Brexit: UK government warns businesses to 'act now' on transition preparation

Lucy Harley-McKeown
·2 min read
Britain's Business Secretary Alok Sharma arrives for a cabinet meeting at the FCO in London, Britain September 22, 2020. Photo: Leon Neal/Pool via Reuters
Britain's Business Secretary Alok Sharma arrives for a cabinet meeting at the FCO in London, Britain September 22, 2020. Photo: Leon Neal/Pool via Reuters

As the Brexit transition period countdown hits 81 days, the UK’s business secretary Alok Sharma has called on companies to take action now to prepare.

Sharma is due to write to 600,000 businesses on Monday 12 October, emphasising that there is no time to waste to get ready for the UK’s “new start.”

Boris Johnson has said the transition period, due to end at the end of the year, will not be extended.

The EU and UK have been negotiating for months on the finer points of the exit agreement.

Johnson said the country is committed to “exploring every avenue” to reach an agreement on Brexit talks, in a phone call to France’s president Macron yesterday, in which he also urged the need for progress to be made in the coming days.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson: UK ready to 'explore every avenue' for Brexit talks

“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,” said Sharma.

“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.”

The government is to host a range of sector-specific webinars on the topic, covering what needs to be done on permits, visas and tariffs.

The vast majority of preparation for the end of the transition period will have to be completed regardless of the outcome of negotiations, the government said.

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

Watch: What happens if no Brexit trade deal is struck?