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As part of its Brexit information campaign, the Department for International Trade (DIT) reminds us that the transition period will end on 31 December and the UK will leave the single market and customs union.  In urging businesses to take action now to start preparing for new trading rules which will be in effect from January 2021, they have issued some updates on what you need to know if your business imports goods from overseas.

This week, MTA joined with a number of other engineering trade associations to write to Michael Gove MP in his role as Minister in charge of arrangements for Brexit to express our concern about the uncertainty surrounding the regulatory requirements for putting goods on the UK market from 1st January 2021 (when the UK’s Brexit transition period ends).

The government has launched its new campaign to prepare the UK for the end of the transition period, with the strapline: Check, Change, Go.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove said that the end of the transition period “will bring changes and significant opportunities for which we all need to prepare… there are actions that businesses and citizens must take now to ensure we are ready to hit the ground running as a fully independent United Kingdom.

The July 1st deadline set out in the EU Withdrawal Agreement has now passed for the UK to request an extension to the Brexit transition period and there is a growing assumption that trade talks with the EU will end in failure - a No Deal Brexit.

This week’s news fall into three themes - customs/border controls, the UKCA (UK conformity assessment) mark and progress with trade talks.  However, the main message is that the UK Government is sticking to its message that the Brexit transition period ends on 31st December 2020 and it will not be applying for an extension.

An article published by Bloomberg highlights that retail, agriculture and manufacturing would be the hardest hit sectors in the event of no agreement being reached when the UK’s transition period finishes at the end of 2020.  In the context that trade talks between the UK and the EU appear to be struggling, this is increasing the prospect that Britain will complete the transition period without a deal, causing another extreme shock to businesses when the divorce takes effect.

With the UK set to leave the European Union tomorrow, you might still have questions about what this means for you and your business.

With that in mind, I think you’ll find it helpful to read this free guide from our partner, Citation, on Brexit and Managing Uncertainty.