Consequences of Brexit

An Indirect Tax Perspective

Even though some time will pass before the UK will leave the European Union (“EU”) and it is not certain which model will be implemented post secession, there will clearly be quite some changes. This holds true from a tax perspective too. Especially for Indirect Taxes where VAT and customs legislation is harmonized, the long-term consequences and the associated systems impact could be quite substantial.

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The UK no longer being part of the European Union will affect the enterprise model, tax determination and tax reporting.


UK taxpayers – thus including UK subsidiaries of EU businesses - will no longer be able to rely on the “direct effect” of certain EU laws and the teleological approach to the interpretation of UK VAT law (which has its origins in the way that EU law is written and interpreted) may be less widely applied. The UK courts will revert to interpreting the UK provisions independently and will cease referring cases to the CJEU. From a broader perspective, the entire context of the harmonized legislative framework will be different, as one will need to bear in mind that soft EU law like interpretations, (non-binding) rulings, arbitration and policy will no longer have direct effect.
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