The Government has begun to replace the word Brexit with EU Exit. Many media reports are continuing to refer to Brexit. We continue to use the term EU Exit for actions relating to the end of the Implementation Phase.

Following the June 2016 UK referendum vote to leave the EU and subsequent government invocation of Article 50 in March 2017, The UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020 and entered the Implementation Phase. During this period, the UK remains a member of the Customs Union and Single Market. This means that trade procedures with the remaining EU members (the EU27) will not change. The Government is now in negotiations to reach agreement on the terms of withdrawal. The Government does not intend to seek an agreement that involves close alignment with the EU. The changes to trade procedures between the UK and the EU27 will therefore be substantial.

The Implementation Phase expires at 11pm GMT on 31 December 2020, at which time the UK will leave the Customs Union and the Single Market, and consequently the trade procedures will change with immediate effect.

If a trade agreement has not been formalised by 31 December 2020 the UK will leave the EU without an agreement.

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