Brexit during COVID: What Should Individuals and Businesses Do?


After months of coronavirus dominating the headlines, Brexit is now once again beginning to reclaim column inches in publications nationwide. However, there isn’t a great deal of optimism to be found here, with the EU refusing to ease customs controls post-Brexit and declaring that a broad trade deal will need to be agreed by October to avoid a no-deal.


Interestingly, there have been demands to extend the transition period until the summer of 2021 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly with the region expected to see its economic output drop by 35% as a result of lockdown measures.


In this post, we’ll look at the current situation of negotiations as the coronavirus pandemic begins to slow down, while appraising the impact on households and businesses nationwide.

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What is the UK’s Current Stance on Brexit?


At the end of January, Boris Johnson and his Tory party were flying high. After all, they’d secured a landslide election win and a House of Commons majority of 80, while Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill had been passed into law and the UK had officially left the structures of the EU.


At this time, it was easy for the supporters of Brexit to see the light at the end of a long, distressing tunnel, while Johnson himself was emboldened enough to completely rule out extending the agreed transition period beyond December 31st 2020.


Six months is a long time in politics, however, and while Johnson may be adhering to his commitment to rule out extending the transition period, the shifting socio-economic climate and cost of Covid-19 to the economy is making such a stance look increasingly unwise.


As tensions between the two regions have become increasingly strained in the wake of Covid-19, it’s also fair to say that the UK government’s stance has failed to take into account the impact of a no-deal exit on an already strained economy.


Make no mistake; the loss of GDP and economic output (along with the continued devaluation of the pound) cast a no-deal Brexit in an entirely different light, and one that’s incredibly concerning to people nationwide.


What Steps Can Households and Businesses Take in This Climate?


Of course, businesses have at least been able to resume trading as lockdown measures have been gradually eased, and this will help to aid stricken ventures that have seen their revenues plummet since March.


Not only this, but those businesses that have been able to embrace digitalisation successfully and shift to an ecommerce model have also avoided the worst of the coronavirus fallout, with online sales increasing by around 12.5% in the UK across a number of industries during Q2.


However, fears of a second Covid-19 spike (or at least localised outbreaks and lockdowns) and a no-deal Brexit will continue to weigh on households, businesses and the financial markets alike, so it’s important that these entities take proactive steps to protect themselves in the near-term.


While it can be hard to manage the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus and take steps to counter this (other than promoting social distancing measures on-site and maximising remote working), it’s a little easier to gauge the prospects of a no-deal Brexit and deal with the volatility of this and its potential implications.


To negate this, we’d recommend working with an expert legal firm such as Withers, which specialises in immigration and a host of other markets that may be impacted by a disorderly Brexit and the removal of trade arrangement between the UK and the EU.


This type of legal firm also has branches across the globe, enabling you to address the impact of such uncertainty across a range of international markets and identify short, medium and long-term opportunities to capitalise on this and generate unexpected profits.