There will be new rules for trade, travel and living in the UK and EU from 11.00pm on the 31 December 2020. Pressure is mounting on the UK and EU negotiating teams to finalise a post-Brexit trade deal.  So what can we expect with less than a month to go?

Firstly, try to remain positive about the UK and EU reaching some kind of free trade deal or arrangement. It does not benefit anyone for the UK to leave the EU without a deal of some kind.

However, European leaders have been warned a trade deal is unlikely to be agreed with the UK by Sunday’s deadline. If there is no deal, expect both parties to return to the negotiating table in the new year.

Whatever the outcome there are significant changes ahead for travel and trade.

Check what you need to do for Brexit

Get a personalised list of actions to make sure you and your customers are ready on 1 January 2021. Just answer a few questions on the Government’s transition page.


If you are travelling to the EU from the UK after the 1 January 2021 then check out the Government website “Visit Europe from 1 January 2021”. This page tells you how to prepare if you’re planning on travelling to Europe from 1 January 2021. It will be updated if anything changes.


If you trade with the EU and have not yet made preparations then here is a summary of actions to take:

We must all be prepared for changes in the way we travel and trade with Europe. Even if there is a free trade deal, remember there will be a UK border which will mean paperwork and border checks.

Businesses that trade with the EU must get familiar with customs declarations as these will be essential for accounting for VAT.

Depending on what contracts a business has with its customers in Europe, it may have to factor in that goods could take longer to get there, meaning extra costs and administration.

In the short term there will probably be delays at the border. It is therefore important for businesses to map out supply chains. Businesses need to think about how to do things as efficiently as practicable post transition.

Consumer Rights

It is important to understand how changes to consumer rights and data will affect your business and you personally. From credit card charges to refunds on products and services in the EU everything will be effected.

There may be some changes to the law that protects your rights when you buy goods or services after 1 January 2021. Read more about buying things from Europe from 1 January 2021.

Data Protection

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has a useful data checker tool and further guidance for small businesses.

If you collect and retain personal data from customers in the EU, you may need to put in place alternative transfer mechanisms to legally receive personal data from the EU to stay compliant.

Intellectual property rights and copyright law will also be impacted. If this applies to you or your business, take a look at this guidance on trademarks and registered design in the UK and changes to UK copyright law for businesses and consumers after the transition period.

Finally, let us know if you have any questions, we’d love to grab a coffee and chat over zoom!