The latest Brexit update for the recruitment industry
It’s official – the UK is no longer a member of the European Union, making its exit at 11pm on 31 January. The road has been long and winding since the referendum in June 2016, in which 52% of voters opted for Brexit, but after much public debate and lengthy delays, we are now officially out of the EU.
But what does this actually mean for candidates, companies and the broader recruitment sector?
So far, not very much at all. The United Kingdom is now in a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate arrangements. In this time, existing rules on trade, travel and business across the UK and EU will remain exactly how they have been in previous years when the UK was in the EU. The Common Travel Area (CTA) is still in place, allowing Irish and British citizens to move freely, live and work in either jurisdiction. The CTA pre-dates Irish and UK membership in the EU and both the Government of Ireland and UK Government have signed a Memorandum on Understanding to confirm their commitment to maintaining the CTA in all circumstances – including Brexit. During the transition period, the UK will also continue to remain within the EU VAT regime, Single Market and Customs Union, meaning the next ten months will see very little change at all for clients and candidates. The government has also indicated that following the transition period, existing EU-based employment legislation will continue to apply in domestic law.
During the transition period, it is hoped that a new free trade agreement will be negotiated and agreed upon. In addition, decisions will need to be made around data sharing and security, aviation standards and safety, supplies of electricity and gas and licensing and regulation of medicines, to name just a few. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is confident that agreements will be made within the transition period deadline, however the European Commission has stated that the timeframe will be extremely challenging… and so the negotiating continues.
When the transition period ends on 1 January 2021 (pending any further negotiations), new rules will apply that will likely impact how people live, work, travel and do business in the UK and EU. Until then, it’s business as usual for us at Quanta, although we are continuing to prepare for future developments and new rules once the transition period ends. We already have arrangements in place to ensure Quanta can trade in the EU through a wholly owned subsidiary and are committed to continuing to deliver quality recruitment solutions within the UK, EU and rest of the world. Like the rest of the UK, we are monitoring developments and ensuring we do everything we can to be prepared for whatever outcome emerges after the transition period.