BREXIT NEWS FOR MONDAY 3rd DECEMBER 2018

BREXIT NEWS FOR MONDAY 3rd DECEMBER 2018.

Today is all about the Attorney-General´s Legal Advice on the Brexit Deal to the Prime Minister. Take a read of this developing story. AG will be speaking in the House of Commons today at 4.30pm.

This is HMGovernment abridged legal advice just published on the Withdrawal Agreement and backstop

The key paragraph. The Irish backstop “will continue to apply unless and until it is superseded, in whole or in part, by a  subsequent agreement establishing alternative arrangements”. ie, it is indefinite.

And on the backstop’s review mechanism: a breach of negotiating in good faith is only provable if there is “a clear basis”; ie not just one side’s say so. This is quite a high bar.

Here is a stinker for Leavers hoping to just get Brexit over the line and then renegotiate the lot of it. Any PM who rips up the deal will be breaking the law.

Britain’s rule taker status during the transition period is also writ large in the advice. For its duration (up to 3 years and 9 months), we are locked out of any decision making on EU rules, and may even be forbidden from seeing security info.

In summary: the 43 page legal advice summary is expansive, blunt and at times extremely painful reading for MPs. The only plus for HMG is that may negate some of the calls to see the whole thing.

Doesn’t seem like so long ago that No10 expectations management machine was talking about 100-vote loss (so a 50-vote loss would sound like a success). Then a 200 vote loss. Now this

Close colleagues of the PM say that on “current numbers” she loses the meaningful vote by “nearly 400”. And yet acts and speaks as they she is not about to lose the most important battle of her life. Which begs the question what does she know that the rest of us..

Following his appearance on Marr yesterday, Tory Brexiteers are whatsapping Michael Gove to tell him he “very obviously” doesn’t believe in the deal and “you owe yourself” to stop it.

Labour source: This document falls far short of what Parliament demanded. It is not the full legal advice. Ministers should be aware that they are treading on very thin ice indeed.

Olly Robbins confirms that current security co-operation between Britain and the EU will not automatically continue under the customs backstop. He says it is ‘uncomfortable’ for both UK and EU.

At the Dexeu select committee Stephen Barclay argues the ‘best endeavours’ clause of backstop – commitment to act in good faith – will ultimately enable UK to pull out if EU is obstructive. But legal advice – and Olly Robbins – are clear that the clause is not legally binding

Here’s what they’re not telling you. Govt’s legal ‘position paper’ states that ‘good faith’ clause enabling UK to leave backstop is ‘common feature of international agreements’ & recognised by ECJ. BUT secret legal advice says EU is under *no legal obligation* to follow

What if we extend the transition instead of going into the backstop? The Govt’s legal position paper says there would be a price to pay. ‘The Joint Committee would decide on an appropriate level of financial contribution’

Two HUGE gaps at the heart of the Government’s legal advice:

1) Who sits on arbitration panel that determines whether UK can leave backstop? Will the ECJ have a role?

2) How will breach of ‘good faith’ by either EU or UK be defined? And what evidence will be needed to prove it?

So here’s a thing: The Government’s ‘legal position paper’ – which carefully elides the most damning advice – is FIFTY TWO pages long. I’m told Geoffrey Cox’s actual legal advice – including warning UK could be trapped in Customs Union indefinitely – is just SIX pages long.

All eyes on Dom Raab as Geoffrey Cox stands up to take questions on his legal advice this evening. His intervention likely to be well worth watching…

NEW: Labour source tells me the Govt’s document on the legal advice “falls short of what parliament decided” Ministers are treading on “very thin ice”. Told that Cox must either indicate a u-turn in the Commons or face contempt motion as early as tonight.

 

BREXIT NEWS FOR SUNDAY 2nd DECEMBER 2018

BREXIT NEWS FOR SUNDAY 2nd DECEMBER 2018.

Sunday Papers Day as well as the Sunday Political Morning Shows. PM May rolls out some of her Cabinet members to repeat the May Mantra., including Michael Gove. A day for reflection before hearing from the Attorney-General tomorrow, when MPs are wondering whether PM May is going to continue her refusal to release the AG´s Legal Advice. The Speaker is now involved. Could be very interesting developing situation.

Nine days for to save her Brexit, her party from fracture and her job. Can she do it?

BREXIT NEWS FOR SATURDAY 1st DECEMBER 2018

BREXIT NEWS FOR SATURDAY 1st DECEMBER 2018

Predictably, Brexiter Michael Gove announces he is supporting PM May. However, his expected message is sidelined by the news of the resignation of the Universities Minister Sam Gyimah, who, in a  carefully  thought out statement stated that he could not support Theresa May on her Deal, as it was not in the National Interest. Meanwhile May is in Argentina still for the G20 Summit, and a photo has been released of her with the Australian PM ,with the “news” that she wants the UK to enter into a Trade Deal with Australia. This cannot include Goods, which she must realise. It is baffling how she is still trying to persuade the British Public, who are not at all naive that the UK will be allowed to do extensive Trade Deals after Brexit, which is not the case. Truth is important.

: the final countdown? Our latest Insight sets out what we expect to happen in the lead-up to the “meaningful vote”. And we explain what to look out for once has taken its decision on 11 December

This is ’s central argument⁩ for resigning. If Brexiteers can’t stand the backstop, Remainers can’t abide the vagueness of the Political Declaration, which they say the EU will (again) ruthlessly exploit.

I asked Downing Street if it had anything to say about resignation. “Nah. The PM thanks him for his service”. This is now an automated message

Theresa May’s deal is not Canada Plus – it’s Remain Minus. Why pretend otherwise? Leading article in The Spectator

The Spectator

Japanese PM’s call for to avoid no-deal Brexit is an almost unprecedented intervention in big British politics by foreign leader. It reminds me of when warned during referendum that UK would be at back of queue for trade deals with US if UK left EU. initially derided what Obama had said before last week rowing in behind him. What impact will Japan’s Abe have.

I am told by Tory MPs that full force of Conservative Party machine is being mobilised to put pressure on party associations and their respective chairs to put maximum pressure on their respective MPs to back and her Brexit deal. How many rebel Tory MPs will buckle?

On Monday there will be co-ordinated push by all opposition parties, including DUP, and Tory Brexiter rebels, for government to publish FULL legal advice on her Brexit plan – not just planned summary. In a way this a dry run for the big 11 Dec Brexit vote because it will show…

What tipped over the edge to quitting was receiving emails every morning from on “lines to take” to promote ’s Brexit plan and realising he fundamentally disagreed with it all. How many other ministers feel similarly alienated?

Why no deal planning should be stepped up 

The Spectator

Resignations like this matter. Talented MPs like and are next generation of Cabinet ministers – they are bright, articulate & impassioned. When they decide they’ve had enough there’s something deeply wrong. PM’s existential crisis just got even worse

A big, big moment. quits Government over Theresa May’s ‘naive’ Brexit deal ‘Britain will end up worse off, transformed from rule makers into rule takers. It is a democratic deficit and a loss of sovereignty’ Great scoop by

Telegraph

If it looks like Remain, sounds like Remain and feels like Remain..

Two days before the referendum, Sam Gyimah tweeted that “Brexit is irreversible”. He got that right the first time – he should respect the result, not call for a second referendum.

BREXIT NEWS FOR FRIDAY 30th NOVEMBER 2018

Friday 30th November 2018,

Not a great deal of news today. Liam Fox, the former champion of UK Global Trade Deals, has now decided,somewhat inexplicably, to support PM May´s Deal. Take a read of Lawyers for Britain below.

How unfettered Global trade deals can be implemented when the UK ieaves any Transition Phase is not at all clear. If the UK is in a Customs Union we can do no Trade Deals in Goods. AND  If the UK negotiates a Trade Deal with the EU, it is likely to prevent the UK having its own independent Trading Policy and ability to make its own decisions on tariffs.

Thus, eg, the UK could slash tariffs on oranges from South Africa, and these would be likely to be cheaper than Spanish Oranges

Perhaps a No Deal Deal would be the best solution, but this would need a new and positive Prime Minister to set a positive agends. We shall see.

  Retweeted

: May not ruling out second MPs’ vote on dealTheresa May

BBC.

I’m supporting amendment – rejecting PM’s Deal, but also opposing No Deal, and making sure Parliament gets to properly debate & vote on the next steps, rather than just leaving it all to the PM.

1/2 I have tabled this amendment this afternoon – with the support of Yvette Cooper, Dominic Grieve, Rachel Reeves, Sarah Wollaston and Meg Hillier – to the Government’s motion on the EU withdrawal agreement. It opposes the deal, rejects a no deal Brexit, .and would enable the House to express its view about what should happen next if the PM’s deal is defeated. It would do this by allowing amendments to be tabled to the motion that the Government would have to put before the Commons under the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

Excl: Cabinet ministers weigh up whether to urge PM to abandon meaningful vote on Brexit deal to avoid massive defeat by 200;

The Sun

This quite closely matches the estimate we reported this week by a May loyalist ex-minister. So, No10 have to turn 80% of the current Tory rebels to have any chance

An excellent count of Tory MPs opposing Brexit deal here by ; 64 declared they’ll vote against, 27 probably will, 7 might. If all do, plus DUP, and 20 Labour MPs vote for it, Govt loses by 181.

Conservative Home

 

ROBERT PESTON on Facebook

In my short interview with the PM, here in Argentina at the G20 summit of leading nations, she told me several things of note.

