LONDON (Reuters) – The UK is calling on businesses and individuals to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31st with an information campaign titled “The New Beginning of Britain: Let’s Get Started”.
FILE PHOTO: The EU flag is placed on broken glass and the British flag in this illustration image from January 31, 2020. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic
Britain left the European Union on January 31, three and a half years after a referendum, but a transition period has delayed any major change in the relationship.
Both sides have been working on a trade agreement before this period expires at the end of the year.
Cabinet Minister Michael Gove said talks had progressed on Sunday, but divisions still exist.
“At the end of this year, we will leave the internal market and the customs union regardless of the type of agreement we reach with the EU,” he said. “This will bring changes and significant opportunities that we all need to prepare for.”
The information campaign will start on Monday, the government said. Ads appear on TV, radio, billboards and online.
A survey by the Institute of Directors (IoD) lobby group found that only a quarter of the companies were fully ready for the end of the transition period.
Almost half of the 978 company executives surveyed at the end of June said they were currently unable to prepare. One in seven was distracted by the corona virus, and almost a third said they needed details of the changes to be clear.
“With so much going on, many directors believe that preparing for the actual Brexit is like trying to hit a moving target,” said Jonathan Geldart, general director of the IoD. “For many companies, it would be a nightmare to jump right into what’s next.”
The campaign is aimed at British people who want to travel to the EU from January 1st, importers and exporters, British nationals abroad and EU, European Economic Area and Swiss nationals living in Great Britain.
Reporting by Paul Sandle; Edited by Andrew Cawthorne