The European Commission today set out guidelines for businesses, governments and citizens to prepare for the end of the transition period, regardless of whether and what kind of deal is agreed between the EU and the U.K.

“Even in case of the most ambitious future partnership … there will be far-reaching and automatic changes and consequences for citizens, consumers, businesses, public administrations, investors, students and researchers, as of 1 January 2021,” the document reads.

It lists changes that will take place in the EU from January 1, 2021 when it comes to customs checks, tariffs and VAT, financial services and recognition of professional qualifications, energy cooperation, travel and tourism, legal contracts, data and intellectual property, and EU agreements with third countries.

The paper, addressed to the European Parliament, the Council of the EU, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, also calls on EU countries to raise awareness of the consequences of Brexit.

It insists that the document “in no way seeks to prejudge the outcome of negotiations, nor to examine the possible implications of a failure to reach an agreement on a future partnership.”

Talks between the EU and the U.K. this week again failed to break the impasse in the negotiations. An EU spokesperson said today that “significant divergences” remain between both sides.

The document states that while “negotiations so far have shown little progress,” the Commission’s objective is “to conclude, by the end of 2020, an ambitious partnership covering all areas agreed with the United Kingdom in the Political Declaration.”

More information: https://ec.europa.eu/info/european-union-and-united-kingdom-forging-new-partnership/future-partnership/getting-ready-end-transition-period_en