Home Knowledge Brexit – Trade Negotiations and Transition Period

Brexit – Trade Negotiations and Transition Period

Despite the UK officially leaving the EU on 31 January 2020, a transition period is in place until 31 December 2020 during which both sides attempt to complete a trade deal.  Trade negotiations will cover a wide range of issues, from access to EU goods and services to competition rules, aviation safety, and the security and enforcement of the deal.  

However, whether effective talks can take place is unclear, considering the worsening COVID-19 pandemic throughout Europe.  

The first meeting of the EU-UK joint committee met on Monday 30 March by video conference, due to the ban on non-essential travel in most EU countries. With significant governmental time and resources being committed to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is unclear how productive trade talks can be. Despite the disruption, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has insisted that he will not seek an extension to the transition period.

There remains a possibility that the transition period will be extended. This would benefit UK insurance and reinsurance firms that want to access the European market after the transition period, with Ireland remaining an attractive destination.  The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) has been busy in recent years dealing with UK financial service firms looking to re-establish themselves in Ireland in preparation for the UK’s departure from the EU.  More information from the CBI on Brexit for financial service firms is available here.  

More information on how William Fry can help you establish a (re)insurance intermediary is available here or a (re)insurance undertaking in Ireland, please contact your key contact.