In a 2016 referendum, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. After years of negotiations, preparations and delays, the UK officially left the European Union on 31 January 2020. Since the start of the exit negotiations process and Article 50, the Swedish Chamber of Commerce has encouraged its members and businesses to plan for all eventualities, including a no-deal exit. 

Read the statement from the Swedish Chamber of Commerce for the UK on Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Updated 19 February 2020

What is going on?

  • 23 June 2016: the UK votes to leave the European Union in a referendum, with 52% of the votes.
  • 29 March 2017: then Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50, meaning that the UK was on course to leave the EU by the end of March 2019
  • 29 March 2019: Brexit was postponed (and again on 31 October, until 31 January 2020) due to lack of support for the withdrawal agreement in the UK Parliament
  • 24 July 2019: Theresa May officially resigns as Prime Minister, and Boris Johnson wins the Conservative Party leadership
  • 29 October 2019: MPs backed the Prime Minister's call for a general election on 12 December
  • 12 December 2019: The Conservative Party won a sizeable majority in the House of Commons
  • 31 January 2020: The UK officially left the European Union at 11pm GMT, beginning a transition period and negotiations on the future relationship
  • 31 December 2020: The end of the transition period

Preparing for Brexit

Businesses need to assess their own exposure and any potential impact of Brexit, deal or no deal. A Brexit deal has been agreed in principle with the EU, and once both the UK and the EU have approved and signed the withdrawal agreement negotiations will commence on the future relationship. However, the UK could still leave with no deal if the agreement has not been approved by 31 January 2020, or at the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. The uncertainty means that many businesses are still undertaking scenario planning.

No deal would affect matters such as:

  • Customs declarations, which will be required from day one
  • Customs/duty (if applicable) being paid on goods when importing
  • Goods may be checked by customs in both Sweden and the UK
  • Different VAT procedures application to a third-country/non-EU country
  • Businesses may change from distributor to importer

For information on specific challenges and information for your respective sector or industry, you may find specific trade bodies a useful resource, as many of them provide Brexit guidance and advice tailored to your business’ specific needs.

Do contact the Chamber if we can help guide you in the right direction, we are very happy to help.

UK Government on preparing for Brexit

The British Government offers free help and advice to get your business ready for Brexit, at different locations around the UK. See list of locations and dates for the Brexit Business Readiness Events. The Government also issues online advise for businesses on how to prepare for the UK leaving the European Union, with or without a deal. 

UK government links on preparing for the UK leaving the EU

Swedish government on preparing for Brexit

Other useful links

Events and training

The Swedish Chamber of Commerce continually hosts Brexit related gatherings for its members, across all sectors and industries. From Brexit Town Halls to more intimate Brexit Breakfasts for various groups, these forums offer an opportunity for businesses to update themselves, share experiences or find solutions to joint problems.

Questions about Brexit? 

Contact the SCC secretariat at or 02072248001 if you have any questions regarding Brexit.

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