It is with a heavy heart that today we say goodbye to the European Union!  

On the afternoon of January 29th, 2020,  EU Parliament approved the text of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal agreement from the European Union.  This was the last missing piece to finalize the agreement; which was approved on October 17th, 2019 by the European Council (along with the Political Declaration on the framework for future relations) and on January 9th, 2020 by the House of Commons of the British Parliament. The agreement was then ratified by the Upper House of the United Kingdom (January 22nd, 2020), and countersigned by Queen Elizabeth II (January 24, 2020).

What will happen after January 31st, 2020?

It is necessary to remind you that this agreement calibrates the British withdrawal in an orderly manner for citizens/businesses. The UK will therefore enter a transitional period from February 1st to December 31st 2020.

During this period, there will be no changes to terms for trading with the EU or rest of the world. This includes all legislation and procedures regarding the free movement of people, services, capital and goods. There will also be no new customs procedures at present.

What will happen after December 31st, 2020?

Only after Dec 31st 2020, unless otherwise agreed, the United Kingdom will no longer be part of the customs and tax territory (VAT and excise duties) of the European Union. The movement of goods between the UK and the EU will therefore be considered as trade with a third country.  By this date, the European Union and the United Kingdom will, however, be able to establish clear and more advantageous rules for goods entering, leaving or transiting through the customs and tax territory of the Union and the United Kingdom.  2020 will therefore be the year of negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union (and its countries).

As always, further information on Brexit can be found at

Best wishes,

David Burnham and all the WBS team.

If you have any questions as to how to best prepare, please do not hesitate to contact us here

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