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Urgent message from the Business Secretary. Time is running out – it’s time to take action now

24 Oct 2020

Urgent message from the Business Secretary. Time is running out – it’s time to take action now


Last week I wrote urging businesses to act now to prepare for our new relationship with the EU. I want to thank the thousands of businesses which took action. However, we know that many are not yet ready for the new rules which start on 1 January and I again request them to act.


In just 71 days there will be guaranteed changes to doing business and there are many actions you can take now to prepare. Find out what you need to do by visiting and using the checker tool.


Regardless of whether we reach a trade agreement with the EU, from 1 January there will definitely be changes to:

•            the way businesses import and export goods

•            the process for hiring people from the EU

•            the way businesses provide services in EU markets


This week the government is launching a major public information campaign to help firms prepare and keep business moving. It has one simple message: Time is running out, so you need to act now.

Support is available, including sector-specific webinars to walk you through the changes. If you missed our webinars for the Services and Investment, Retail, Automotive, Materials and Metals, Electronics Machinery and Consumer Goods sectors, they are available to watch on demand now.


As Business Secretary I encourage you to:

1.           Check what actions you need to take by visiting

2.           Sign up for updates.

3.           Attend government webinars for additional support.


Unless you take action, there is a risk your business operations will be interrupted. You should also check with your suppliers and customers that they are taking action.


I know these are challenging times, but the transition period is ending on 1 January and there will be no extension. It is vital your business prepares for our new relationship with the EU, outside of the single market and customs union. The Government will be there to support and help you to take advantage of the many new opportunities that being an independent trading nation will bring.


Yours sincerely,

Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy




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