In a disappointing, if expected non-development, Britain has casually avoided the opportunity of applying for an extension to the Brexit transition period.
Businesses throughout Europe, crippled by the Covid-19 crisis wreaking havoc on the Global economy, would have welcomed the opportunity to extend the transition period. An extension would have allowed an ambitious trade deal to be negotiated in a more conducive environment than current circumstances allow.
However, the process of reinforcing Britain’s departure from the EU last January continues its unrelenting journey to gratuitous deadlines, at the expense of negotiating a mutually beneficial, wide ranging future relationship.
The likeliest outcome from the negotiations is now a very hard Brexit and businesses and Governments must redouble their efforts to prepare for this eventuality.
Speaking earlier today (30 June) County Wexford Chief Executive, Fiona Lewis said,
“Every business should plan for a Brexit which will be on World Trade Organisation rules. Should that occur, it will make trade with and through Britain increasingly difficult. Every business which trades, or uses products, components or services that are traded, is likely to be affected in some way.
No one wants to be bearer of warnings to businesses of the challenges that Brexit will bring – even as they are still trying to reopen their doors and comply with the restrictions that Covid-19 requires – but neglecting the problems of Brexit could stifle the recovery of those businesses currently grappling with the Covid-19 crisis.
Businesses will have to be realistic about how negotiations are likely to evolve from here. All the signs suggest that even if there is a trade deal completed between now and December it will be so limited in scope that for most businesses it may as well not exist.
A hard Brexit is now a very likely outcome, businesses need to act accordingly.”