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European Commission issues readiness communication

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At the end of the year, the transition period agreed upon between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) for the period following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on 31 January 2020 will come to an end. Against this background, the European Commission issued a “Communication on readiness at the end of the transition period” on 9 July 2020, which was successively supplemented by sector-specific readiness notices.

These notices are intended to help national authorities, enterprises and citizens to prepare for the changes that will come after the end of the transition period. This was set out to ensure that EU rules would remain applicable during this time and that enterprises would be able to prepare for the new legal and economic relationship between the EU and the UK.

The communication provides a sector-by-sector overview of the most important areas that will see changes, regardless of the outcome of the ongoing negotiations between the EU and the UK. In particular, the following areas are affected:

The negotiations on a free trade agreement began in March 2020 and are still ongoing. It is uncertain whether a free trade agreement will be concluded by the end of the transition period.

With regard to whether future cross-border financial services will be permissible under supervisory law in the new relationship between the UK and the EU, decisions will need to be made in many areas primarily on the basis of unilaterally recognising the “equivalency” of the other party’s supervisory regime. The analyses required in preparation for these decisions are also still ongoing at present.

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