The Brexit transition period – during which, broadly, the status quo continues – will end on 31 December 2020. The EU would like to extend the transition period, to negotiate a fuller trade deal, but the UK has said no. So unless the UK changes its mind, businesses should be ready for some major changes at the end of the year.

Our Brexit FAQs, which you can download from the link above, deal with some of the many topics that are likely to be prominent in the coming months. Even if you have already audited your exposure to Brexit, it may be worth taking a fresh look at your situation. The UK’s departure from the single market and the EU acquis is set to have a very wide range of effects on businesses in the UK, and on many of those that do business with the UK.

It will be some months before businesses can expect real clarity on many of the key points that have to be determined by the UK and the EU. And until we have some more detail, we have to talk in terms of potential opportunities and risks. But it is already clear that some businesses are likely to be well placed to take advantage of the changes to come, while others will have to be more focused on dealing with, for example, additional regulation, new trade friction and costs, or obstacles to the provision of services.

As the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said recently, “Brexit is not going to go away.” If you would like to know more about it, or would like help in auditing and prioritising your legal risks and opportunities, please get in touch with your usual CMS contact, or any of the members of the taskforce listed in our Brexit FAQs.

You can also find updates and analyses on our Brexit Next website and, for financial services regulation, our RegZone website.