First she said she would be “very happy to tell President Trump and others that we will have an independent trade policy” – which was a response to my question whether she would tell Trump who is here “to his face” that he was wrong to say her Brexit plan would make it impossible for the US to do a trade deal with the UK.

We will see if she now delivers on that fighting talk.

Second, yet again she offered no plan B at all, for when her deal is voted down by MPs – which is what almost all her MP colleagues expect to happen on 11 December (and see the blog I wrote when I disembarked from the her plane earlier this morning for why her refusal to countenance a backup Brexit plan is so perilous for her).

I could not resist asking her the TINA – “there is no alternative” – question. Sorry. I know it is a cliche. But she did not make the slightest attempt to correct me.

In fact she doubled down on it by attacking Labour for working “to frustrate Brexit”. She alleged that Corbyn’s amendment to her Brexit motion was “to try and stop us from doing what people asked us to do which is leave the European Union”.

Her reworked attack on Labour, which will presumably run all the way to the 11 December vote, is that it would keep us in the EU.

Which is not Labour policy. But it is striking that she now appears to accept that if she cannot deliver her negotiated Brexit, the alternative is staying in the EU – NOT a no-deal Brexit (a number of her Cabinet colleagues are completely explicit that no-deal cannot be an option).

Third, when I asked her whether the latest immigration stats – which show immigration from OUTSIDE the EU rising sharply – meant that even her ambition of a significant drop in immigration numbers after Brexit might well be for the birds, she said:

“I have been very clear I want to bring net migration down to sustainable levels”.

Which may sound bland and uncontroversial. But it may matter that she did not repeat her usual mantra of wanting to bring net migration down to the tens of thousands  Maybe now that she appears to be in a minority of one in her cabinet in clinging to that elusive and much criticised target, she is quietly dropping it.

(Thread) (1/2) ‘It is quite extraordinary for one of the leading trading nations of the world to be a complete rule taker on its trade policy in this way.

(2/2) ‘This one-sided customs union arrangement would destroy the ability of the UK to take advantage of the freedom brought by Brexit to forge a new independent trade policy and would shackle us permanently to being a dependency of the EU.’ – Martin Howe QC, Chairman of LfB.

Fantastic piece by ⁦⁩ in ⁦⁩ which every wavering Conservative MP should read. 

  Retweeted

NEW: These Are The Scenarios In Which The EU27 Would Consider Allowing The UK To Extend Article 50 – the UK would need to ask, and the purpose would need to be clear

Buzzfeed

BREXIT NEWS FOR THURSDAY 29th NOVEMBER 2018

Thursday 29th November 2018.

Another big today on the Buzzfeed List. Now there are 100 Conservative MPs who have announced they will not vote for PM May´s Deal. May refuses to provided the Legal Advice she has received on Brexit citing Privilege. Expect the speaker to become involved. Fireworks maybe. Corbyn-May TV Debate announced for Sunday week at 8pm. PM May now on way to Argentina for 3 days for G20 summit-

🚨 100 Tory MPs have now indicated they will not vote for Theresa May’s Brexit deal 🚨 Matthew Offord: “as the deal stands at the moment, I will vote against it” 

Buzzfeed

  Retweeted

Breaking – BBC wins broadcasters race to host Brexit deal debate on Sunday December 9, at 8pm.

Exc: Olly Robbins, who drew up the unilateral backstop, also recommended that Theresa May did NOT try to negotiate it – because it would effectively halt negotiations. TM agreed.

We reproduce the “Termination clause with explicit unilateral mechanism” motion in full When the Meaningful Vote falls, brexiteers want Mrs May to go back to Brussels to argue for it

We reveal the secret blueprint drawn up mid negotiations by Theresa May’s Brexit adviser Olly Robbins to allow Britain to unilaterally abandon the backstop

Here is the thing the brexiteers want – but were told they can’t have. A unilateral backstop exit mechanism made flesh (well, draft legal text) but told it would stall the negotiations so was never formally put to Europe

  Retweeted
Replying to 

as only a very limited number of officials and Ministers will have had access to this document, can we expect a prosecution of the person who leaked it, under s.3 of the Official Secrets Act?

Liz Truss was the star of last night’s Spectator parliamentarian awards. Here’s Ms Dynamite’s explosive-strewn speech 

Spectator

Watch highlight for important initiative by to make sure parliament – rather than – can determine what kind of Brexit or no-Brexit we have, if as expected she loses vote on her deal.

PS I understand that… will not table her amendment calling for a because she has been persuaded – to her disappointment – that she would lose the vote by substantial margin and that would damage credibility of referendum push.

She and others campaigning for referendum.will delay big drive for referendum till the anticipated chaos of losing her deal. Striking that also on last night said he had residual hope would opt to go for referendum, even though Downing St officials have been clear she…would not be PM if there were a

There is so little support on the Tory side for May’s deal that some junior ministers are even considering resigning so that they can speak in favour of it from the backbenches. They fear that without that, the deal’s opponents will dominate the debate.

Spectator

 

“It makes us prisoners of a Hotel California customs union. We can check out any time we like but we can never leave. This gives them unbelievable negotiating leverage on every issue, as EU negotiators have bragged to Brussels ambassadors”

Brexit Central

BREXIT NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 28th NOVEMBER 2018

Wednewsday 28th November 2018

This is what Theresa May told me on Monday about today’s Brexit forecasts. Basically, don’t trust them, especially if they say staying in the EU is better than my deal. I wonder if agrees with her? 

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Scary looking chart from Bank of England on possible impact of no-deal Brexit 

  Retweeted

No Deal nightmare: Here is Bloomberg’s summary of the Bank of England modelling on a no-deal brexit Quite a moment: 

Does anyone really believe any of this as a real-world scenario? is undermining its credibility and independence by giving such prominence to these extreme scenarios and forecasts.

Important that keeps referring to PM’s “proposed deal” – not an actual trade deal, because deal is nowhere near done.

When government publishes analysis of assorted Brexit deals today, worth remembering – as I said yesterday – Government Economic Service has modelled deal that EU27 has ruled out, namely Chequers, and actual deal can’t be modelled because it does not exist

99… Robert Syms tells me he will vote against the deal unless an end date is added to the backstop

BREXIT NEWS FOR TUESDAY 27th NOVEMBER 2018

BREXIT NEWS FOR TUESDAY 27th NOVEMBER 2018

The day after the Statement in the House of Commons, PM May has now flown to Northern Ireland where she is attempting to sell her deal to the people there. Meanwhile on BBC4 this morning , sir Mishael Fallon has said he will now be voting against the Deal. Buzzfeed now have 96 Conservative MPs voting against the Deal.

 

96

Michael Fallon says he’ll vote against the “doomed” deal

Buzzfeed

Row brewing with No10 due to release Geoffrey Cox’s legal advice on the deal. The advice on the backstop given to cabinet was “damning” and essentially said UK cannot get out, according to cabinet sources. But Cox’s political judgment was that a deal is better than no deal…

According to someone who has seen the latest No10 grid, there is an entry for “legal position”. Sources suspect the govt could attempt to publish a summary which stresses Cox’s political position. Will No10 be honest and reveal the legal advice that ministers found so damning?

Labour response: “Parliament was clear on this, when it unanimously passed a Labour humble address forcing the Government to publish the full legal advice from the Attorney General to Cabinet. Labour and Parliament will accept nothing short of the full legal advice to Cabinet.”

EXC: Theresa May has set up a crack team of senior advisers named ‘Project Vote’ tasked with getting the deal through parliament. New office in 70 Whitehall, made up of No10 aides, Cabinet Office Europe unit officials, Dexeu advisers, whips

  retwitted

Theresa May’s brexit deal is “the worst of all worlds” and “is doomed.” Q: Is Mrs May doomed? A: That’s up to my colleagues. Q: I don’t take that as a warm endorsement? A: Take it as you wish.

This is why so many Conservative backbenchers have kept their counsel on May’s humiliating deal thus far. Michael Fallon and Tracey Crouch will embolden others to oppose this substandard deal.  A way will be found to get back to the negotiating table.

The Article 50 case at the ECJ has begun. Lawyer for the British MSPs, MPs and MEPs arguing that requiring unanimity to revoke A50 would “ride roughshod” over EU principles, meaning a state could be forced out against its will if it changed its mind.

Qs to Fallon: Is Mrs May doomed ? “That’s up to my colleagues.” I don’t take that as a warm endorsement ? “Take it as you wish.”

BREXIT NEWS FOR MONDAY 26th NOVEMBER 2018

Monday 26th November 2018

In a nutshell, ’s reason for lobbying the British people to back her Brexit deal – she hopes that you will following the example of the voter who wrote attached letter to Tory MP and shout at all MPs to support her plan to take us out of EU

. just confirmed meaningful vote on her Brexit deal will be 11 December.

TRUMP SAYS BREXIT DEAL SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD DEAL FOR THE EU TRUMP SAYS BREXIT AGREEMENT AS IT STANDS MEANS THE UK MAY NOT BE ABLE TO TRADE WITH THE U.S. – Reuters

Earlier, I urged the PM to withhold part of the £39 billion divorce bill until we get a comprehensive free trade agreement. If the EU is serious about agreeing a good deal, they should be happy to oblige.

BREXIT NEWS FOR SUNDAY 25th NOVEMBER 2018

Sunday 25th November 2018.

