Brexit: The Final Countdown

For those of you remembering the 80-90’s Swedish pop-rock group “Europe”  they had a song titled The Final Countdown. Therefore, this somewhat appropriate title, if not ironic regarding Brexit and also the continuation of the European Union at this time.

31 January 2020

Brexit and its possible consequences for our employees has been discussed at various CSE meetings at France and European levels. We keep on pushing for more communications and support as there’s been a lack of both so far in France, and there will be post-Brexit needs too. On Friday 31st of January 23h59 (Brussels time), “Brexit will happen” : the UK will no longer be part of the EU, but things will keep on being negotiated after.

Many rules are expected to remain as-is during a so-called transition period expected to last until end of December 2020 at least. For example, you might not know it, but there’s an agreement in place that allows UK citizens to visit France without a visa (even for business trips) until the UK agrees on the same for all EU citizens. (cf. info link). But we do not have much visibility on the impacts for people working for longer periods of times, including tax impacts. Anyway, for any travel across borders, do go through the People Mobility Gateway site.

We expect Accenture France to communicate, to all appropriate people (UK citizens + Accenture France resources staffed in or passing by the UK), with practical steps and support. Most UK citizens already handled by themselves the admin burden with the French administration to obtain a “Carte de séjour” or ask for French nationality. Many staffings got terminated to limit the impacts.

Post-Brexit

Many detailed questions remain regarding the UK’s future relationship (Customs union or otherwise) with the EU. However, the topic that is not being openly discussed in the media is how the EU may evolve post-Brexit. What is its long-term future ? It might even be Europe: The Final Countdown.