Hard Brexit or customs union anyway?

Hard Brexit or customs union anyway?
Publicatiedatum: 1 March 2019

Last week Prime Minister May survived her own Conservative Party’s vote. She will remain and her Brexit deal is still intact (for the time being). If the Brexit deal makes its way through the British cabinet and parliament, the British will remain part of the European customs union temporarily. However, if the deal fails, a hard Brexit will follow.

Brexit deal: the United Kingdom will remain part of the customs union temporarily.

There are advantages to a customs union compared with a hard Brexit:

  • Free movement of goods (no import duties)
  • Identical import and export duties within the customs union
  • No customs checks

Even though there are advantages to a customs union, one must nevertheless make allowances for delays. Although there is free movement of goods, this does not apply in the case of other customs checks in relation to health, safety and the environment.

Economic growth will be significantly less in the case of a hard Brexit

If there is no deal, a hard Brexit will follow. This would mean a halt to the free movement of goods, services, capital and people between the United Kingdom and the EU countries. As a result the British will be busy drafting and amending new and other regulations for a further two years. It is anticipated that economic growth will be significantly less during the years ahead than in the case of a soft Brexit. The export countries, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands, may also expect poorer economic growth. There will be less of an impact on the other EU countries.

Help with your preparations for Brexit

We recommend that you obtain help if you do business with the United Kingdom or have one or more offices there. Irrespective of whether a soft or hard Brexit occurs, your contracts will have to be reassessed. Product and other liability will change and you may have to change your insurance and insurer. Our specialists are happy to help you, also to enter into any local insurance contracts if necessary.


You may secure our assistance by contacting your consultant. If you prefer to do your own preparations, you may use the existing ancillary materials at www.hulpbijbrexit.nl and conduct a Brexit impact scan.