Big day today. Approval of the Brexit Deal at the special EUCO Meeting in Brussels, preceded by PM May writing a personal letter to UK Citizens which took fron page spreads in the Sunday Newspapers. May then gives another speech in Brussels to “the people” in an effort to sell her Deal and have MPs persuaded in her favour by their constituents, on the very day when the Buzzfeed List of Tory MPs who have stated they will vote against her Deal reaches 94.

Sadly for PM May, no sooner has the paperwork been signed than Macron of France issues grave comments about the independence of the UK Fishing Waters, and implicitly threatening to put the UK in the dreaded Backstop if a satisfactory ahreement cannot be reached in 2020. Big torpedo to May´s plans and hopes.

May: “This is the best possible deal, it’s the only possible deal” Juncker: “This is the best deal possible for Britain. This is the only deal possible”. Someone’s been comparing notes

Bombshell from Macron who suggests if EU doesn’t get what it wants on fishing it’ll force UK into backstop customs union. WA says fisheries deal should be done by July 2020 so coincides with decision on whether to trigger backstop. Brexiteer MPs’ worst nightmare about May’s deal.

There were already 90+ Tory MPs preparing to vote against the Brexit deal as it was ahead of today’s summit. Emmanuel Macron’s comments today will only have augmented that number, one suspects.

 

BREXIT NEWS FOR SATURDAY 24th NOVEMBER 2018

Saturday 24th November 2018.

EUCO Summit still on for tomorrow to agree the Brexit Deal. Fudge on Gibraltar. Now 101 Conservative MPs have joined up to Standup4Brexit. Government seem to be accepting that it will lose first Meaningful Vote. Theory is that No 10 Spin Machine now getting May loyalists on the airwaves to argue her case. AND that she will try and rely on Labour MPs to support a second vote. The odds seem against her at the moment especially with the DUP against , and Boris Johnson giving a major speech at the DUP Conference today in Belfast.

So Spain gets its veto on any future EU trade deal for Gibraltar after all – an original A50 demand. HMG opposed this for two years, but concedes defeat at the very last moment. Not an ideal look. 

This week, Martin Howe QC delivered his legal verdict on Theresa May’s Brexit deal (“It’s not bad – it’s atrocious”). No10 has written a rebuttal. Here it is:- 

Spectator

Of course, under May’s deal any nation could veto us moving on to a trade deal in 2022 and thereby force us into the backstop. Perhaps Sanchez thinks this is the same as vetoing Brexit, because May’s deal – and the backstop – is not really Brexit. And there, he’d have a point.

  Retweeted

Extended tomorrow! Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt DUP leader Arlene Foster Former PM Tony Blair Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon News review Live updates in Brussels Abba’s & BBC One, 10am 

  Retweeted

You hear a lot of people claiming that business “just wants to get on with it”. In fact, the Institute of Directors did a survey, and a slim majority of its members said they would prefer another referendum

The agreement on reached today within the framework of the negotiations is highly positive for and the most important one since the Treaty of 1713. I want to personally thank the Secretary of State for the , our Permanent Representation (1/2)

Tory politicians most in favour of ’s Brexit deal are the ex-Remainers, like . They have decided what those who actually voted for Brexit really wanted. But this “we know best” attitude by those in power contributed to the collapse of trust…

It gets harder for

says will revisit confidence and supply arrangement if Brexit withdrawal agreement is passed in the Commons.

By my reckoning EU27 leaders will approve an additional declaration on tomorrow with 7 areas of “vigilance”: 1⃣citizens’ rights 2⃣level playing field 3⃣fish 4⃣UK alignment on environmental standards 5⃣climate change 6⃣transition extension 7⃣backstop review

Top EU officials worked v late to solve the Gibraltar stuff. The solution has 4 parts, including a letter from and to Spanish PM. There’s also a document confirming Spain has a say over the final agreement (which all EU27 have, really).

91

Julia Lopez says this morning: “I simply cannot envisage voting for the government’s Withdrawal Agreement” 

Buzzfeed

Tory MPs claiming that deputy chief whip Chris Pincher is asking them to write nice things in their WhatsApp groups about newly knighted SIR John Hayes. Doesn’t seem to be working..

“Theresa May is the kind of person that would go to a Black Friday sale and agree to pay the discount on top of the original price” says . Nailed it. 

Almost one in four Conservative MPs have said they will not support the Brexit deal. Theresa May is “heading towards a brick wall at 100 miles an hour,” says one ex cab minister. 

Guardian

No 10 are hoping to reframe the Brexit debate. That a conversation about the backstop, transition and £39bn divorce bill will become one about how the PM’s deal will end free movement for once and for all.

The Prime Minister will also announce that she will scrap the tier 2 cap on highly skilled migrants after Brexit – that’s doctors. nurses, engineers etc. The fundamental ‘tenet’ of the new system will be a ‘universal’ approach. EU and Non-EU migrants will be treated the same.

  retwitted

My message today is clear. It’s not too late. Prime Minister – bin the backstop.

Charles Moore is right in today’s ⁦⁩. It looks like Theresa May has two choices: either drop the backstop or lose office.

  Retweeted

I think we can safely say the DUP would be back on board if became PM

BREXIT NEWS FOR FRIDAY 23rd NOVEMBER 2018

PM May on the airwaves trying to sell her deal to the listening public, who, according to one poll ,do not support her Plan for Brexit. She knights an MP- Off to Brussels tomorrow for meeting with Juncker on Saturday and EUCO Heads of State on Sunday.

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Normally MPs would have to wait til the next honours list for such things, but in the present circumstances, Hayes presumably knew Theresa May couldn’t guarantee how long she’d be around to make good of such a promise. So it’s payment now.

Fancy that. No10 has, out of the blue, just given long standing eurosceptic Tory MP John Hayes a knighthood. Two unrelated facts: he didn’t sign a no confidence letter, and hasn’t yet said he’ll vote down the Brexit deal.

Big: Theresa May refuses to rule out resigning as PM three times if her Brexit deal falls in the Commons: To : “This is not about me”. New message to Tory MPs – my deal, or party chaos if I go.

If MPs do what ⁦⁩ polls says voters want them to do, ⁦⁩’s Brexit deal will be resoundingly defeated in Commons vote 

Downing Street going into full patronage mode ahead of the meaningful vote, John Hayes—backbench Tory Brexiteer—becomes a Knight

  Retweeted

Read ‘s excellent story here 

itv.com

Now 90 names on the list 

Buzzfeed.

  retwitted

The small print of yesterday’s ‘political declaration’ on Brexit contains several unpleasant surprises, says

BREXIT NEWS FOR THURSDAY 22nd NOVEMBER 2018

Thursday 22nd November 2018.

A big day. PM May publishes her non legally binding Agreement for future relations with the EU post Brexit. It seems to promise all things to all men. She is confident in the House of Commons but many MPs against her. She refuses to try to renegotiate the Backstop. Her stubbornness and unwillingness to listen to the arguments of others could become her downfall. We shall see. Gibraltar could still be a problem in the run up to Sunday´s EUCO Meeting in Brussels

What’s the real significance of the ‘all things to all men’ vagueness of the Political Declaration? There will be years (3-5 minimum?) of more rows about what EU trade deal we want. Hence, the internecine Tory civil war over it has only just begun.

So transition extension is confirmed to 1-2 years…. funny how ‘categoric lies’ can come true in this game. This from January this year..

Have to say this is very much NOT how the deal is seen here in Brussels. There is pretty much no gloating or feeling of victory. Just spoke to one senior diplomat whose verdict, to coin a famous phrase, was that the Member States didn’t like it, but they had to go along with it.

Why May’s Brexit deal is set to be defeated in Parliament

First things first. There has been a widespread misunderstanding of why Angela Merkel made it known yesterday that if the Brexit deal – Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration – wasn’t done and dusted by today, she would not be bothering to turn up in Brussels to formally ratify it on Sunday.

Her conspicuous intervention was not aimed at putting pressure on Theresa May to be more emollient in the last leg of negotiations. The German Chancellor was in fact asking the likes of the Spanish premier Pedro Sanchez to stop misbehaving and causing unnecessary bother (Sanchez has been playing to a domestic audience by saying he would block any agreement that deprived him of a veto on the future of Gibraltar).

“The chancellor was doing the PM a favour” said an official.

It worked. May will go to to Brussels on Saturday for talks that are more about style than substance with the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, before signing it all off with the EU 27 on Sunday.

Which means that after almost 20 gruelling and volatile months of talks, we now have 585 legally binding pages on the terms for the UK’s exit from the EU and 26 non legally binding pages on the “framework for the future relationship” between the EU and UK.

The 26 pages are the new ones. And in many ways they are the most important, because they are the basis for judgements about whether the UK will be richer or poorer, safer or more vulnerable when outside the EU.

So what do we learn from them?

They confirm that May’s Chequers plan, which proposed a “common rulebook” between the EU and UK to deliver wholly frictionless trade in goods between the UK and EU, is dead.

There is no promise in the Political Declaration (PD) to the UK enjoying “frictionless” trade, even as a possible outcome. And that is because May’s proposal was seen as an attempt by the UK to enjoy the full benefits of the single market in goods without signing up for the obligations, most notably freedom of movement in people.

So what the PD allows for is a future trade deal that could be similar to the free trade agreement enjoyed by Canada or deeper and richer than that – but not as deep and rich as full membership of the customs union and single market.

