The changes and hence our recommended action points, as a result of Brexit, are relatively minor under English and Welsh company law. In practice the changes are intended to preserve the existing company law framework as far as possible and primarily affect companies with a connection to the EEA.
The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. However, under the terms of the European (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020, the UK continued in most respects to be treated as if it were still part of the EU until 31 December 2020. This transition period has now ended, and the full effects of the changes in UK law and regulation now apply.
The key points
- companies that are incorporated in the EEA are treated in the same way as other overseas companies that are incorporated outside the UK. The existing relaxations for EEA companies in relation to company administration, accounts and auditing have been removed
- the EU Cross-Border Mergers regime is no longer be available to a UK company
- the regime requiring shareholder authorisation for political donations and expenditure by companies no longer applies for EU elections and referendums, only UK ones
- UK companies who use EU-adopted IAS, must now use UK-adopted IAS
- Companies that are incorporated in the EEA and registered in the UK must now make additional disclosures
- A UK company should seek local law advice now if it has not already done so, as to the effect of its connections with any of the remaining EU Member States (EU-27); for example if the company has an established place of business in any of the EU-27
We plan to update these pages from time to time.
BREXIT has happened – what does it mean for company law and M&A transactions?11 February 2021
Although the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020, under the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020, the UK continued in most respects to be treated as if it were still part of the EU until 31 December 2020. This transition period has now ended and the full effects of the changes in UK law and regulation now apply.
Brexit – the prospective changes in company law for private and overseas companies05 February 2020
This article is to update you on, and explain the expected timing as to, the changes in company law for private and overseas companies to be brought about by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. In practice, only companies with a connection to the EEA will be impacted and the action points for them will be fairly minimal.