Preparing Brexit: how ready is the UK?


This report from UK think tank the Institute for Government looks at how ready the government, business and individuals are for the end of transition.

In the four and a half years since the EU referendum, a huge amount of government time and resource has gone into preparing for life outside the EU. Although the UK left the political institutions of the EU in January, very little changed in practice. But there are now just eight weeks to go until the end of the transition period, when – deal or no deal – the UK will leave the single market and customs union, marking the start of a much more distant relationship with the European Union. The scale of the task to prepare businesses, people – and the government itself – is huge. This report assesses how ready the government, business and individuals are for the end of the transition period and identifies key areas of concern: The Northern Ireland protocol will not be fully implemented by January. The government has bought itself more time to prepare the GB–EU border, but poor trader readiness and EU checks from January mean disruption is inevitable. Business readiness is the biggest problem for the end of 2020, with the Covid crisis leaving many firms less prepared than last year.

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