Quite how deep and rich it will turn out to be will depend on the extent to which government of the UK is prepared – in talks that will start after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 – to follow rules set by the EU on competition, environmental and consumer standards, employee protection and so on.

Or to put it another way, the big political decision – namely how much control of our economy we are prepared to permanently delegate to the EU in return for improved access to the EU’s huge marketplace – is yet to be taken.

Both the big rows, and the minutiae of fiendishly complicated trade negotiations, is yet to happen (gawd help us).

This isn’t quite a blind Brexit, But it is a pretty severely myopic one.

Which confirms that Labour will vote against it.

But what about the more important opposition to the deal, from the Brexiter members of the PM’s own party.

Well the PM can in fairness say to them that they wanted a Canada-plus deal for the UK and she’s given them an option on that.

Secondly. after Iain Duncan Smith and Owen Paterson nagged her, she has filled the PD with stuff that has no business being there, about how “facilitative arrangements and technologies will…be considered in developing any alternative arrangements for ensuring the absence of a hard border on the island of Ireland on a permanent footing”.

In plain English, this means that during the 21 months of the UK’s status as a non-voting member of the EU “in transition”, the UK would attempt to prove that the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic could be kept open by deploying clever IT and screening kit, with some smart admin, rather than deploying the so-called backstop seen by Northern Ireland’s DUP as driving a regulatory wedge between NI and ROI.

May even thanked Duncan Smith and Paterson for their lobbying efforts in this respect – which was code for “please now vote for my deal and try to persuade your recalcritrant colleagues to do the same”.

But in a humiliating moment for May in the Commons this afternoon, Duncan Smith and Paterson said thanks but no thanks. They will never support her deal for as long as the backstop is in the Withdrawal Agreement.

So will Tory Brexiters and the DUP now cease their carping, put up the white flag and rejoice that May is reborn as glorious Britannia of Brexit?

Hmmm. Stranger things have happened but that seems as likely as me receiving a call up for the England football team.

The DUP will not be able to support a Brexit deal that includes a legally binding backstop that they see as potentially putting up a barrier between NI and GB, when the intention in the PD to avoid the backstop has no legal force – as Nigel Dodds, leader of the DUP’s 10 MPs, made clear on my show last night.

The number of Tory rebels will shrink, doubtless. But a core will never be persuaded to back May’s deal, for reasons similar to the DUP’s reservations – though their fear is less about fragmenting of the EU, and more about the possibility that the UK will remain in transition for another couple of year and then in the customs union via the backstop forever after, thus depriving the UK parliament of the control of the UK economy they seek.

Which means when the Commons votes on this, May is set to lose. The uncertainty is quite how big she loses – because it is the magnitude of that defeat that will determine whether something like her deal is eventually Britain’s Brexit or whether it will be ripped to shreds.

No10 chief of staff to Tory rebels: “You’re a bunch of idiots. Please for our Brexit deal.”

Classic straw man tactics from some MPs today criticising the Political Declaration because it is not a treaty when they know full well (or at least they should know) that the EU *cannot* sign a treaty setting out our future relationship until after we’ve left

BREXIT NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 21st NOVEMBER 2018

21st November 2018 

PM May still believes she can get her unpopular Brexit Agreement through Parliament. now reported that 84 conservative MPs against the proposals. Future Relationship non-legal Agreement not yet agreed. PM May back in Brussels on Saturday. EUCO on Sunday may or may not take place.

Gibraltar a problem. Fish a political problem. Goods *the* problem. On the problem, we’re heading for Chequers MINUS – and the minus, while fine for Tory MPs, means a border between GB and NI.

A brief Brexit update following May-Juncker meeting: – talks still stuck on Gibraltar & Fish – goods also not solved – negotiations ongoing – EU27 ambos meet tomorrow morning – May-Juncker meeting again Sat. – Berlin adamant purpose of Sunday is to endorse a deal, not negotiate

Predict another phrase is about to enter the Brexit lingo, Matthews 1999. It is a European Court of Human Rights judgement that some distinguished academics believe would render the NI specific provisions of the backstop illegal.

8pm: And another. 84 Tory MPs now say they won’t vote for May’s deal Can reveal Remainer David Evennett today emailed a constituent confirming he won’t be voting for it

Buzzfeed

Telegraph

  retwitted

Please tell us how we have moved the EU on the backstop Bob, given that it would 1) See us tied indefinitely to the protectionist block with zero ability to strike free trade deals globally, and 2) See NI in a separate regulatory area, undermining our Union?

Latest: I understand British and EU negotiators will now talk through the night tonight. If they go well, there could well be a new draft Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration published tomorrow afternoon. So somebody is blinking… we’ll soon find out who.

Spanish PM upping the ante and saying will vote no to deal unless there is change in wording over Gibraltar

Indications from No 10 tonight the extra meeting on Saturday doesn’t mean panic stations, still sounding confident this can get done in time for Sunday sign off – but…remember it’s UK that has pushed this timetable not EU side… let’s see

. does not hold back in the on the backstop: “it is a concerted political attempt, by the European Commission and the Irish government, to place Northern Ireland within their sphere of control and dependence – a direct threat to the Union.”

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Surprised more wasn’t made of the Sunday Times story that No10 is planning to encourage a crash in the financial markets. Now also says that’s the plan:

BREXIT NEWS FOR TUESDAY 20TH NOVEMBER 2018

20th November 2018

 

Little bit of hyperbole here perhaps. But not a good night for

Absolutely staggering. The Government has just accepted all Labour amendments to the Finance Bill because they couldn’t rely upon DUP to support them. Tories in office not in power. A government falling apart in front of us.

France wants UK to stick to EU’s environment standards, even if EU makes them stricter after Brexit + sign up to so-called level playing field restrictions in areas of labor law, state aid and taxation as well as a pledge to allow European fishing vessels access to British waters.

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The DUP will abstain again on all Finance Bill votes tonight, sources confirm, plus probably other Govt legislation if tabled next week. They are now effectively on strike (and the confidence and supply agreement all but suspended) until the Irish backstop is resolved.

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Replying to 

From Saturday’s Times. No10 think it. It’s not a secret, its in the future arrangements text. But your make a good point…

Blimey. Straw clutching. EU means “alternative arrangements” in the sense of, as one country’s recent note put it, a “broad comprehensive customs union, with extensive plus agreements”.

EU diplomats say talks on the political declaration are stuck on what I – and no one else – call the 3 G’s

: 💥GOODS

GIBRALTAR

GREAT access to U.K. waters for the EU27 fishing fleet. Opinions differ over how easy these are to solve. (1)

Boris Johnson is going to speak at the DUP conference this weekend – wonder why…

BREXIT NEWS FOR MONDAY 19TH NOVEMBER 2018

BREXIT NEWS FOR MONDAY 19TH NOVEMBER 2018

Michael Gove ‘leading Cabinet fight’ to change Theresa May’s Brexit plan

  retwitted

Theresa May’s draft deal is worse than EU membership in some ways and would be defeated in Parliament, ex-Brexit Secretary David Davis says

 

 

 

0:43 / 2:23

David Davis on Theresa May’s Draft Brexit Deal
The former Brexit Secretary says the provisional agreement reached between Britain and the EU is worse than continued membership of the bloc in some respect.

PODCAST: Theresa May continues her Brexit sales pitch. Can it work? & discuss:

Will Theresa May’s Brexit sales pitch work?

With Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth. Presented by Katy Balls.

audioboom.com

Dom Raab and David Davis having a very public sit down in the terrace cafeteria at the height of lunch. Each trying to convince the other to stand aside? Master and protégé.

BREAKING: UK running out of frozen and chilled food warehouse space as retailers and manufacturera press button on stockpiling after last week’s chaos in Westminster 

Guardian

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The Withdrawal Agreement is not accessible, you say? For my orientation and yours I have drafted a table of contents. Enjoy. (Maybe that’s not the right word. Suffer less?)

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“Stop right now thank you very much”. David Davis quotes the Spice Girls in his article slamming May’s Brexit plan. Yes, really. 

*Confidence Vote Watch* ERG source tells me that if vote doesn’t happen today a] It’s a victory for the Tory party machine whipping operation over weekend b] It’s delayed not forgotten.. apparently some MPs thinking it better for put letters in after she loses the WA vote in HoC

Excellent

BREXIT NEWS FOR SUNDAY 18TH NOVEMBER 2018

Sunday 18th November 2018,

Sunday Newspapers today as well as the big TV Political morning shows. PM May on TV trying to sell her version of Brexit to the people. Others to the contrary, No new about the possible leadership challenge. May refuses to change course and it seems likely she will be defeated on the Meaningful vote in Parliament next month.

Sajid Javid talking about opportunities for UK under two scenarios: this deal, and no deal. Suspect he’s one of many ministers who will now refer to no-deal as a still-viable option.

Sunday Telegraph is outstanding today. Here’s Robert Tombs: “If Brexit is defeated, it’ll prove not only impotence of democracy in Britain but throughout the EU. The lid [on the boiling pot] will be screwed down. We all know the consequences of that.

