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Minister sends letter

Firms told: ‘take action now’ before EU transition ends

Alok Sharma

Alok Sharma: ‘no time to waste

More than half a million businesses are being warned to take action now to ensure they are ready for Britain’s exit from the EU at the end of the year.

UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma is writing to 600,000 firms telling them must have the right paperwork and procedures in place before the end of the transition period when Britain leaves the customs union and single market.

The changes include the way businesses import and export goods, the process for hiring people from the EU, and the way businesses provide services in EU markets.

Mr Sharma says the vast majority of these actions will need to be completed regardless of the outcome of Britain’s negotiations with the EU.


Firms need to ensure staff register for residency rights and are prepared for customs procedures. 

To make sure businesses are prepared, the government will also host a series of sector-specific webinars throughout October to remind them of the changes they will need to make. 

Mr Sharma said: “With just 81 days until the end of the transition period, businesses must act now to ensure they are ready for the UK’s new start come January.

“There will be no extension to the transition period, so there is no time to waste.

“I urge all businesses across the country to check to see what action they need to take, sign up for updates, or attend one of our sector-specific webinars.

“Businesses have a crucial role to play in ensuring a smooth transition, and we will be there to support them through this change every step of the way.”

Businesses can sign up for the most recent updates here.

A range of webinars for have been arranged by the Business Department for businesses to attend online. The first of these is on Tuesday 13 October, focusing on services and investment.

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The launch of the webinars follows Government engagement with businesses in recent months, including roundtables led by the Business Secretary and BEIS ministers with business leaders and representative organisations.

These roundtables have focused on the next steps for business as the UK prepares for our new relationship with the EU.

The webinars cover general areas that businesses of any shape and size will need to understand and act on, such as visas, work permits, and tariffs – as well as sector specific information. 

Business sectors being covered by these webinars are:

  • Services and Investment       13 October
  • Retail                                     14 October
  • Automotive                            14 October
  • Metals and Materials             20 October
  • Electronics and machinery    21 October
  • Consumer Goods                  22 October
  • Life Sciences                         27 October
  • Construction                          28 October
  • Aerospace                             29 October

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