Post Brexit transition period guarantees business as usual for facility managers

Friday, February 7th, 2020

IFMA Europe announces key dates and decisions for facility managers living and working in the EU and the UK

On 31 January the United Kingdom has left the European Union. This marks the start of an 11-month transition period that will last until 31 December 2020 at least. By July 1 2020, the EU and the UK should jointly decide if they wish to extend this transition period once by up to one to two years. For now, nothing will change for facility managers, be they employees or self-employed in both the European Union or the United Kingdom. Politically, the UK will no longer be represented in the EU institutions, agencies, bodies and offices. EU law however will still apply in the UK until the end of the transition period. In order to ensure a smooth process for its members and clients, IFMA Europe keeps you informed.

During transition: from 31-01-2020 until 31-12-2020

All EU law, across all policy areas, will still apply in the United Kingdom as the EU and the UK will begin formal negotiations on a trade deal as from March 3. If both parties wish to extend the transition period, they must decide jointly to do so before July 1 2020.

Facility managers will:
  1. be able to travel to and from the UK
  1. be able to do business as usual
The United Kingdom will:
  1. remain in the EU Customs Union and in the Single Market with all four freedoms, and all EU policies applying
  1. continue to apply the EU’s Justice and Home Affairs policy: The United Kingdom may choose to exercise its right to opt-in/opt-out with regard to measures amending, replacing or building upon those EU acts the United Kingdom was bound to during its membership
  1. be subject to the EU’s enforcement mechanisms, such as infringement procedures
  1. have to respect all international agreements the EU has signed, and will not be able to apply new agreements in areas of EU exclusive competence, unless authorised to do so by the EU

EU-UK trade deal impact for facility managers as from 01-01-2021 at the earliest

Assuming the transition period ends on December 31 2020, this trade deal will kick in on January 1 2021. If no trade deal is concluded, WTO rules apply. In any case, facility managers should watch these 3 items closely as we expect:

  1. professional services and facility management to be included in the trade agreement
  1. market access to be restricted to the level of WTO commitments
  1. temporary labour mobility to be curtailed by new conditions
For now, nothing should affect the position of facility managers working and living in the UK. However, if you are planning to move to or work in the UK, please prepare here