is definitely ticking. The clear view of the Government is that the transition phase will come to an end at the end of the year, come what may, with or without a comprehensive free trade deal. The negotiations are at a crunch point and we may even learn more on a day to day basis before the end of the month. ‘Red lines’ exist on both sides of the debate and it is pretty hard ball at the moment. But if there’s a willingness to do a deal on both sides, let’s hope this comes to pass. We do need both the UK Government team and the European Union to give us all a sense of direction and certainty, the lack of this simply isn’t good for business. Regardless, the message for our members is that they must be prepared and plan as best they can for various scenarios that might come about.
“Similar to our response to the Covid-19 pandemic, to help our members we’ve launched a dedicated section of the Mersey Maritime website which includes essential resources and sign-posting to official advice. And we are also planning a special webinar with our key partners, Brabners LLP and Robinson Rice Associates. This live and interactive event will explore some of the practical issues businesses at every level will face in the weeks ahead. Whilst there will be a new playing field for sure, planning mitigation strategies and also preparing for the potential upsides for UK businesses makes this a multi-faceted subject. But the overarching message is that we must be prepared one way or another and that’s what we are determined to help our member businesses to do.
“No deal, individual sector arrangements or a final, full, free trade treaty are just some of the scenarios we are faced with. Whatever the ultimate outcome of the negotiations, it is absolutely necessary for all businesses, particularly those involved in the cross border movement of goods, to take stock of the current situation and have access to the best possible advice. The website resources we have made available and the practical webinar session we have planned are two important parts of that process.”
Visit the Mersey Maritime ‘end of transition’ hub here: https://merseymaritime.co.uk/brexit/
Mersey Maritime members are encouraged to keep an eye on our website for further details of the event we are planning which will be announced in due course.