In a 2016 referendum, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. The British exit was initially scheduled to take place on Friday 29 March 2019 but has since been delayed to 31 October 2019. 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. 

Updated 12 September 2019

What has happened?

  • On 14 November 2018, the UK government and the EU announced that they had come to an agreement on the exit and a temporary future relationship.
  • The agreement was later voted down in the UK Parliament on a number of occasions during the spring of 2019.
  • On 14 March 2019, a vote was passed in Parliament delaying Brexit and extending Article 50 - the mechanism by which the UK is due to leave the EU. The extension was later granted by the EU, delaying Brexit to 12 April 2019.
  • On 29 March, MPs voted again – this time on the withdrawal agreement alone – and yet again rejected the agreement by a margin of 29.
  • European Union leaders met on 10 April to discuss Britain's departure and agreed to extend the Brexit deadline until 31 October 2019, which then Prime Minister Theresa May accepted.
  • On 7 June 2019, Theresa May officially stepped down as Prime Minister of the UK.
  • On 23 July 2019, Boris Johnson was officially elected new leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party. The Prime Minister has pledged to take the UK out of the EU on 31 October – “deal or no deal”.
  • On 28 August, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue Parliament was formally approved by Her Majesty the Queen. In the run up to the next Brexit deadline, MPs effectively have less time to debate and pass laws to stop a no-deal Brexit on 31 October. Government can now suspend Parliament no earlier than Monday 9 September and no later than Thursday 12 September, until Monday 14 October.
  • On 4 September MPs backed a bill aimed at blocking a no-deal Brexit on 31 October. The Benn Act forces the government to seek an extension beyond 31 October, if a deal has not been agreed with the EU, and makes a no-deal exit unlawful. 

The date of Britain’s exit from the European Union is 31 October 2019, and the 'no-deal' alternative is still a possibility. Businesses are advised to assess their own exposure based on the various different scenarios.

Preparing for Brexit

Businesses need to assess their own exposure and any potential impact of Brexit, deal or no deal. The current uncertainty of deal – and indeed what deal - or no deal, means that many businesses are undertaking scenario planning.

No deal will 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.

Upcoming events:

  • 9 October – Business Breakfast for larger Swedish corporates with H.E. the Swedish Ambassador at Danske Bank
  • 10 October – Business Breakfast with Julian David, CEO of techUK on Brexit and the EU’s tech agenda focused on tech businesses
  • October – Brexit Town Hall, date TBC

Questions about Brexit? 

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

Keep in touch on social

This year, SCC Patron @Electrolux_UK is celebrating 100 years in business. The Link met with Peter Spencer, Managing Director of Electrolux UK and Ireland, to discuss the company's rich heritage. #Electrolux #ElectroluxUK #TheLink #scc #SwedishChamber
On 8 October, SCC organises a Business Breakfast with Gian Power, the Founder and CEO of TLC Lions. This event aims at highlighting the importance of corporate wellness and is kindly hosted by Kinnarps UK.
Today we hosted a Business Breakfast on UK's industrial strategy with Mark Slaughter, Director General for Investment at the Department for International Trade. The discussions were chaired by Jens-Anders Palmqvist, General Manager at Danske Bank.

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