How Will Brexit Affect The Self-Employed?

Brexit Day is almost upon us. What exactly it will bring is anyone’s guess, with a decision on a deal still to be reached. A no-deal Brexit could be a possibility, as could a delay or…

10 Minute Read

Last Updated: 14th March 2022

Brexit Day is almost upon us. What exactly it will bring is anyone’s guess, with a decision on a deal still to be reached. A no-deal Brexit could be a possibility, as could a delay or its cancellation entirely. Another referendum or general election could also be called, and there’s a chance of a no-confidence vote too.

Here, we detail how Brexit would affect the self-employed if it does go ahead (with or without a deal).


A key way in which Britain’s departure will impact the self-employed is its potential restrictions on travel. Many working for themselves contract in EU countries – something they can currently do without issue. As there’s no trade deal yet, how freely the self-employed will be able to move has yet to be confirmed.

If the UK were to go ahead with a no-deal scenario, then it’s likely there would be significant disruption to this free movement. Recruitment drives would probably slow down as a result.

At the moment, there is a system for non-EEA self-employed migrants, and the UK may extend it. Or there could be other routes: the new skilled worker route, the temporary work route, or as service suppliers via mode 4 arrangements.

The first two entail fees and red tape procedures. Whilst this would have its drawbacks, it would also likely restrict non-UK nationals from entering the UK market. This would mean there was less competition for local opportunities.

The single market

The opportunities would lessen for all if the UK didn’t have access to the single market – which allows Britain to easily trade. With trading relationships and supply chains in disorder, the complexity that would arise if a deal is not made on Brexit could prove a hassle.

If a deal goes ahead, but with reduced access to the single market, then there could potentially still be fewer opportunities for the self-employed. Businesses that presently export services into the EU single market may decide to relocate if the UK isn’t proving fruitful.

There are specific industries this would affect more than others – the financial services sector, for example. With less freedom around travel too, free trade agreements with other markets would need to be forged to ensure this impact is minimised. Britain would be able to forge trade deals with other markets, like the USA, leading to potential contracts in these areas.

Preparing for Brexit

Until a decision is made, preparing for Brexit is troublesome for anyone. However, you can keep on top of your finances throughout the year. Then, if there is any disruption from Britain’s departure, there will be one less thing to think about.

This is made easy by integrating tax return software. Simply input your figures into GoSimpleTax and let our tool do the calculations for you. We’ll even make tax-saving recommendations too, so you can reduce how much you owe.

You can sample the features for 14 days for free – take a trial of GoSimpleTax today.

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Blog content is for information purposes and over time may become outdated, although we do strive to keep it current. It's written to help you understand your Tax's and is not to be relied upon as professional accounting, tax and legal advice due to differences in everyone's circumstances. For additional help please contact our support team or HMRC.

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