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Information on taxes, customs and financial services

On 29 March 2017, the United Kingdom notified its intention to leave the EU. In order to be prepared for the exit from the EU and to make it as smooth as possible, the EU and the UK have negotiated a “Withdrawal Agreement” and a political declaration on the future relationship. 

The Withdrawal Agreement was rejected by the British Parliament, which is why the deadline for the exit from the EU was extended, most recently to 31 October 2019.

The negotiations between the EU and the United Kingdom subsequently led to a revision of the Withdrawal Agreement and the political declaration on the future relationship. The European Council has essentially approved the outcome of these negotiations and basically agreed to the United Kingdom’s request for postponement of the withdrawal date.

The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU should take place on the 1st day of the month following full ratification of the withdrawal agreement in the EU and in the United Kingdom, but at the latest on 01 February 2020.

Thus, an orderly Brexit can take place on 01 December 2019, on 01 January 2020, or on 01 February 2020.

Orderly EU Withdrawal / Deal

If the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified, the UK will essentially be treated as an EU Member State during the “transition stage” until the end of 2020. In the sphere of action of the Federal Ministry of Finance of Austria (BMF), no significant changes for citizens or companies are thus to be expected for the time being.
Subsequently, if an agreement on the future relationship were to enter into force by 01 January 2021; the transition stage could be extended.

Disorderly EU Withdrawal / No Deal

Without acceptance of the Withdrawal Agreement in the British Parliament, rescission of the withdrawal application or further postponement of the withdrawal date, the United Kingdom would withdraw from the EU on 01 February 2020 – but without a “transition stage” and other arrangements.

This means that the United Kingdom will then have to be treated as a third country. This entails a number of changes in the sphere of action of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance – this applies above all to the areas of customs, taxes, and financial services.

Further information

The Council of the EU has provided all negotiation steps and documents on a website. The European Commission has furthermore set up a website that contains Brexit-relevant information such as legislative initiatives to prepare for a disorderly Brexit and fact sheets on the various topics affected by Brexit.

The Federal Ministry of Finance has compiled information on the subject for the following areas: