7 February 2019: Transitional Simplified Procedure registration opens today

In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, from 11pm GMT on 29 March 2019, many UK businesses will need to apply the same procedures to EU trade that apply when trading with the rest of the world.

Currently, under import processes for trading with the rest of the world, goods are not released from customs control until you make a full import declaration and pay the duty owed in full.

HMRC has put in place transitional simplified procedures to make it easier for you to import goods from the EU using roll on roll off locations like Dover or the Channel Tunnel.

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What you’ll need to register:
•    EORI number to trade with the EU
•    Unique Taxpayer Reference (if you have one)
•    VAT registration number (if you have one)
•    business name and UK address
•    contact details

Click here to register.

6 February 2019: new government partnership pack

The government released the latest version of the Partnership pack plus the renewed version of the Step by Step guide to Importing and Exporting on 6 Feb 2019.

This pack provides a high-level guide or links to processes and procedures that are likely to apply to cross-border activity between the UK and the EU in a no deal scenario. It also links you to more detailed sector-specific guidance.

Click here to download the pack.

30 January 2019: What happened on 29 Jan 2019 and what next?

UK Members of Parliament (MPs) across all parties had a chance to suggest and vote on amendments to the withdrawal agreement.

In the end, MPs were allowed to vote on seven amendments, of which two passed.

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1. Renegotiate the Irish border

The deal the Prime Minister struck in Brussels ensured that there would not be a "hard border" between Ireland and Northern Ireland. This measure is called the backstop. This is the element designed to protect the border between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Avoiding a "hard border" would mean that goods would still be able to cross the border without checks, but this prospect has gone down badly with the influential hard-line Brexit supporters in the Conservative Party who want a clean break with Europe.

On the 29 Jan, a majority of MPs said they now wanted a new deal which made changes to the backstop.

This is far easier said than done.

2. Avoid "no deal"

 A majority of MPs also backed another amendment that rejected the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

At least now we know where most MPs stand on this issue, but it doesn't really change anything: it's not as though they've suggested how they hope to avoid leaving without a deal. Nor is this move legally binding, so a no-deal Brexit could still happen.

What happens next?

A good question.

In theory, Theresa May now has a mandate to ask the EU for new talks on the backstop. The problem is the EU doesn't want to, and doesn't see any reason why it should. It says the whole backstop issue has already been dealt with. Ireland, an EU member, doesn't want any change to the backstop deal either.

So if the EU doesn't want to reopen negotiations and the British parliament can't find a compromise, what happens? We'd be facing a "hard Brexit": the UK would crash out of the EU on 29 March with no deal.

And the journey continues!