Brexit - Britain's departure from the European Union

On 23 June 2016, Britain voted in a referendum to leave the EU and since that date negotiations have taken place between the government and the EU on the exact terms of the UK’s departure and its future relationship with Europe.

Following ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill by the UK Parliament and European Union, the UK left the EU on January 31, 2020. A post-Brexit trade arrangement between the UK and EU was agreed on Christmas Eve 2020, and brings with it its own new rules and regulations.

Trafford Council and its partners across Greater Manchester are monitoring the situation, and providing support services for businesses.


Transition Advice:

UK Government Advice

Use the UK Government’s webpage to find out:

  • What your business or organisation may need to do to adapt to Brexit

  • What is changing in your industry

  • Information on specific rules and regulations


If you have a specific question about importing, exporting or customs reliefs you can call HMRC’s Customs and International Trade helpline on 0300 322 9434. The helpline is open from 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to 4pm at weekends. You can also contact HMRC by webchat.

The Export Support Service is a new helpline for UK businesses to get answers to practical questions about exporting to Europe. The service is a 'one-stop shop' and brings together UK government information, making it easier for exporters to access advice and support.

HMRC have also provided access to helpful recorded webinars which provide an overview of a number of changes to customs processes that traders will need to be aware of. These are available at Help and support for UK transition - GOV.UK (


Other resources

Department for International Trade Export Academy

The Export Academy from the Department for International Trade will help you grow your business by showing you how to sell to new customers around the world.

The course is free, and you’ll learn directly from experts in international trade who are on hand to provide support across a range of sectors and businesses, from selling children’s clothes to Spain, to providing PR services for clients in the US.

The programme is designed for owners and senior managers of businesses looking to grow internationally and located in the North of England.

The Growth Company

The growth Company is working to support Greater Manchester businesses and raise awareness of the need to ensure preparations are underway for the changes resulting from Brexit. In partnership with the 10 Greater Manchester councils and Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the Growth Company is planning a series of events for businesses to support them to deal with the potential effects of Brexit.

Business Growth Hub

The Business Growth Hub provides a number of resources for businesses.

The Growth Hub’s Brexit toolkit provides businesses with key updates on Brexit related advice, such as international trade and workforce that can be tailored to the business.

Business can also get in contact with a Business Growth Hub adviser for more information or advice.


Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce has also produced information and guidance, including:

More resources and links to support businesses with international trade are available at International information – Ask About Business


Brexit and COVID-19 Impact Report for Trafford

In 2021 Trafford Council commissioned Ekosgen to develop a report on the impacts of both Brexit and Covid-19 on the Borough of Trafford.

The report outlines immediate issues facing businesses and communities, as well as longer term issues and opportunities facing Trafford.

The Full report can be downloaded: Brexit and Covid-19: An Economic Impact Assessment for Trafford.


Find out more

If you want to find out more or discuss the Brexit and international trade support available for businesses in Trafford, please contact