Trade companies awaiting clarity on Brexit

After the Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal was rejected on the British Parliament last week, trade authorities and business leaders around Europe have stated their growing concerns about the consequences of possible no-deal Brexit for trade between the EU and the UK.

Without a withdrawal agreement, the UK would leave the EU without a transition period which would run until the end of 2020. The UK’s sudden third country status would cease the free movement of goods between the EU and the UK on 29 March this year. All customs formalities and border control policies applicable to third countries would come into effect immediately which would cause major changes for trading conditions with Britain.

Even though the parties still have high hopes of finding a mutually beneficial solution, the possibility of uncontrolled Brexit has put many businesses into a complex and costly situation, where they have to prepare for different eventualities without a certainty of Britain’s next steps. The new practices of customs declarations, tariffs, licenses and safety controls would make the case especially challenging for those companies who have no former experience of trading outside the Single Market.

After the Parliaments vote, many freight and logistics firms have again repeated their predictions about no-deal chaos at ports and delays in road transportations on both sides of the English Channel. According to some estimates, the no-deal Brexit could lengthen freight times between the EU and the UK with a day or two.

The import and export companies are monitoring the Brexit negotiations closely and looking forward to upcoming weeks which are believed to bring some clarity into the uncertain situation.