The more limited in scope the UK-EU trade deal, the more the no-deal plans businesses have put in place remain relevant. Commenting in The Guardian newspaper on 18 December 2019, DLA Piper’s Brexit Director, Paul Hardy, said: “Cementing the end of the transition in legislation is a game-changer. It shows this is not a negotiating tactic. Businesses must now expect a limited trade deal in goods with the EU on 1 January 2021, but not in services; or the possibility of no deal at all. They should keep their no-deal Brexit planning warm: it may well come in useful in a year.”
Small- and medium-sized businesses will get especially hard-hit, analysts say, since it makes little economic sense for a small company to hire someone to handle the consequences of a no-deal Brexit when it is still unclear whether that will happen. "Smaller businesses who are firefighting many other changes have taken the view that there's nothing they can do to prepare for Brexit," said Paul Hardy, the Brexit director at DLA Piper, a law firm.