Fraser Nelson: Despite the revulsion at Mrs May’s deal, she is confident that opponents won’t move against her

“As far as I know no”. on whether 48 of her Tory MP colleagues have written to Brady of 1922 committee calling for vote of confidence in her.

  seemed to say to there is no scope to renegotiate backstop and Withdrawal Agreement – thus apparently slapping down , , , and Grayling. Her offer to them appeared to be to wait and see..what the Political Declaration says next Sunday about the nature of the UK’s future relationship with the EU – as if this would reassure them.

But the Withdrawal Agreement, when signed, will be a legally binding document. The Political Declaration will…be a non-binding statement of intent. The Brexiters in the cabinet will look at the Political Declaration – even when fleshed out from today’s seven page draft to the expected maximum of 20 pages, compared with the Withdrawal Agreement’s 585 – and fear that it…presages many years of negotiation to transform it into a legal treaty running to hundreds of pages. In fact they will see the Political Declaration’s apparent countenancing of what the PM sees as a special and unique deal for the UK, what she sees as an important victory,…..as making inevitable that talks to turn the framework for a future relationship into a deal will last many many years, far longer than the 21 months of the agreed transition.

So the ambition implicit in the Political Declaration actually makes more likely what the Brexiters .fear most, namely that the backstop – or an expensive extension of the transition – will be implemented at the end of 2020. May will be accused by her Brexiter colleagues of the Johnsonian crime of having and eating cake – of claiming…..that the backstop is unlikely to be implemented even when she eschews the kind of future relationship that would be easier and far quicker to finalise because it is largely off-the-shelf and consistent with extant EU models and deals.

I cannot see the Cabinet…Brexiters, or indeed the Brexiters on Tory benches, being reassured in the slightest. The coming week will see the civil war in the UK’s governing part intensify. Theresa May is not over the worst; she cannot yet be confident of securing her Brexit deal or keeping her job..

Heading for deadlock

May faces down Brexiteers – ousting her could risk Brexit – gang of five won’t be able to rewrite the divorce deal – further negotiations only on future relationship – letters not at 48 – Brady: MPs are lying – Raab: deal is fatally flawed

This is so good   

Dom Raab reveals he has been talking to the ‘gang of five’ who stayed in Cabinet since resigning about how they can change the PM’s Brexit deal. So serving Cabinet ministers are working with those that quit to try to force the PM’s hand

Demolishing the PM’s terrible Withdrawal Agreement proposals forensically here: ERG publish <i>Your Right To Know. the case against the Government’s Brexit deal via

Such a lovely read from in the this morning on what actually happened this week

BREXIT NEWS FOR SATURDAY 17TH NOVEMBER 2018

Saturday 17th January 2018.

Weekend off for most people but not for PM May who is still trying to sell her Brexit Deal. Poll out today shows Conservative support slipping sharply and now behind Labour.

Important analysis of the deal on The Spectator. Interesting that the hashtag “fakebrexitdeal” has appeared today. The 5 Brexiter Ministers still appear to want to change the terms of the backsstop from within Government, Suspected they might resign once rebuffed by PM May, as she did Michael Gove who wanted to renegotiate…..Continued discussion abour leadership vote of no confidence.

Over in Europe, discussion about amending the paperwork over UK Fishing Area. Many countries still unwilling to allow UK to regain its fishing areas. Perhaps trouble in store for PM May from the Scottish Conservatives over this.

‘A senior Downing Street official offered to let Raab out of cabinet early so he could fly via helicopter across the Channel, promising him a movie-style entrance to the Barnier photo opportunity. This was rebuffed.’ Great piece on all this week’s madness.

What wants from – namely greater precision on the conditions that would have to be met for the UK to exit the backstop – does not seem unreasonable in and of itself. And for her, and probably , and possibly Chris Grayling, and  this is potentially a resigning issue (yes that threat has not gone away).

They want to raise this with the PM either in a private meeting or at Tuesday’s cabinet. Of course it is clear why this matters to Brexiters. Great specificity on the conditions that.would see the UK emerge from the backstop would provide greater confidence that the mutual UK/EU decision to terminate the backstop would and could actually happen one day.

The Catch 22, the big problem for May, is that if those conditions could be specified there would be no need for the backstop in the first place – because there would be confidence the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland could be kept open without a backstop at all.

So I fear the initiative of the Famous Five Cabinet Brexiters, with Leadsom as.the leader George, is doomed to fail. And the PM may therefore have to brace herself for more Cabinet resignations in coming days.

No10 has written 40 rebuttals to Mr Steerpike’s 40 horrors of the Brexit deal. Delighted to publish them here.

Spectator

Brexit: How the Deal was Done via

rte.ie

Bleak numbers for Tories from -4 pt lead gone, now 3 points behind Lab -Support for Conservatives among Leavers (core group) down 10 pts -Lowest level of public confidence in Conservative handling of negotiations (26%) since Chequers fallout

Within the margin of error …. (changes since January) Remain: 51% (-4) Leave: 49% (+4) ComRes Nov 15 Sample: 1,752

Prime Minister Corbyn not only plausible but likely..

This is what has brought our party to. This against a Trotskyist, IRA supporting terrorist sympathiser who loves every enemy of the UK and hates every friend.

LAB: 39% (+2) CON: 36% (-5) UKIP: 8% (+2) LDEM: 7% (-1) GRN: 3% (-) @OpiniumReseach 14 No

If Irish backstop prevents a deal, but U.K. pays the bill & guarantees citizens’ rights is there a “managed” no deal? And what might that look like? My latest with ⁦⁩ – inputs from ⁦

Telegraph

Actual state-of-play on in Brussels. On edge, no gloating, also no renegotiating at least until vote in UK Parliament. By ’s top-notch team:

Politico

BREXIT NEWS FOR FRIDAY 16TH NOVEMBER 2018

Friday 16th November 2018.

A quiet day in Westminster after the drama of yesterday. PM May selling her plan on LBC at 8am, placating her Brexiter rebels still in the Cabinet, and appointing individuals to the vacated Cabinet seats. More talk of MPs submitting letters of no-confidence in May. Rumours 5 Cabinet Brexiters are holding talks this weekend to discuss trying to change the draft Withdrawal Agreement,especially with regard to the exit mechanism from the Customs Union. There is an excellent podcast below from David Davis MP and Owen Patterson MP at a trade conference in USA. They are saying that if the May Plan goes ahead that the UK will be totally precluded from doing any meaningful global trade deals.

No10 reshuffle Stephen Barclay is appointed Brexit Secretary with the remit to concentrate on domestic preparedness (rather than final stages of EU negotiation) Amber Rudd is work and pensions secretary.

The UK could go back to the negotiating table. If it chooses this path, it must be clear what it is seeking to obtain. Specific assurances may be possible. Deciding to rethink the whole backstop is not credible:

So what’s the plan for remaining Eurosceptics in Cabinet? Hearing Leadsom, Gove, Fox, Mordaunt & Grayling meeting early next week to unite around several coherent ‘asks’ Leadsom also reaching out to Pizza Club – Truss, Hunt, Cox and Javid. Focus on backstop exit mechanism.

The aim is to change the wording of the backstop exit mechanism to stop it binding UK in customs union indefinitely. There’s genuine optimism it can be done ahead of Brussels summit on Nov 25. If it can’t then they’re going to have difficult decision to make on Commons vote.

Call it good podcast planning or just plain luck, but new Brexit Secretary spoke to Chief Political Correspondent on a few months ago, where he told us it’s a ‘myth’ Brexit will damage the NHS. Take a listen…

BREXIT NEWS FOR THURSDAY 15TH NOVEMBER 2018

Thursday. 15th November 2018.

The day the Maybot battled for survival. PM May answered House of Commons questions for almost 3 hours this morning , after news of the resignation of 2 Cabinet Ministers,including her Brexit Secretary, all over her Brexit plans. Much criticism of May amid realisation that she had few supporters for her plans which seem destined to fail. A number of MPs wrote letters asking for a vote of no confidence in her leadership. As yet no news as to whether the 48 minimum number of letters have been sent. Late afternoon May held a Press Conference where she reiterated her wishes to push through her plans, despite the current overwhelming oppostion. Big feeling in the UK is that  the UK has been” stitched up” by Brussels, and that May has given way on many key red lines, despite her continued proclamation that no red lines have been breached. Febrile times in Westminster which will certainly continue for the next few days, as MPs wait and see whether there will be a vote of no confidence. No news yet as to the position of Michael Gove. In total 7 Ministers have resigned today.

For what it’s worth, I can’t find a Tory MP who thinks the 48 no-confidence letters aren’t already with the 1922’s Brady. And surprising people are telling me they will vote against her, if (when?) it comes to it.

Here is Gove logic tree. ’s condition for taking Brexit secretary job is he has to be allowed to renegotiate Withdrawal Agreement. won’t let him do that. So, as a logical chap, Gove knows he cannot stay in cabinet, because that would associate him with…

a policy he feels to be utterly wrongheaded and happens to be the most important policy affecting future of this country for generations. I would be staggered if he didn’t quit.

Downing Street thinks has reached a settled position – that she will not resign. Well there is always one.

Want to read the inside story of an extraordinary day which has seen four ministers quit, left three on the brink and ended with Michael Gove holding the PM’s future in his hands?             Telegraph

Daily Mail

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Sky Sources: Michael Gove has been offered the job of Brexit Secretary but says his price for doing it is to re-negotiate the agreement

This morning I sat through the Prime Minister’s statement on the Brexit proposal. After two hours of listening, I’m afraid nothing convinced me that this is anything other than a bad deal. I cannot support, and will not vote, for this deal. It should be withdrawn immediately.

