Brexit transition period agreed between EU and UK gives trading certainty

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More details of the deal regarding Brexit transition have emerged today and there is some cause for optimism. From an ecommerce merchants’ perspective, the are several issues of particular importance. Specifically, the timetable of exit, the future of the single market, how borders will work in general and also the status of Northern Ireland are of day-to-day concern. Some have now been clarified.

Firstly Monday saw an agreement on a transition period. Previously, March 2019 would have seen the UK fall out of the EU. But that’s now not the case. Under today’s agreement, all single market rights, including the free movement of goods and services, will persist now until the end of 2020. That means that there will be no change in the situation when it comes to sending goods within the EU for UK merchants for another 30 months. That should give some succour and encouragement to invest and expand for a now foreseeable future.

We must seize the moment and carry on the momentum of the last few weeks. The deal today should give us confidence that a good deal for the UK and EU is closer than ever before.
– Davis Davis, Brexit secretary

Needless to say several key issues do remain essentially unresolved but the direction of travel has been agreed. Northern Ireland is a key sticking point. It could well be that Northern Ireland will remain within the customs union and the single market, without a hard border with the Irish Republic. And that could potentially be an opportunity for ecommerce merchants. As we wrote before: Brexit deal could create ecommerce powerhouse in Northern Ireland.

Brexit is a challenge to ecommerce merchants, however you look at it. But an assured transition process and timeline is of particular importance because a “hard Brexit”, that was on the cards, would have been very dangerous. We now have full clarity between now and Hogmanay on the 31st March. That’s nearly 3 years of certainty on Brexit transition and most welcome.

2 Responses

  1. ” It could well be that Northern Ireland will remain within the customs union and the single market, without a hard border with the Irish Republic. And that could potentially be an opportunity for ecommerce merchants”

    It will not happen and will open up a whole can of worms, for starters if NI gets to stay in the customs union and single market, the first thing Scotland will want is exactly the same thing and am no fan of Sturgeon but she will have jumped on that straight away and cant be one rule for some and another for the rest of us, then there is the DUP issue. It is TOTAL mess.
    At least we can carry on trading into the EU for a couple more years before we fall off the cliff edge, our EU trade is essential more than ever, the UK single market is not profitable and is a race to the bottom in price and quality.
    This lot better use these TWO years properly and GET something done.

  2. The DUP won’t stand for a customs border between NI and the mainland.

    And WTO rules require a hard border on the island of Ireland in the event of a hard Brexit (despite what the Brexiteers say). The problem is that the gangsters who smuggle, but who are tolerated, won’t put up with any hardware.

    If you put up a camera and it gets shot at, somebody has to repair it. If they start shooting at the repairman, then the police have to protect him. If they start shooting at the police protecting the repairman, then the army has to protect the police. And we are straight back to 1969.

    Yes, it is a TOTAL mess.

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