Brexit: Legal consequences might cause chaos in 2021


Die Presse, 15 July 2020

Brexit – Despite COVID-19 no extension of the transition period:

The UK government’s handling of the pandemic could arguably be seen to symbolize the extent Brext affects public action in the UK. While the remaining EU members followed the WHO’s call for more testing and restricted public areas relatively early on, the UK for long held on to herd immunity theories. The number of tests was only increased when the increasing criticism made it necessary to rethink. The UK also did not take part in the EU-wide efforts to procure ventilators. So far, everything indicates that since the official exit from the EU at the end of January, the United Kingdom has seen itself as a completely independent sovereign nation and responsible for its own fate.

The announcement of the official exit from the EU on January 31st of this year represented only a milestone towards complete independence for the British. Comprehensive regulations on future relations between the United Kingdom and the EU are to be implemented within a Brexit transition period anchored in the exit agreement until 31 December 2020 to be negotiated. An extension of the transition period was recently categorically ruled out by the British Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Michael Gove. If no agreement is reached on future relationships by the end of 2020 – for example in the form of a free trade agreement – there is a risk of a no-deal Brexit with all of its legal consequences.

Despite possible further COVID-19 outbursts, the British government around insists on the United Kingdom leaving the EU at the end of 2020 and – if necessary – without an agreement. However,  the UK has imported large quantities of medical products, hygiene products and food from the EU member states, especially in times of the corona crisis, and currently only the Brexit transition period ensures smooth freight traffic between the UK and the other EU member states.

If engaging into cross-border trade with the EU, there would be the possibility of unilaterally foregoing the implementation of controls and the collection of customs duties in order to guarantee the smooth importation. Border checks would only be carried out by the EU when importing from the UK. However, this would be completely contrary to the British government’s program as the UKwants to regain complete control over national agendas.

You will find here all you need to know with regard to Brexit related cross-border trade.

Article (in German)

Anton Fischer

Anton Fischer gained valuable practical experience at several top business law firms in Austria and abroad, most notably in the United Kingdom and Singapore.