Brexit and business
There are still many uncertainties about what EU-UK business and trade arrangements will be from 1 January 2021 and the implications for Southwark.
Despite the level of uncertainty, it is essential that all businesses have made the best possible preparations for the end of the transition period. If you have not already done so, we advise that you visit the government’s Brexit transition website and complete the Brexit checklist. This will give you a tailored list of actions for preparing your business ahead of 1 January 2021.
The end of the transition period is fast approaching, so if you are not yet prepared, you need to act quickly. Visit the Brexit transition website for more information.
Regardless of your level of preparedness, we recommend visiting the Brexit transition website and registering for email updates, so you can be informed of developments and updated on what your business needs to do. It might also be a good idea to complete the checklist anyway, if only for peace of mind.
HMRC letters to VAT-registered businesses
If your business is VAT-registered, you should have received a letter from HMRC on 2 December 2020 about new trade arrangements with the EU from 1 January 2021, containing a useful trader checklist.
If you did not receive this letter, you can view the letters to businesses about new trade arrangements on the HMRC website.
These letters explain what businesses need to do to prepare for new trade processes.
Regardless of the outcome of the current negotiations, HMRC advises that all VAT-registered businesses will need to:
- make sure they have a UK Economic Registration and Identification (EORI)
- decide how they will make customs declarations
- check if their imported goods are eligible for staged import controls
If you have not already done so, you need to make these preparations as soon as possible. It would also be advisable to register for email updates from HMRC, specifically ‘News and information about the UK’s future partnership with the EU’.
EU employees wishing to remain after 31 December 2020
If your company employs European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EAA) or Swiss citizens, they and their families must apply to remain living and working in the UK. Provided they started living in the UK by 31 December 2020, they have until 30 June 2021 to apply and their rights and status will remain the same until then.
They will need to apply to the government’s EU Settlement Scheme.
Due to the current situation with COVID-19, our EU Settlement Scheme walk-in service, which helps EU citizens complete their applications, has been suspended. Whilst we cannot currently provide face-to-face support, our team continues to provide support by email, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information and advice
The government has created an employer's toolkit with advice and information to support EU citizens and their families to apply to the EU settlement scheme. The Mayor of London has also launched a Brexit business resource hub to help businesses navigate the information and access the support that is available to them.
Several national business groups have information about the potential impact on businesses, what support is out there and proposals for how Brexit should be approached from a business perspective:
- Confederation of British Industry
- Federation of Small Businesses
- London Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Institute of Directors
Page last updated: 23 December 2020