Wow. Article 14(4) of the backstop is… something. Seems to say: ECJ and European Commission to have jurisdiction in the UK in respect of the EU customs code, technical regulations, VAT and excise, agriculture and the environment, single electricity market and state aid.

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It’s striking how emboldened Eurosceptic Cabinet ministers are today. They feel they hold the cards: * Gove is asking to renegotiate PM’s Brexit deal as his price for becoming Brexit Secretary * Penny Mordaunt in No 10 demanding free vote on deal again.

Absolutely no reason Super Canada cannot apply to the whole UK. Customs experts Lars Karlsson & Hans Massen have both said in the last 2 days that a frictionless NI-ROI border without infrastructure is possible within the transition period

We knew this 15 months ago when we published the Max Fac technical paper. and I met Lars Karlsson too. Naturally wasn’t interested in engaging.

I have lost confidence in the Brexit policy of the Prime Minister and have therefore written to the Chairman of the 1922 Committee asking for a vote to take place over her Leadership.

My letter of resignation sent to PM stepping down as Vice Chairman & PM Trade Envoy to Pakistan. 1. Cannot support Draft EU Withdrawal Agreement. 2. Very disappointed by lack of leadership shown by UK Gov to do morally right thing in Asia Bibi Case.

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If they truly care about democracy and the future of this country, Theresa May’s MPs must reject this deal while there is still time, writes

Telegraph

May’s press conference made clear that she is now, essentially, in a game of chicken with the Commons. She’s calculating that ultimately enough MPs will blink and vote for her deal to get it through. It is a very big gamble

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WATCH | warns May that he is submitting his letter of No Confidence and demolishes her Withdrawal Agreement. “What she says and what she does no longer match!” https://twitter.com/i/status/1063032026138361856

There have been calls to now “embrace no deal” Here’s what that means (according to Govts technical notices) – 50+ new systems and process – 50+ pieces of new legislation – 25+ “side deals” with EU – 15 new or expanded public bodies 4 1/2 months.  

: 6 sites to help you keep on top of the draft Withdrawal Agreement

 

The Prime Minister is due to meet the Cabinet today to discuss plans. For a ‘deal’ to be introduced to it first needs to be approved by . What might happen next in a ‘deal’ or a ‘no deal’ scenario?

🚨🚨🚨🚨 I know it’s not the most exciting thing happening any more… But we have gone through the Draft Withdrawal Agreement and tried to summarise what it says and what that means for the UK Gov You should read it because: a) It took ages b) its important   

Source close to Michael Gove confirms he has rejected brexit Secretary job As expected, but now all eyes on whether he quits government altogether since he clearly can’t really support her deal.

BREXIT NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 14TH NOVEMBER 2018

14th November 2018.” Brexit est arrive”.

A hard day at the office for PM May. After enduring difficult questions at PMQs, in the afternoon there was a virtual 5 hour Cabinet Meeting. she emerged to announce her Brexit deal had been approved. But rumours are now circulating that 10 or 11 Ministers had reservations on various aspects of the deal. The result is that , if enacted, the UK will be in a permanent customs union with the EU and will be unable to do the global trade deals, certainly in goods, which Liam Fox has been advocating for the last two years. PM May says that the UK will take back control of its laws, but a brief search of the draft Withdrawal Agreement published tonight (now on this website) shows that the European Court of Justice will have the overriding say. This could mean that the UK could NEVER break free from the EU.

There is currently major opposition to these proposals, which look as if they will not receive the support of Parliament. Many are asking just what was the point of Brexit. Many are asking for a secound vote.

Cabinet did reach a collective position, but certainly not unanimous. I’m told 9 ministers spoke against the agreement – Fox, Hunt, Williamson, Penny Mordaunt, Javid, Leadsom, Evans, Mordaunt and Grayling.

Raab didn’t speak against it but is said to have had a ‘downer’ on it, Mundell also described as a ‘waverer’ – there was not a final vote, but numbers were 18-11 depending how you categorise the waverers, according to one minister.

Straight after the cabinet meeting Philip Hammond, chancellor and Greg Clark, business secretary held a conference call briefing with up to 200 business figures. Hammond thanked the executives for their help in publicising what he called the “horrific” impact of a no deal Brexit

Other cabinet sources say those who spoke against the deal were not making arguments for alternative deals or even criticising the content – but expressing reservations about whether it can get through the House.

Esther McVey is said to have twice called for a vote but it was refused – she is udnerstood to have been the strongest and most explicit opponent of the deal – lots of chatter about her resigning.

Still unclear what Raab is going to do…. he is the Brexit Secretary after all but it sounds like he wasn’t exactly enthusiastic in the meeting – chatter about his position too – let’s see – conflicting stuff out there right now.

We asked Rees Mogg if he’ll move against her before she has a chance to take this to Parliament? ‘the office of Prime Minister is a leasehold not a freehold’

Break: Theresa May confirms Cabinet has agreed her Brexit divorce deal with the EU after “a long detailed and impassioned debate”.

PM says choice before MPs is her deal, or no deal and risk “no Brexit at all”. Adds: “I know there will be difficult days ahead”. She ain’t wrong there.

No Cabinet minister has resigned rather than back May’s deal, No10 sources say. At least, not yet.

Big Brexit news: it appears Chequers has been chucked. A senior Govt source has refused to say PM is still pushing for an FCA or Common Rulebook in future trade deal: “We may get frictionless trade through another way”.

Shorter Irish Backstop GB-NI remain in “single customs territory, but NI is treated ‘as if’ in the EU, following Union Customs Code and SM rules. This will persist “unless and until” (Article 1) it is superseded by arrangement that obviates need.

BUT this is balanced this with an assertion that the arrangements are “intended to apply only temporarily” and – in Article 2(1) – a commitment that that both sides “shall use their best endeavours” to reach that “subsequent agreement”.

The protocol then sets out three options to be considered in July 2020 as the end of the transition approaches – either conclude a deal, “extend” the transition period (with payments to be agreed) or trigger the Irish backstop noted above.

The entire arrangement is managed by “a joint consultative working group” and, under Article 20, the UK can “notify” the EU if it believes the backstop is no longer necessary, but cannot unilaterally pull out of the deal..

“Within 6 months of such a notification, the Joint Cmme shall meet at ministerial level to consider the notification,” but the backstop shall cease to apply only if the EU and UK “decide jointly…the Protocol shall cease to apply, in whole or in part.

So chapeau to UK negotiators who always said they’d get EU to agree all-UK backstop. But there still isn’t really an exit mechanism, only a ‘best endeavour’ clause and – the UK will argue – fairly light level playing field requirements that motivate EU to seek exit.

To be clear DUP won’t like it. ERG and Brexiteers won’t like it But none have come up with better ideas – as I write here Let’s see what the morrow holds…

One big macro deal thought. The never-ending backstop locks the U.K. into a customs union. But it also takes away the crash out to WTO/MFN world. Can’t happen. That’s a huge shift if this deal goes though. And a huge loss of leverage on EU side.

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More joy for Brexiteers. Article 4: provisions of EU law in the withdrawal agreement will “produce the same legal effects” in the UK as in member states. This means supremacy over domestic law.. 

“Long and impassioned debate” by cabinet. “Collective position of cabinet” to agree draft Withdrawal Agreement and Outline Political Declaration . There were dissenters! “Difficult days ahead” admits

. seeing DUP leader at 20.30. As if she hasn’t had enough criticism of her Brexit plan today from those allegedly on the same side as her!

Cabinet source: “only one cabinet minister involved in Leave campaign spoke in favour of the prime minister’s deal. That was Michael Gove”. Extraordinarily divided cabinet on this Brexit plan.

show guest ⁦⁩ tells Brexiter colleagues of ERG why he will vote against PM’s Brexit plan. Hear him explain why at 10.45 tonight  

The UK’s status as a non-voting member of EU in transition can be extended beyond 31 Dec 2020 to “31 December 20XX”. I am quoting from the Withdrawal Agreement. I thought the whole point was EVERYTHING agreed. Apparently not.

The paragraph that all “true” Brexiters hate – on how exit from the customs union backstop can only be agreed “jointly” by UK and EU. 

Tory Brexiters become angrier and angrier as they wade through 585 pages of the Withdrawal Agreement. “This is a worse capitulation than we feared” said one. They tell me there will be enough letters.

slightly amazed we have conceded this. 

This is what we have to work with. 

European Commission have published a fact sheet on the backstop. Spells out what checks will need to take place on trade between Britain and Northern Ireland. 

Lots of drama in Cabinet as they discussed what one member called the ‘ugly sister’ deal. More on soon, including how Hunt and Raab urged May to go back and get more from Brussels & 2 ministers said they wouldn’t vote for No Deal.

Am told Esther McVey’s push for a vote went on for several minutes. Cabinet colleagues think she is almost sure to go.

Thing that would worry me most if I was Number 10 is that both Hunt and Raab urged May to go back to Brussels and get more.

Sounds like a classic Geoffrey Cox contribution at Cabinet today.

In another sign of how this is a world turned upside down, it was David Lidington who made the argument for getting out now and fixing Brexit later. 

Spectator.

CABINET: Penny repeated plea for free vote, and colleagues think Esther McVey may be “on the brink”. Pension Secretary demanded a minuted vote of who was against the deal. Got “very emotional” when PM rebuffed her, some sources say “aggressive”. Deets:

The Sun.

