The UK general election has delivered a Conservative Party's majority of 78 in the new House of Commons. The scale of that victory has allowed Prime Minister Johnson to describe Brexit as the "irrefutable, irresistible, unarguable decision of the British people”.
With a comfortable working majority, the government will be able to push the legislation required to ratify the Withdrawal Agreement, negotiated in October 2019, through Parliament in January. Ratification by the EU Parliament and Council would then ensure the Brexit occurs at 11.00pm GMT (midnight in Brussels) on 31 January 2020.
A Brexit based on the Withdrawal Agreement will trigger a transitional period up to 31 December 2020, during which the UK government will seek to agree the basis of the future relationship with the EU. Up to the end of that period, the legal and practical position between the UK and EU will remain essentially the same as before Brexit.
The period between 31 January and 31 December 2020 provides businesses with time to prepare for the "full" Brexit that will take effect once the transition period has come to an end. Key areas of preparation are:
- Customs and other import/export procedures;
- Contractual risk and supply chain management; and
- Employment and residence rights
For practical guidance and advice on Brexit preparation, contact our Brexit team: