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Brexit and the Professional Services Sector – What Future for UK Professionals in Europe?

Date: 27/01/2020

Author(s): Johanna Jacobsson

Format: Working papers

Area(s): Global, Comparative and European Law, Law, Politics and Economics

Publication: More info



Professional services form an important part of the UK economy. Their role is even bigger if their contribution to other key sectors, such as financial services, is taken into consideration. This working paper focuses on the provision of professional services between the EU and the UK under the pending Withdrawal Agreement as well as under the new economic relationship that the two parties are starting to formulate. The EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement provides a transition period until 31 December 2020 during which the UK continues to apply the entire body of EU law. The non-binding Political Declaration on the future EU-UK relationship recognises the need to agree on market access and non-discriminatory treatment for service providers and appropriate arrangements on professional qualifications. However, the level of the commitments depends on the UK’s willingness to adhere to the so-called level playing field, referring to the standards required by the EU in the areas of social and economic policy. As the UK is still doing its soul-searching in this regard, it is too early to say what the future framework for the services sector will look like. This uncertainty highlights the need for UK’s professional service firms to consider the need to restructure their EU operations during the transition period.


Citation: DCU Brexit Institute – Working Paper No. 1 – 2020