The United Kingdom’s choice to cease to participate in the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union and put an end to the free movement of persons, goods and services with the EU as of 31 December 2020 means that the EU-UK relationship will change significantly for businesses on both sides from that date onwards.

These changes are inevitable, regardless of the outcome of the ongoing EU-UK negotiations, and risk compounding the pressure that businesses are already under due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

This checklist aims to help EU companies doing business in the United Kingdom (UK) and/or UK companies doing business in the EU to double-check their state of readiness for 1 January 2021.

It provides an overview of the main areas of change that will take place in any event as of 1 January 2021– irrespective of whether an agreement is reached on a future economic and security partnership. It addresses the most common issues and should not be considered to be exhaustive.

Additional guidance can be found in the Commission Communication ‘Getting ready for changes’,1 as well as in sectoral stakeholder ‘readiness notices’ published by the Commission services and available here:

It is essential that all companies prepare for these broad and far-reaching changes and that they take all necessary decisions, and complete all required administrative actions before 31 December 2020 .

1 Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: ‘Getting Ready for changes: Communication on readiness at the end of the transition period between the European Union and the United Kingdom, COM(2020) 324 final, 9 July 2020,