Brexit Bulletin, 28 September 2020

Sep 24, 2020

There are just 100 days to go to the end of the Brexit transition period, and the countdown is on. Political leaders across the island of Ireland, UK and the EU are ramping up their engagement on the Brexit front with one common message resounding across the board – Get Brexit Ready now. In today’s bulletin, we bring news of the UK government’s recently published “reasonable worst-case scenario” for borders, as reports emerge that up to 7,000 trucks carrying goods from the UK to the EU could face two-day delays in Dover after the Brexit transition. You can also read about the meeting of the Joint Committee on the Withdrawal Agreement and Round 9 of Brexit negotiations set to commence today.


UK government outlines “reasonable worst-case scenario” for borders at the end of the transition period

With recent reports emerging that up to 7,000 trucks carrying goods from the UK to the EU could face two-day delays in Dover after the Brexit transition, the UK government have published their reasonable worst case scenario planning assumptions for potential disruption to UK freight* travelling to the EU at the end of the Brexit transition period.

In a statement addressing the House of Commons, UK Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove  has said that the document has been made available to “illustrate the costs of a lack of preparedness while there is still plenty of time to prepare”.

The document says that the planning assumption is that EU Member States will impose EU third country customs controls on UK goods at the end of the transition period. This will mean that all freight that travels to the border without the correct documentation will be stopped before boarding services in the UK or on arrival at Member State ports. This in turn will lead to delays, a strain on resources, and higher costs for hauliers and freight forwarders, which is one of the most significant worries for the logistics sector at the moment. There are also reports of both Irish and UK haulier groups being concerned about the potential increase in prices of goods due to post-Brexit delays.

The document predicts that only 30 – 60 per cent trucks would arrive at the border with the necessary formalities completed for the goods on board. The document also highlights a worrying estimate where only 50 – 70 per cent of large businesses, and just 20 – 40 per cent of SMEs, would be ready for the new EU requirements that will come into effect starting 1 January 2021.

Readers can also register for Revenue’s upcoming series of live streamed Brexit information sessions on customs and movement of goods taking place on 5 and 6 October 2020.


*refers to goods transported in bulk by truck, train, ship, or aircraft


Political leaders across the island of Ireland urge businesses to get Brexit ready now

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD is urging businesses to be ready for the inevitable changes that Brexit will mean for their operations at the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. As a part of the “Getting Ireland Brexit Ready” campaign, the Tánaiste is calling on businesses to take particular action in the areas of customs, supply chain vulnerabilities, cash flow planning, and certifications. In his statement, the Tánaiste has said, “I ask all businesses regardless of their size, small, medium or large to focus on their Brexit readiness as things will simply not be the same. Being prepared for customs formalities is critical and the Government is here to help.”

Additionally, Northern Ireland Economy Minister Diane Dodds is also encouraging businesses across Northern Ireland to access EU Exit support from Invest Northern Ireland and InterTrade Ireland, which include online Brexit tools, webinars and EU Exit support vouchers. In her statement, Minister Dodds has addressed the need for clarity around trading requirements for Northern Ireland businesses, however has stated that “there are things that businesses can do now to ensure they are equipped to face the challenges and opportunities from 1 January 2021.”

Readers can find further supports by clicking on the following links:

Government of Ireland Brexit Hub

InvestNI EU Exit Hub


Joint Committee on Withdrawal Agreement set to meet today

When is the meeting?

The EU and the UK have agreed to hold the next meeting of the Joint Committee on the Withdrawal Agreement on Monday, 28 September 2020, in Brussels.

Who is attending?

The meeting will be co-chaired by the UK Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove and Vice President of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič. Representatives from the Northern Ireland Executive are also present as a part of the UK delegation.

What are they discussing?

The full agenda of the meeting can be found here. The agenda also features a discussion on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.  

Round 9 of Brexit negotiations commence in Brussels today

The ninth round of Brexit negotiations are also set to commence tomorrow, 29 September 2020 to Friday 2 October 2020 in Brussels. Readers can take a look at the updated Addendum to the Terms of Reference on the UK-EU Future Relationship Negotiations online.

The addendum also specifies that in order to accompany and complement the negotiating rounds, the Chief Negotiators from both sides and their teams will meet as necessary in a more restricted format to ensure progress in the Brexit negotiations.


Video supports for UK businesses trading with the EU

The UK government have released a series of videos to help prepare businesses for the new trading requirements coming into effect starting 1 January 2021, irrespective of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

The videos discuss the key elements such as:

  • export goods to the EU
  • import goods from the EU
  • prepare your business to continue to move people, data and services between the UK and the EU


Brexit Bites


For all Brexit updates, visit our Brexit webpage