It probably hasn´t escaped your notice that Brexit has now finally taken place and the UK has left the European Union (EU). 23 June 2016, when the British public narrowly voted to leave the EU, feels like a long time ago! With the negotiations between the EU and UK going back and forth, at times it seemed as if there would be no agreement and as such a great deal of uncertainty lay ahead for businesses, ex-pats and holiday makers alike.

The Transition Period provided everyone with some well needed extra time for more discussion, and it wasn´t until the very last minute on 24 December 2020, that a deal was finally struck. The new Trade & Cooperation Agreement, which has yet to be ratified by the European Parliament (EP), provisionally came into force 1 January 2021. It is due to be ratified before the EP on 28 February 2021 and provides a legal framework and at least some clarity for certain future trading and business partnerships for companies from the EU and the UK.  Unfortunately, this can´t be said for all…

Whilst the Trade & Cooperation Agreement ensures that tariffs and quotas on goods moving between the EU and UK in both directions are avoided, new rules and regulations on customs and immigration have been introduced. Post-Brexit, the European laws on freedom of movement for goods and people are no longer relevant or applicable. Instead, with the UK no longer being a member-state of the EU, new paperwork requirements and border checks have been introduced, which for some are proving to be cumbersome, confusing and costly.

Parts of the Trade & Cooperation Agreement remain unclear, especially in relation to the provision of services and the treatment of data, with financial services being largely left out. In this new and modernized world where so much is digitalised, and data is so valuable, questions also remain unanswered in relation to data and how it should be treated. As such it is important that consideration is given to the UK´s new position as a so-called third country (essentially a non-EU country). There is a transitional period of around 4 to 6 months dating from 1 January 2021, but thereafter the UK will become a third country pending any adequacy decision by the EC. There is some talk that the EC has already begun the process of looking at the adequacy of the UK´s data safety and a decision could be made quite soon, hence the transition period, but this has yet to be seen.

What is clear is that Brexit is already having, and will continue to have, a wide impact on many businesses and individuals for the foreseeable future.

We at Bonde Barzey Advokatbyrå are well positioned to help you with your Brexit queries. Our team is made up of qualified Swedish and British lawyers that have a thorough understanding of Swedish, EU and UK laws, how they may be interpreted, and how they might affect your business. No matter what your question, feel free to get in touch and we can see how we might be able to help.