How Will the Upcoming Brexit Affect Consumer Deals Entered with UK Businesses

As the date for Brexit implementation nears, the UK government has been publishing information on how the imminent changes in trading laws will affect UK consumers.

First off, Brexit is the shorter term for British Exit, used in reference to UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. This means the UK country and its industries will no longer conduct trading activities in accordance with the EU Communities Act, including its trade restrictions. British trading with other countries will use its £ Sterling instead of the Euro Dollar. The EU withdrawal move was approved by a majority of UK’s electorate through a referendum held in June 23, 2016.

 

Set to commence on March 29, 2019 at exactly 11 p.m. (UK Time), it will initially enter a transition period that will end by December 2020. That is, if the European Union and the UK government formalizes the separation with a Withdrawal Agreement agreed to by both parties, on or before March 29, 2019. If otherwise, UK’s Brexit will immediately take effect as a No-deal Brexit that will not require a transition period.

The information dissemination partly addresses concerns about unscrupulous business establishments that take advantage of the uncertainty regarding the observance or non-observance of a transition period. The apprehension pertains to predatory marketing techniques using claims of anticipated rise in prices in connection with imminent fluctuations in foreign exchange rates. Some of the misinformation includes certainty of falls in the value of pounds sterling, which can be remedied by making bulk purchases at pre-Brexit prices.

In light of those concerns, the UK government published basic consumer rights guidelines, for both Brexit Deal or No-Brexit Deal scenarios.

Consumer Rights if a Brexit Deal Takes Place on or Before March 29, 2019

Consumers will have the same protection when buying goods sold in British soil, or purchased from an EU member. This is in light of the transition period that takes place up to December 2020. During the period, UK consumers who will encounter problems involving acquisitions transacted with an EU-associated business, can still use the UK courts in dealing with the problem.

Consumer Rights under a No-Deal Brexit Scenario Come March 29, 2019

UK and non-UK consumers making purchases through UK based businesses will have the same basic consumer rights protection. This includes stores offering promotional discounts offered after March 29, 2019. Let us say a non-UK consumer availed a 40% Currys Discount Code after March 29, 2019, the discount will be in pound sterling value, whilst following the exchange rate at the time the purchase was completed.

Changes in consumer rights may take place if purchases are transacted with an online business registered in an EU-member country. Under the No-Deal scenario, UK consumers will find it necessary, to check first the consumer protection laws of the country in which the business is registered.

There is the possibility that certain amendments will transpire, regarding trades between EU and Non-EU based businesses. In case of a dispute, a UK consumer will have to bring the matter to the courts of the country in which the business is licensed.

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