News / Brexit

Unanswered questions as UK prepares for ‘Australia-style’ exit from EU

By ellie pipe, Tuesday Oct 20, 2020

Business leaders in Bristol say companies are still facing unanswered questions as the Government warns time is running out to prepare for Brexit.

Boris Johnson and Michael Gove are urging firms to get ready for the changes set to come into play when the transition period ends in January 2021.

Following the collapse of talks between the UK and the EU to secure a deal, the Prime Minister has said the UK must prepare for an ‘Australian-style’ exit from the EU based on the principles of global free trade.

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Business West experts say many questions remain but are issuing advice to help companies in the region best prepare for further upheaval in the midst of challenging market conditions brought about by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

James Monk, the director of commercial services at Business West, said: “Businesses in the South West and beyond are facing a myriad of challenges including the threat of a second wave of Coronavirus and a lack of clarity about the rules which will apply at the end of the transition period.

“It is not surprising in these extraordinary circumstances that businesses are struggling to prepare.

“While firms will be stepping up preparations, many are still facing unanswered questions that are making it hard to plan sufficiently for the end of the transition period.

“A deal between the UK and EU would give companies more security and clarity over the changes in the coming months and this is still possible, but no matter what happens, we will support firms to negotiate the changes coming at the start of next year.”

The Government is set to hold discussions with business leaders about the preparations needed for when new customs and tax rules come into force on January 1 2021. Business West will be running training sessions to help businesses keep trading when the transition period comes to an end.

For more information about the new rules, visit www.gov.uk/transition. Support and advice is available via www.businesswest.co.uk/trading-through-brexit.

Read more: Dramatic decline in business growth across the west

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