We’ve done an account of today’s cabinet meeting. Unlike others we haven’t tweeted the details. The Times..

Tomorrow’s Daily Telegraph is an absolute cracker with an incendiary piece from Nick Timothy, Theresa May’s former chief of staff. ‘This is capitulation. The Commission knows it has won hands down’  The  Telegraph

“Theresa May is finished” Former David Davis aide Stewart Jackson predicts the 48 letters needed to trigger a no confidence vote will be received by next week.

 

BREXIT NEWS FOR TUESDAY 13TH NOVEMBER 2018

Tuesday 13th November 2018

BIG NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS

Today PM May has announced a technical deal with the EU. Details not yet available to anyone other than May and her circle, but leaks appearing from RTE in Ireland. Massive opposition and dissatisfaction from Boris Johnson, ERG and the DUP as well as many many others.  A feeling by many people of betrayal and surrender by Theresa May. Cabinet Meeting tomorrow at 2pm.  Is this the beginning of the UK as a vassal state or could it be the start of the end of Theresa May. ? Is this the end of the UK dream to make independent trade deals? Time will tell.

Non-resignation watch: Andrea Leadsom “had a good discussion with the PM and will be at cabinet for further conversations with colleagues tomorrow”

The ConservativeHome website says Raab, Cox, Gove, Fox, Mordaunt and others should resign tomorrow if May persists with the deal.

Conservative Home

This is a red rag for Brexiters and DUP that you would think means the deal is DOA. NI-only backstop to the backstop essentially remains in the deal.

Understand that substance-wise draft Brexit deal has the options reported last Fri.: if by summer 2020 there is no trade deal that avoids a hard border in Northern Ireland, choice is between extending transition or customs union/level playing field/provisions for Northern Ireland.

🚨 Jacob Rees-Mogg: If true this fails to meet the Conservative party’s manifesto and the commitments the PM has made. This is the vassal state, it is a failure of the negotiations, it is a failure to deliver on Brexit, it divides up the UK. Cabinet should not support it.

ft.com

Brexit timeline:

-Technical level agreement reached –

May meets key ministers tonight,

one-on-one -Cabinet

tomorrow -EU27 ambos meet

tomorrow -TBD:

timing of possible May announcement,

EU-UK presser, when to pub docs

If all goes well, sherpas meet 21 Nov.

Brexit euco 25 Nov

The DUP, Boris, ERG preemptive strike against May’s deal shows just how hard it will be for her to get it through the Commons 

Spectator

This is the moment of truth. This is the fork in the road. Do we pursue a future as an independent nation or accept EU domination, imprisonment in the customs union and 2nd class status. Cabinet and all Conservative MPs should stand up, be counted and say no to this capitulation.

Forget all the noise and focus on the big picture. PM is going to recommend daylight robbery: paying £39bn for nothing in return; effectively handcuffing us to the Single Market and chaining us to the Customs Union forever. It is the worst deal in history. Cabinet must reject it.

Boris Johnson tells that PM’s deal is “a chronicle of a death foretold” and “vassal state stuff”, as UK will be staying in large parts of the single market and a customs union. “Am I going to vote against it? The answer is yes”.

This was Dominic Raab on his way out of his briefing with Theresa May about her Brexit deal. Great pic from

“It’s vassal state stuff”- former foreign secretary Boris Johnson says he will vote against draft agreement More:

Senior Tory warns – ‘today the Commons showed the Govt has no majority for the PM’s Brexit policy. If the PM tries to impose BRINO on the parliament she will break both the govt and the party.

There may be provisions relating to Northern Ireland within the text and within annexes to take account of a scenario whereby the UK-wide customs arrangement does not sufficiently avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, understands

A review mechanism is understood to be part of the text.

It’s understood there is one overall backstop to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. It will be in the form of a UK-wide customs arrangement, but will have “deeper” provisions for Northern Ireland on the customs and regulatory side.

Sources saying the original backstop wording “unless and until…”- which crosses DUP and ERG red lines, lives on in the withdrawal text…Irish have been consistently saying it had to.

This is how the EU backstop will work, I have learned. It is the “swimming pool” model – GB in shallow end, Northern Ireland in deep end. will get it through her cabinet. I am pretty sure DUP and Tory Brexiters will hate it.

On the controversial – some would say “life or death” – question of how to keep open the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the backstop, this is what I am told has been agreed.

It is what’s described in Brussels as the “swimming pool” approach – in other words it has a shallow end and a deep end, when it comes to measures aimed at making sure trade is completely frictionless between NI and the ROI, and fairly frictionless between Great Britain and the EU27.

GB would be in the shallow end, NI in the deep.

Or to be more precise, the whole of the UK would stay in the customs union if a long-term trading relationship between the UK and EU isn’t negotiated and implemented by the end of 2020 – which no one (with the possible exception of the PM) expects it to be.

In fact most EU politicians expect the backstop to be the reality of our trading relationship with the EU for many years.

But – and this is reassuring for May, and perhaps for most in the Cabinet – EU leaders don’t really like this version of the backstop, which is largely May’s preferred model of how to keep open that border in Ireland (in that sense it can be seen as a victory for her in the negotiations).

So there will be an option after the UK leaves the EU next March, during the 21 month transition period, to negotiate some other arrangement that would have the same effect as the backstop (and yes I know this is confusing – but probably what mostly matters is that only the backstop will be legally binding, and that is what will upset many of her MPs).

But in addition to being in the customs union, Northern Ireland would also remain in much of the single market, that part of it pertaining to goods: Northern Ireland alone would be forced to follow all EU directive and laws in relation to goods flowing back and forth between NI and the ROI.

Now that will infuriate the DUP, whose 10 MPs sustain Theresa May and the Conservative Party, because they will see it as doing what they say the PM promised never to do, namely introduce a new border between GB and NI in the middle of the Irish Sea; it would, they fear, increase the danger of a fragmentation of the nations of the UK.

The EU will work hard to reassure Northern Ireland’s unionist politicians that there would not be a border in the Irish Sea in any meaningful sense.

But this aspect of the backstop – the deep end for Northern Ireland – could well undermine the agreement between the DUP and the Conservative Party for the DUP to back all important government legislation, and possibly wreck it, throwing into jeopardy the PM’s ability to govern.

And if the DUP votes with Labour and hardcore Tory Brexiters AND hardcore Tory Remainers against her Brexit deal – which is an anti-May coalition I anticipate – the PM would lose the “meaningful vote” on the deal by a large margin.

The point is that many of May’s Brexiter MPs will hate that GB even in the shallow end will be forced to follow EU rules on competition, the environment, goods standards and employee protection – because the EU is insisting that if the UK derives the benefit of being in the customs union, it has to compete on a “level playing” field. And for as long as the UK is in that customs union, it will be prohibited from doing trade deals with non EU countries.

Many Remainers share the Brexiters’ concern that May’s version of Brexit would see the UK as a relatively powerless taker of EU rules.

As I write, I do not know whether the PM will get this proposal through her Cabinet. But even if she does, I have literally no idea how she would get it through parliament.

For the avoidance of doubt, what’s finally been negotiated is much less toxic to May than the EU’s original proposal of Northern Ireland alone remaining in the customs union and the single market. But it will still upset many of the MPs who sustain her in power.

To state the obvious, much will hinge on how and whether the UK could get out of the backstop – about which we will presumably learn all tomorrow.

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Attorney general Geoffrey Cox has told colleagues the backstop deal is ‘mutually uncomfortable’ but there is independent arbitration. That does not sound like the unilateral break clause ministers demanded.

Jeremy Corbyn on the Brexit draft agreement.  

That’s why EU governments want level playing field and regulatory alignment written into withdrawal agreement because it won’t be a legal commitment to have a customs union later but one that’s up and running now.

That’s why EU governments want level playing field and regulatory alignment written into withdrawal agreement because it won’t be a legal commitment to have a customs union later but one that’s up and running now.

That’s why the July 2020 to rendez-vous is important. Joint committee will decide if trade talks will supercede Irish border, or to extend transition because that prospect is close. The most likely option, the custom union is already done, “fully operational”.

Weyand told Coreper ambos last Friday that “customs union will be fully operational in the withdrawal agreement” “Fully operational” – so no need for a customs treaty in transition, or a guarantee of one.

Just a thought and informed guess: I think the backstop to the backstop has gone More in due course.

What’s in the Brexit text? Sounds like UK will not sign up to “dynamic realignment” across range of areas as France had pushed for. Instead will Brits commit to following EU rule book in areas like state aid. Others like environment or taxation will be softer “non-regression”.

Tentatively encouraging news: it seems tomorrow’s EU27 ambassadors meeting in Brussels has been provisionally changed to discuss “state of play” in Brexit at 3pm rather than original “no deal preparedness”.

It’s finally coming. After sitting on publication, college of EU commissioners in Strasbourg today will approve its minimalist no deal contingency plans. Publication date has yet to be decided. Today would be a hostile move – has seen the text

EU diplomats had expected commission’s no deal planning – which is run by Martin Selmayr – to be watered down but document to be adopted by college lays out minimal, temporary measures (until end of 2019) with almost nothing on emergency customs, road travel, food exports

BREXIT NEWS FOR MONDAY 12TH NOVEMBER 2018

Monday 12th November 2018.

