Moving towards Brexit

Latest developments and business implications

2 July 2020 | 11:00 am - 12:30 pm CEST

The Brexit negotiations are hotting up again.

Last Friday the European Union accepted that the UK would not be asking for an extension to the current transition period, and it is now more certain than ever that the UK will be operating as a fully-fledged “third country” after 31 December 2020.

And the outcome of the meeting on Monday between the presidents of the European Council, Commission and Parliament, and the UK Prime Minister, showed more clearly than before that the UK government is not – publicly at least – minded to make major concessions to secure an agreement on its Future Relationship with the EU. Prime Minister Johnson even said that he hoped the trade component of the new agreement could be finalised within six weeks from now - by the end of July.

This reduces further the chances of detailed arrangements being put in place to govern the complexity of EU-UK relations from January 2021 – and deepens the extent of change that companies will face in doing business with the United Kingdom. If a deal is agreed it will inevitably be short on detail, and the alternative of no deal has probably become more likely in the light of these recent developments.

Any agreement that does emerge will have to be finalised and ratified before the end of 2020, failing which the UK will move to a “no-deal” relationship on 1 January 2021. But time is short: and the additional burden of the coronavirus crisis has hampered the negotiation process for months. So businesses facing problems as a result of Brexit – and those who may see opportunities arising from the UK’s departure – need to focus soon again on the details of the EU-UK “future relationship”.

There are three main potential outcomes by the end of 2020:

  1. an agreed Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the UK – which could be accompanied by additional sectoral agreements (e.g. for Financial Services, Transport, Energy, and Fisheries) and would bring the least amount of disruption to the new trading and business environment;
  2. a partial Agreement - with many items left open for further negotiation in the future; or
  3. no agreement – leading to the so-called No Deal Brexit (with significant disruption and change to the current business environment)

Sign up for Deloitte’s Brexit webinar on 2 July 2020, during which Deloitte’s specialists will address key considerations from a Belgian perspective:

  • What does the EU-UK political situation mean for the Brexit timeline and the substance of the future relationship?
  • What are the key business implications?
  • What would a no-deal Brexit look like?
  • What should businesses do now to optimise their situation and mitigate impact on their operations after the Transition Period?

We will be joined by Raoul Ruparel of Deloitte UK (and former UK prime ministerial advisor on Brexit), and Deloitte’s Brussels team will address the key issues that will have an impact on business in Belgium.




Agenda point


Introductions, latest political developments and what happens next


The UK view – Brexit priorities for British business and which sectors are most at risk?


Supply chain implications: customs obligations & mitigations and related VAT – and what about Northern Ireland?


Legal & Regulatory: divergence of regulations and duplication of approvals, data-sharing, corporate structures, mergers, contract reliability


People issues: BE workers in UK and UK workers in BE/EU (changes re residence, travel, personal tax and social security; and recognition of qualifications) 


Corporate tax: withholding taxes, branch structures, loss relief, restructuring and transfer pricing


Audience polling and response by our panel





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