News - 12 October 2020

Business Secretary urges businesses to prepare for the end of the transition period

Businesses need to take action now to prepare for the UK’s new start on 1 January 2021, the Business Secretary Alok Sharma has written in a letter to over 600,000 firms across the UK.

In his letter, the Business Secretary calls on businesses to familiarise themselves with the actions they will need to take, by using the Government checker tool.

When the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, there will be a guaranteed set of changes and opportunities for which businesses need to prepare as the UK leaves the customs union and single market, including changes to the way businesses import and export goods, the process for hiring people from the EU, and the way businesses provide services in EU markets.

The vast majority of these actions will need to be completed regardless of the outcome of Government negotiations with the EU.

These include ensuring staff register for residency rights and preparing for customs procedures when trading with the EU.

To make sure businesses are prepared, the government will also host a series of sector-specific webinars throughout October to remind them of the changes they will need to make.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “With just 81 days until the end of the transition period, businesses must act now to ensure they are ready for the UK’s new start come January. There will be no extension to the transition period, so there is no time to waste.”

“I urge all businesses across the country to check gov.uk to see what action they need to take, sign up for updates, or attend one of our sector-specific webinars.”

“Businesses have a crucial role to play in ensuring a smooth transition, and we will be there to support them through this change every step of the way.”

Businesses can sign up for the most recent updates by visiting the Gov.uk website.

Check, Change, Go – Prepare your business for the end of the transition period

A range of webinars have been arranged by the Business Department for businesses to attend online. The first of these is on Tuesday 13 October, focusing on services and investment.

The launch of the webinars follows extensive Government engagement with businesses in recent months, including roundtables led by the Business Secretary and BEIS ministers with business leaders and representative organisations. These roundtables have focussed on the next steps for business as the UK prepares for our new relationship with the EU.

The webinars cover general areas that businesses of any shape and size will need to understand and act on, such as visas, work permits, and tariffs – as well as sector-specific information.

Business sectors being covered by these webinars are:

  • Services and Investment – 13 October
  • Retail – 14 October
  • Automotive – 14 October
  • Metals and Materials – 20 October
  • Electronics and machinery – 21 October
  • Consumer Goods – 22 October
  • Life Sciences – 27 October
  • Construction – 28 October
  • Aerospace – 29 October

To sign up to a webinar, interested businesses should visit the Gov.uk website.

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