Brexit hub

The UK and EU are two distinct regulatory and legal markets regarding trade in goods and services, mobility and exchanges after Brexit. The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the UK government and the European Commission (in place since 1 January 2021) will govern the relationship, enabling the UK to continue its trading association with the EU.

Businesses have had to adapt and make considerable changes to operations as a result of leaving the single market. We have certainly been up to our eyeballs helping clients untangle such issues as customs, people and recruitment, data protection and regulatory compliance.

It is a complex area with the official TCA document running to some 1,200 pages. Our pocket digest is available here. And, of course, our Brexit Impact team is here to help with any outstanding or newly emerging queries.

If you would like more information, please get in touch. Visit Paul Samrah’s LinkedIn page for the latest updates.

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Lead Contact

Paul Samrah

Partner and Brexit Impact Specialist
+44 (0)1737 781546
Email: Paul Samrah

Goods and services

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) provides for zero tariffs and zero quotas on all goods moving between the UK and EU.

We have been busy advising businesses on all manner of things, whether they are importing or exporting goods or services. Setting up entities in the relevant jurisdiction, dealing with profits earned there, handling differing levels of corporation tax between countries, passing on additional costs to end customers, Authorised Economic Operator status…to name but a few of the top issues.

Those trading goods need greater awareness of supply chains and the different rates of duty payable on different products. Exporters need to fulfil ‘Rules of Origin’ requirements. Importers need to allocate the administrative burden of import and apply for recovery of import VAT.

Those involved in distribution and logistics have had to consider establishing a central hub or altering transportation routes. FMCGs needing refrigeration or special atmospheric conditions need to avoid delays at customs. Road haulage permits are required, even for simply traversing a jurisdiction bound elsewhere.

Some organisations opted for setting up a new entity, having decided where and whether it should be a subsidiary, branch or ‘pass-through vehicle’. This includes addressing issues like financing, regulatory implications, back-office function, interaction with HQ, tax and transfer pricing rules.

Entities needing to be staffed must comply with local employment stipulations. In terms of repatriating profit, businesses need to know about withholding taxes, domestic exemptions and the reliefs they are eligible for.

Exporters and importers alike might well be fluent in IP, EU VAT, EORI and LVCR but we can still help with any outstanding queries or newly discovered anomalies.

If you would like more information on goods and services matters, please get in touch.


The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) is detailed in its attention to people, recruitment and staffing from EU member states. Our HR, global mobility and tax experts have safely guided many organisations down the Brexit slalom of all things people-related. Residential status, employment law, work permits, immigration, taxes, furlough ending, remote working in different jurisdictions, repatriation…the list has been extensive.

We have been answering practical questions about payroll, income tax calculations, social security for UK employees seconded in an EU state, how the points-based immigration system works, and which employment levies apply. We have also been advising on the European Health Insurance Card scheme and whether intra-corporate transferees can be accompanied by partners and dependents.

Employers asked their employees to check their specific residence requirements and right to work either through the EU Settlement Scheme or the relevant authority in the host EU27 state. Businesses seconding employees between the UK and EU27 needed to get up to speed on a whole raft of issues they’d never considered before, such as agency worker standards, anti-discrimination law, and health and safety. We have even been called on to explain the difference between the old Erasmus scheme and the current Turing scheme for students.

If you would like more information, please get in touch.

Data protection

Data protection

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) includes a temporary solution to keep data flowing between the EU and the UK until a data adequacy decision is reached.

Whether organisations store or send personal, confidential or any kind of sensitive information digitally, or provide an online service, they are duty-bound to safeguard its security. Under the TCA, both sides have committed to upholding high levels of data protection standards. We have been beavering away helping businesses get to grips with what this means and how to ensure integrity.

Our data protection specialists know the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its cross-border implications inside out. We have analysed systems, managed policies and procedures, and brought countless organisations up to standard. Those with competence in-house use our compliance portal with its real-time dashboard to certify their organisation themselves.

Regulatory compliance

The TCA commits the UK and the EU to upholding common high standards ensuring the protection of labour and social standards, environmental protection and tax transparency. Exporters of goods need to prove they are acceptable for sale in the EU. Is it the manufacturer or the importer who is responsible for product safety, conformity assessment and labelling? Those operating in the car, pharmaceutical, chemical, aerospace and agri-food sectors have had their own specific actions to take.

It is certainly not a finite exercise. In fact, our data protection team is still working closely with in-house data controllers to audit their organisation’s overall cyber security.

If you would like more information, please get in touch.