Brexit
Brexit
Brexit brings unprecedented change not only to companies based in the United Kingdom and European Union but also to companies around the world with operations in the UK or products on its market.  Kelley Drye helps companies and trade associations understand what is happening in Brussels and London and put plans in place to handle both the expected and unexpected.
 
Less than a year remains before the UK withdraws from the European Union on 29 March 2019, but talks between the UK and EU about their future relationship are just getting off the ground. Whether negotiators will be able to forge a positive future relationship that can ameliorate some of the anticipated negative effects of Brexit on UK businesses and markets remains to be seen.  Moreover, a significant level of uncertainty looms as to whether a deal will be reached on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal and accepted by the parliaments that must ratify it.

At best, negotiators will reach a political agreement on key elements of a future arrangement by October that can be appended to the broader Withdrawal Agreement that must be in place for an orderly exit.  Detailed talks, including the negotiation of a possible association agreement and/or free trade agreement between the UK and EU likely will not begin until after Brexit Day, 29 March 2019.  Moreover, while the two sides have agreed to a transition period continuing from March 2019 until the end of 2020 in which much would remain the same, the transition period itself is part of the overarching Withdrawal Agreement that must be approved by the European Parliament, the UK Parliament and a super-qualified majority of the EU Member States prior to the end of March 2019 to avoid the UK crashing out of the EU.

Businesses operating in the UK are well-advised to conduct a thorough business impact assessment.  Among other things, companies should analyze potential risks to supply chains, increased tariffs and duties, immigration status of employees, and changing requirements for marketing products.  Where business impacts are identified under either a “no deal” or orderly scenario, robust contingency planning should be undertaken at the earliest opportunity to adapt supply chains, logistics, and contracts, etc. For companies with a cross-border presence that includes the UK, addressing any immigration issues, securing advance or alternative supplies, identifying data-flows and taking actions to secure them with appropriate protection of personal data, as well as possibly duplicating certain operations in the EU27 and/or in the UK must all be considered.  As European institutions and agencies have repeatedly warned, businesses have no time to waste and should focus their preparations on the possibility of a “cliff-edge” Brexit in March 2019.  Now is also the time to engage with government counterparts to identify and explore with EU and UK negotiators potential solutions to Brexit-related challenges.
 
 
 

Overview

Brexit brings unprecedented change not only to companies based in the United Kingdom and European Union but also to companies around the world with operations in the UK or products on its market.  Kelley Drye helps companies and trade associations understand what is happening in Brussels and London and put plans in place to handle both the expected and unexpected.
 
Less than a year remains before the UK withdraws from the European Union on 29 March 2019, but talks between the UK and EU about their future relationship are just getting off the ground. Whether negotiators will be able to forge a positive future relationship that can ameliorate some of the anticipated negative effects of Brexit on UK businesses and markets remains to be seen.  Moreover, a significant level of uncertainty looms as to whether a deal will be reached on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal and accepted by the parliaments that must ratify it.

At best, negotiators will reach a political agreement on key elements of a future arrangement by October that can be appended to the broader Withdrawal Agreement that must be in place for an orderly exit.  Detailed talks, including the negotiation of a possible association agreement and/or free trade agreement between the UK and EU likely will not begin until after Brexit Day, 29 March 2019.  Moreover, while the two sides have agreed to a transition period continuing from March 2019 until the end of 2020 in which much would remain the same, the transition period itself is part of the overarching Withdrawal Agreement that must be approved by the European Parliament, the UK Parliament and a super-qualified majority of the EU Member States prior to the end of March 2019 to avoid the UK crashing out of the EU.

Businesses operating in the UK are well-advised to conduct a thorough business impact assessment.  Among other things, companies should analyze potential risks to supply chains, increased tariffs and duties, immigration status of employees, and changing requirements for marketing products.  Where business impacts are identified under either a “no deal” or orderly scenario, robust contingency planning should be undertaken at the earliest opportunity to adapt supply chains, logistics, and contracts, etc. For companies with a cross-border presence that includes the UK, addressing any immigration issues, securing advance or alternative supplies, identifying data-flows and taking actions to secure them with appropriate protection of personal data, as well as possibly duplicating certain operations in the EU27 and/or in the UK must all be considered.  As European institutions and agencies have repeatedly warned, businesses have no time to waste and should focus their preparations on the possibility of a “cliff-edge” Brexit in March 2019.  Now is also the time to engage with government counterparts to identify and explore with EU and UK negotiators potential solutions to Brexit-related challenges.
 
Partner
Email +(32)(2) 899-2931+(32)(2) 899-2931
Laura van der Meer is the managing partner of Kelley Drye’s Brussels office.  Laura is dedicated to assisting her clients in understanding and navigating complex international and E...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8841(202) 342-8841
As a partner in the firm’s nationally recognized International Trade practice group, Eric McClafferty guides clients and industry groups through a wide range of international trade challenges...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8588(202) 342-8588
Dana Rosenfeld is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and past chair of the firm’s Privacy and Information Security practice.  A former assistant director of the Federal Tra...
Special Counsel
Email (202) 342-8416(202) 342-8416
For more than fifteen years, Jennifer McCadney’s practice has included a mix of law and policy.  As both a lawyer and government relations and policy strategist, Jennifer helps companies...
Senior Associate
Email (202) 342-8622(202) 342-8622
Robert Slack focuses his practice on economic sanctions, export controls, and other trade compliance matters.  Rob advises clients in a broad array of industries, including the financial, tech...
Associate
Email +(32)(2) 899-2946+(32)(2) 899-2946
Sophie Berner-Eyde is an associate in the firm’s Brussels office.  Her practice focuses on government relations, including assisting the firm’s clients to advance their legislative...
Associate
Email +(32)(2) 899-2933+(32)(2) 899-2933
Edouard de Nyary Comandini is an associate in the firm’s Brussels office. Part of the Government Relations Practice Group, Edouard also supports Belgian and U.S. teams on international trade ...

Publications

10/02/2018 | Client Advisories
Kelley Drye Client Advisory
09/17/2018 | Client Advisories
Kelley Drye Client Advisory

From the Blogs

July 22, 2019
Trade and Manufacturing Monitor
May 29, 2019
Trade and Manufacturing Monitor
April 15, 2019
Trade and Manufacturing Monitor


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