After nearly two years of negotiations, 27 countries of the European Union managed to reach an agreement regarding the exit of the United Kingdom from the Community. One of the most important elements of the document is that the UK will remain in the customs union until December 2020. For this to happen, the agreement must be approved by the British Parliament. The vote in the House of Commons is to take place in mid-December.
Last weekend EU countries and British Prime Minister Theresa May adopted the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union. It shows, among other things, that from the date of departure of the United Kingdom from the EU (March 29, 2019) to December 2020, the temporary customs union will continue to apply. This solution was proposed mainly to avoid the creation of the so-called „hard border” between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
What is more, the document also provides a guarantee of full rights for citizens on both sides – Europeans in the United Kingdom and British in the Community. They will be able to stay in their places of residence, work, have the right to health care, benefits and everything they enjoy today.
During this transitional period, the United Kingdom continues to participate in the EU budget – both as its beneficiary and the payer.
What after the transition period?
The experts have been thinking about what will happen later for a long time. In the document „Brexit – consequences for entrepreneurs”, prepared by Marcin Ociepa, undersecretary of state in the Ministry of Enterprise and Technology of Poland, we read that after the transition period, entrepreneurs should realize that „they will no longer be participants in intra-EU trade, they will only receive the status of exporter and importer, which potentially implies costs resulting from the need to adopt new trade agreements (INCOTERMS) and credit (new forms of risk)”.
It will probably also be necessary to ensure that the goods comply with UK standards. And that means in practice the need to meet new standards, obtain certificates, etc., which in turn will involve new costs resulting from „introduction of certificates of origin, customs declarations and controls, licensing, meeting different sanitary or phytosanitary standards”.
Importantly, especially from the point of view of the transport industry, there may also be delays in deliveries (e.g. due to border controls) and disturbances or even breaks of supply chains. More about the potential effects of Brexit – soft but also hard can be read in the presentation of the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology.
Until the end of the world and one day longer
Detailed negotiations on a future agreement with the Community will begin in March when the UK leaves the EU. Negotiators arrangements will be determined by the Treaty approved during the weekend. However, it has now been approved for political negotiations at some stage.
We have a difficult process of ratification and further negotiations with London ahead of us. But regardless of how it ends, we will be friends until the end of the world and one day longer,” assured the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk.
Much may change already in the first half of December when voting on Brexit will be carried out in the House of Commons. The commentators are already warning that it will be difficult to support the current compromise. Nevertheless, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, assures that there is no better solution.
This is the best possible agreement for Britain, and the best one for Europe. The only possible agreement,” he said.
Brexit entered into the law
There are several possible scenarios if the House of Commons votes against the Brexit conditions.
For example, there might be an attempt to renegotiate the exit agreement and/or political declaration, an attempt to organize expedited elections, a discussion on the organization of a second referendum. Regardless of the possible options, it will be necessary to implement emergency plans. Brexit’s date is listed in British law – in the absence of other measures, the no-deal Brexit is the default option,” reads the document „Brexit – consequences for entrepreneurs”.
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