The Department for Exiting the EU has published an open letter to business leaders setting out the Government’s aims for an implementation period after the UK leaves the EU.

The joint letter, written by David Davis (Secretary of State for Exiting the EU), Philip Hammond (Chancellor of the Exchequer) and Greg Clark (Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), notes the following:

  • in order for trade terms to remain unchanged during the implementation period, it will need to be based on the existing structure of EU rules and regulations. The Government will maintain continuity with rules during the implementation period as this will give businesses certainty and avoid unnecessary disruption;
  • the Government’s intention is to mimic the breadth of its current arrangements, from goods to agriculture to financial services, meaning that every business will be able to go on trading with the EU as it does today until it’s time to make any changes necessary for the future partnership. The Government plans to work together with the EU to ensure the UK remains covered by those international arrangements, including free trade agreements, to which it is currently a party by virtue of its EU membership; and
  • EU citizens will continue to be able to come and live and work in the UK, with no new barriers to take up employment. The Government will introduce a registration scheme for new arrivals in preparation for its future immigration system, but this will not place any new burdens on businesses during the implementation period.

The letter also notes that the UK and the EU want to agree the detail of the implementation period by the end of March 2018. The Government will then finalise the text of the Withdrawal Agreement to give the implementation period a legal form.

View Cabinet Ministers’ letter to businesses on implementation period, 26 January 2018