03 November, 2020
Since the publication of our earlier article highlighting key aspects of contracts which should be considered in light of the forthcoming end to the Brexit transition period (https://www.forbessolicitors.co.uk/news/47169/brexit-preparing-for-the-end-of-the-transition-period), negotiations between the UK and EU have continued. There is, however, no agreed deal and despite the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier telling the European Parliament recently that "an agreement is within reach if both sides are willing to work constructively", it remains likely that a deal will not be agreed in time.
Nevertheless, given the disruptive implications of Brexit, in whichever form that takes on 31 December 2020, all UK businesses who trade with suppliers or customers based in the EU (or other country with whom the EU has a trade agreement) are advised, if they have not done so already, to review existing affected contracts and consider the consequential impacts of Brexit.
Many contracts are unlikely to contain adequate provisions to deal with the potential adverse consequences of Brexit. For example, most contracts have been written on the basis that the UK is a member of the EU, that goods and people can move freely and without tariffs, and there is regulatory alignment, and this will not be the case from 1 January 2021.
In addition to the points highlighted in our earlier article, we advise businesses to consider how their existing contracts will protect them in relation to the following areas post Brexit:
For businesses looking to amend contracts to deal with the consequences of Brexit, it is advisable to start this process as soon as ever possible to ensure they can be finalised before the end of the transition period.
For more information contact John Pickervance in our Commercial department via email or phone on 0333 207 1134. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.