Brexit – what next?
In the context of the Brexit referendum, in June 2016 a slim majority of the participating eligible voters opted against a continued EU-membership of the United Kingdom. In the meantime, March 29, 2019 has been established as the exit date. However, with only a few months remaining, this date seems to be the only definite fact associated with the Brexit. An end to the negotiations is still not in sight.
An agreement – albeit a late one – between the United Kingdom and the EU cannot be precluded since it would be in the interest of both parties.
Another possibility would be to extend the article 50 negotiation period in order to postpone the deadline. That way, additional days for the negotiations could be achieved, also with respect to the transition period. Nevertheless, companies or private individuals should not rely on this. Therefore, the EU-commission as well as the British governmental already informed about possible consequences regarding an exit without deal (“no deal” – scenario / hard Brexit) and urge citizens and companies to undertake the necessary preparations.
In the meantime, German lawmakers have also reacted and published the draft of a so-called Brexit Steuerbegleitgesetz (a kind of draft bill of an accompanying tax law). This is to ensure that in certain areas no adverse legal consequences will be triggered solely by the Brexit (even if the taxpayer already executed the tax-relevant acts before the Brexit).
Unfortunately, in many other areas one can only make assumptions regarding the specific implications. Only when concrete modalities are set forth in an agreement it will be foreseeable, which areas will be affected by changes and the need for action.
Under these circumstances, it would be unwise to act rashly, yet it is reasonable for companies to identify any action that may be required as soon as possible. BDO would be pleased to support you in this. We keep our clients continually up to date on any developments and changes that occur, we identify areas where action is needed, and we offer help and support in implementing such action. We have compiled an initial list of areas that may be affected. This list is subject to ongoing updates. We have skilled professionals on all the relevant issues as well as an international network – including, in particular, BDO LLP in the UK – to help you master your specific Brexit challenges.