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Brexit Task Force

March 2021

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Since the beginning of the Brexit process in 2016, Covington’s Brexit Task Force–comprised of over 40 lawyers and former senior diplomats and policymakers, in London, Brussels, Frankfurt, Dublin, and Washington–has advised clients in a wide range of industries on the challenges and opportunities created by this historic event.

While the EU-UK negotiations have addressed several important issues, much uncertainty remains concerning future trade relations, regulatory divergence, and the economic consequences of the UK’s exit from the EU. We continue to advise clients on Brexit’s impact and implications, both strategic and technical, for various regulatory regimes and sectors facing specific issues.

On-Demand Webinar Series

Representative Advice on Regulatory Impacts of Brexit

  • Regulatory Integration: risks to business of regulatory fragmentation; the likelihood of securing bespoke agreements for specific sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, air transport, and financial services; strategies to advocate EU-UK regulatory integration in specific fields with UK and EU decision makers.
  • Employment and Immigration: the employment status of EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU; workforce planning and minimizing the impact of Brexit on both employee relations and the wider business.
  • Corporate: deal opportunities; the likely effect of Brexit on a number of corporate structures established in EU legislation; how to structure EU-UK joint ventures or projects to protect against the likely consequences of Brexit for EU-specific corporate structures.   
  • Data Protection: the UK's regulatory framework, including UK implementation of the GDPR; data flows after Brexit between (i) the UK and EU and (ii) the UK and other third countries (e.g., the U.S.); status of UK corporate “main establishments;" and EU Model Clauses and Binding Corporate Rule programs post-Brexit.
  • Environmental and Product Regulation: the impact on REACH and other EU environmental and product safety rules, and on the different roles of operators in the supply chain.
  • Disputes: disputes relating to supply chain disruption, regulatory changes, contractual implications or other Brexit-related issues arising during the transition period or thereafter.
  • Cross-border Supply Chains and EU-UK Trade: the likely form of EU-UK trade relations and its implications for trade, manufacturing, and supply chains; work to protect the free flow of goods by region (e.g., special economic zones, sectorial agreements in the free trade area), including public policy and regulatory advice to secure such arrangements.
  • International Trade: the likely effect of the models adopted for Brexit on future UK trading relationships with the EU, U.S. and other jurisdictions; the consequences of the UK’s likely position outside the EU Customs Union on rules of origin; restructuring trade flows to minimize disruption and identify opportunities in the models for post-Brexit UK-EU trade arrangements; support and outreach in UK-EU trade negotiations.
  • Business Crime: the implications for compliance, regulatory change, and enforcement applying to issues such as bribery and corruption, money laundering, sanctions, modern slavery, and cross-border criminal cooperation relating to investigatory powers and arrest warrants.
  • Export Controls and Economic Sanctions: the impact of Brexit on the scope of UK and EU export controls and economic sanctions laws, and associated UK and EU export controls and sanctions licensing processes.

Sector-Specific Advice

  • Life Sciences and Healthcare: models for the integration or mutual recognition of EU and future UK medicines and medical devices regulatory systems.
  • Food and Beverage: supporting companies, trade associations, and conglomerates on a sustainable regime for food and beverages, including tariff negotiations, regulatory alignment, and supply chain restructuring.
  • Technology: data protection; copyright, and the UK’s recognition or implementation of pending proposals, and e-commerce and consumer rights.
  • Financial Services: assessing the impact of Brexit on the business and planning the response; advising on the restructuring of businesses and corporate reorganizations; advising on cross-border corporate relocation issues; assisting with major document and contractual reviews impacted by Brexit and the response; lobbying the Government and responding to Consultations; assisting industry associations as a member of task force committees and working groups; and advising on the likely impact on the implementation of major EU Directives and Regulations, such as MiFID II.


Below is a compendium of resources that outline key points about Brexit and its potential impact on industry.


On June 23, 2016, the UK voted in an advisory referendum to leave the European Union. The impact of Brexit will depend on the form a post-Brexit UK will take, the common ground that emerges regarding the relationship that the UK seeks to have, and the relationship that the EU and the 27 remaining Member States will accept. So far, the UK Government has indicated it will leave the EU Single Market and seek a “comprehensive” free trade agreement with the EU. However, detailed framework for Brexit will not become clear for some time as it may take (at least) two years for the UK to negotiate its exit after it notifies the EU of its intention to leave, which it did on March 29, 2017, and it remains unclear whether the EU will be prepared to negotiate the new relationship in parallel with the exit negotiations.


Our team will be following developments closely and is available to answer your questions. Please contact any of our Brexit Task Force leaders listed below.

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