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London businesses urged to prepare for end of transition

With 100 days left until the end of the post-EU exit transition period, businesses across the capital are being urged to prepare for the implications.

The call to action comes from London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, London’s Local Chambers of commerce, Rajesh Agrawal: Deputy Mayor of London for Business, London Councils, and the City of London Corporation.

In an open letter to all London businesses, the collective urge that despite the economic battle against Covid-19 continuing for many firms, Wednesday (September 23) marks 100 days (inclusive) until the end of the transition period and the implications need consideration.

And this focus isn’t just required for London businesses that trade or do business in the EU – all businesses need to assess the impact on their: staff employment, business travel, exporting, importing, international trade paperwork, costs, logistics, data protection, e-commerce, accounting and auditing, public procurement, intellectual property and taxation.  Firms also need to consider impacts on their immediate supply chain.

To help London businesses in their preparations London Chamber of Commerce and Industry has launched an EU Exit Hub.

The letter reads as follows:

Businesses across the capital are grappling with competing pressures at present, so it is understandable that for many the end of the EU exit transition period may not be top of mind. But with only 100 days left until the transition period ends, it is critical that action is taken from now to start preparing for its impacts.

Changes introduced from 1 January 2021 will affect much more than our trading relationship with the bloc. Buyers and sellers need to be ready for the potential impacts of logistical and financial changes to other businesses across their supply chains. Employers need to ensure employees and recruitment plans are ready for the UK’s new immigration system. Contracts will need to be checked in case references to the EU need reviewing. For those businesses that trade with the EU in goods and services, it is essential that preparations are underway to deal with logistical, administrative, regulatory and legal changes.

That is why we are urging London business leaders to act now to ensure that the necessary steps are being taken to assess how your business and employees will be affected, and start putting plans in place to prepare as best as possible.

The challenges that many businesses face with current capacity, coupled with the uncertainty of what the pandemic may hold for us over the coming months and the pressures of the fast-approaching festive season, make it all the more important that businesses are ready to deal with change. And while some official preparation details remain to be finalised, it is important to anticipate possible scenarios and seek the right advice and guidance on getting as ready as possible.

Signed by:

Richard Burge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Steve Nelson, Chairman, London’s Local Chambers.

Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor of London for Business.

Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chair, City of London Corporation.

Cllr. Clare Coghill, Executive member for Business, Europe and Good Growth, London Councils.


- Richard Burge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “Of course Covid-19 is the clear and present risk for business, but we are increasingly worried that business leaders are not sufficiently focused on the fundamental change when we finally break with the EU – probably without a trade deal - on the 31 December.

"It’s why London Chamber of Commerce and Industry has created an EU Exit Hub – to make it clear what subject matters need immediate focus, with an easy reference point to the official guidance and advice around those matters.  The clock is ticking ever faster, all London businesses need to give EU exit their attention, despite the other challenges.”

- Steve Nelson, Chair of London’s Local Chambers, said: “I am concerned that many small businesses in the capital will be thinking that if they don’t export to Europe then it’s someone else’s worry. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Supply chains, employment law and transport affect any business.

“London’s Local Chambers fully supports the London Chamber of Commerce and strongly recommends that you investigate their EU Exit Hub to find out what you should be focusing on to ensure your business continues to prosper.”

- Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation, said: “Businesses across the capital have had to focus their efforts on dealing with the unprecedented challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic for much of this year. Alongside this critical focus, however, it is vital that firms also prepare for the end of the transition period and what it means for them.

“There are a number of resources available to help businesses understand the potential impacts and provide advice. We urge firms to act now so that they are ready as possible on day one after the transition period ends.”

- Cllr. Clare Coghill, Executive member for Business, Europe and Good Growth, London Councils, said: “With the EU exit transition period ending in 100 days we support the calls for businesses across the capital to prepare for the implications and are ready to help them ensure their resilience, although recognise the problems of planning for an uncertain future”