The UK is scheduled to officially begin leaving the EU and move to a transition period from 29 March 2019.

This is 2 years to the day from the time Article 50 was triggered by the Prime Minister officially starting the process for the UK to leave the EU. The UK is then expected to enter a 21-month transition period until 31 December 2020 giving both parties time to adjust to the new relationship between the UK and the EU. However, to date, the negotiations have been fraught both in Parliament and with the EU and it remains unclear exactly what final shape Brexit will take.

It should be noted that many of the tax reliefs offered by the government are subject to EU State Aid rules. This has meant that whenever the UK has sought to change the way the schemes work in the UK they have been required to seek prior approval from the EU. The EIS, SEIS and VCT schemes are currently approved under the EU State Aid rules. That means the use of these schemes are permitted by the EU to help drive economic growth in the UK.

Brexit will undoubtedly affect the various investment schemes offered by the UK government.

However, it remains to be seen what if any changes will be made to the schemes. We would expect the status quo to remain for the imminent future.

The government is likely to appreciate the opportunity to make their own unfettered decisions as to the future direction of the schemes. In fact, we could see the drive for more money to stimulate investment in the UK result in the government making these schemes simpler to use and more appealing to a wider group of potential investors. Only time will tell what shape these changes will take.


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