A quiet day on the Brexit Broadwalk. A second Cabinet Cinister comes out in two days to declare that the Cabinet will act as a check upon PM May´s plans. The EU/UK Negotiators have been meeting all day. There is no deal in sight yet, although the draft Withdrawal Agreement is now 400 pages plus long,apparently. Senior ministers are telling May to prepare for a no Deal Brexit. Also, Robert Peston on Twitter is worth reading today for his incisive comments. BREAKING. Pizza Club of Brexiters hold meeting tonight to discuss tactics ahead of tomorrow´s Cabinet meeting.

As expected, Labour will use a debate tomorrow to try to force a vote in Commons that would make the govt publish the legal advice on the troubled backstop proposal – with Brexiteers and DUP on board hard to see how ministers avoid having to accept in the end.

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“Up until last week, I was thinking she probably could and would” Grant Shapps on Theresa May’s political survival through Brexit talks.

What happens if negotiators cannot do deal on Irish backstop “exit” mechanism? Then the EU may find itself with tough choice – between no deal, and a deal that gives them everything (€€€, citizens’ rights, security) BUT Ireland. My latest. The Telegraph

The fact that cabinet ministers are briefing the BBC that they didn’t much like the Chequers plan in July (but signed it off and have sat in the cabinet for four months since that meeting) might give a clue to how much backbone they are likely to have in the days ahead.

. have changed our first opposition day motion tomorrow to force a binding vote in the HoC demanding that the Government’s legal advice on the withdrawal agreement – including the Irish backstop – is published once any Brexit deal is ready to be put to Parliament.

There is now no chance of a deal on withdrawal from the EU being put to cabinet tomorrow, even if there is agreement on the outstanding backstop issues overnight. The reason is knows she has to give her ministers at least one night to assess the detail.of any agreement.

So the earliest a cabinet could meet to ratify the deal, or throw it out, or ratify with some ministers quitting, is Wednesday. And Wednesday morning is problematic because no PM wants a cabinet before PMQs.

So Cabinet agreement on the terms of withdrawal from the EU, including the contentious question of how to keep open the border between NI and ROI, is turning into a moveable feast that never actually happens. There is a growing risk, as I’ve been saying, that no-deal preparations have to be massively ramped up.

🔵 no agreement this week = big❓over November summit = “more and more difficult time-wise”  political situation in UK = “difficult, fragile”

🔵 Parliament to vote on changes to statute in January

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🇪🇺🇬🇧 This evening Committee Chair, , reports back on the main developments of the negotiations. 🎥 Watch it LIVE from 7.30pm GMT:

Exclusive: Pizza club is BACK. Ministers concerned about customs backstop are tonight gathering for drinks at Liam Fox’s office ahead of tomorrow’s Cabinet Those present include Dom Raab, Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom, Penny Mordaunt and Geoffrey Cox. Telegraph

Senior Cabinet ministers including Raab, Leadsom and Fox are saying that no-deal is better than bowing to the EU’s demands over backstop I’m told talks in Brussels broke down at 2.45am after Olly Robbins told Sabine Weyland PM could ‘not go back to Cabinet’ with proposed deal.

The proposed Brexit deal IS NOT on the agenda for Cabinet tomorrow. Instead ministers will have a discussion about ‘soft power’ Dom Raab is updating minister on no deal preparations, however, which should give Eurosceptics space to make their points.

  retwitted

No Deal-Plus increasingly becoming most likely outcome, writes Brian Monteith. Scotsman.

Former ERG deputy chair Michael Tomlinson joins Dexeu as Raab’s PPS. He has been very vocal about leaving the customs union and striking trade deals… not happening any time soon under current No10 plan.   

NEW: Senior ministers led by Dominic Raab tell Theresa May no deal is preferable to the current offer from the EU.   

Buzzfeed

BREXIT NEWS FOR SUNDAY 11TH NOVEMBER 2018

Armistice Day. Sunday 11th November 2018.

One hundred years ago today cessation of The First World War was announced to a jubilant population. Today there were moving ceremonies at the Cenotaph and at churches and cathedrals throughout the United Kingdom. In addition there were moving sand sculptures of the faces of  WW1 Soldiers created along many beaches throughout the land.

Thank you

Armistice Day commemorations in Mons 

Centenary of the armistice – cartoon  

Simply breathtaking – Danny Boyle remembrance day display takes place on Murlough Beach at the foot of the Mournes in Newcastle Co.Down –

Belfast Telegraph

Sadly there is no jubilation today about Brexit, but a grim foreboding of what might be to come.. This morning the Education Secretary was sent out onto Marr on Sunday to put the Theresa May line, whilst Minister Andrea Leadsom spoke to the contrary. Robert Peston has crafted an analysis of the situation today, whilst The Telegraph contains an interesting Legal Opinion from a QC about how to solve the current outstanding problems. Meanwhile Theresa May is warned that there could be other ministerial resignations. Ans still there is no deal agreed yet, despite the EU and UK officials holding talks in Brussels throughout the weekend.  BREAKING This evening there is a big story from Boris Johnson in tomorrow´s Daily Telegraph.Boris Johnson warns Theresa May’s Brexit plans will keep UK in ‘captivity’ as he says Cabinet should stage a mutiny. Read about it below.

The problem with Brexit is not Theresa May. The problem with Brexit is Brexit. .A bad Brexit will not be as terrible as the Suez crisis. It will be far worse.         The Guardian.com

Surprises me, reading papers, that Cabinet is surprised that the EU side has rejected “arbitration panels

For those wanting to know why the Prime Minister’s A50 Northern Ireland backstop proposals are badly flawed read this expert opinion via my FB page:

NOW OR NEVER: May told ‘stop BEGGING’ as Brexit talks enter DANGEROUS STAGE  

Priti Patel.  The Daily Express

offers No.10 a lifeline: “Until the end of 2020, both sides would maintain a standstill with zero tariffs & no additional barriers, giving time for the activation of Canada+++. In return, the UK would make a payment of £20b” 

Jacob Rees-Mogg. The Daily Mail

My piece with Iain Duncan Smith on how existing technical and administrative processes can ensure frictionless borders are maintained after Brexit, not as a cobbled-together “backstop” but as a long-term arrangeme  

Owen Paterson MP and Iain Duncan-Smith MP  . The Times

BREXIT NEWS FOR SATURDAY 10TH NOVEMBER 2018

Saturday 10th November 2018

Brexit News Today is all about the possible fallout from the resignation of Jo Johnson, and its consquences, while negotiators are still locked in “the Tunnel” according to Alberto Nadelli. Peter Foster of the Telegraph has published an interesting timetable of Brexit Today. Robert Peston has sombre words about Brexit on Facebook. However, the good news is that some Cabinet Leavers have prepared an alternative No Deal scheme, as a way of resolving the impasse. Watch this space!

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Brexit latest: EU27 diplomats were told today that EU and UK negotiators are exploring a backstop architecture that sets out three options to review in July 2020. The three options: 1) The backstop becomes superfluous because a hard border will have been avoided through a trade deal 2) The transition period is extended 3) The backstop is activated, and the UK enters into a customs union with the EU

Upshot of Jo Johnson’s resignation: ‘no deal’ is more likely. It’s currently the default, MPs need to agree on something to replace it. If moderate Remainers like JoJo join Soubryites in voting down May’s plan (as do 50+ members of BoJo StandUp4Brexit crew) default kicks in

BREXIT NEWS FOR FRIDAY 9TH NOVEMBER 2018

Friday 9th November 2018

A controversial leaked letter from PM Theresa May in the morning press and the resignation of Jo Johnson, Minister of Transport and Minister for London, in the afternoon has led to a busy day on the media. Plus excellent Podcasts from The Spectator and The Telegraph

 

Times exc Here are (long) extracts of The leaked letter from Theresa May to Arlene Foster and Nigel Dodds. The Times

  1. 1. But reason DUP are worried is it implies May is poised to accept an arrangement that would tie NI more closely to the EU than GB – backed up by Cabinet source who told me No 10 solution inc arrangement like ‘customs partnership’ for GB and ‘customs union’ for NI
    2. This is NOT what No 10 is saying right now – they say PM would never accept arrangements that hive off NI and negotiations still ongoing
    3. But the letter raises the possibility of ‘specific alignment solutions’ for NI – so potentially different regimes on the two sides of the Irish Sea – that’s why DUP are so cross – remember PM needs their votes desperately

    4. If it’s enrage the DUP or lose the chance of the withdrawal deal – what does the PM do? Recent conversations with senior sources suggest it might be the former – (and increasing checks have been on table for ages) but high, high stakes

Am hugely proud of my honourable and principled brother Jo who has put the interests of the country ahead of his political career.

I very much doubt Jo will be the last Remainer to resign from the Govt to vote for a 2nd referendum. At least four others in the mid ranks have been on the verge for several months.

Jo Johnson: May’s backstop would offer “a boundless transition period… a con on the British people”

Boundless admiration as ever for my brother Jo. We may not have agreed about brexit but we are united in dismay at the intellectually and politically indefensible of the UK position 1/2

Will Jo Johnson’s exit shift Brexit balance? – BBC News

Jo Johnson’s damning criticism of May’s deal “When we were told Brexit meant taking back powers for Parliament, no one told my constituents this meant the French & the German parliament …The proposals will see us out of Europe, yet run by Europe.”

Apparently Sabine Weyand has briefed Coreper 27 that no progress has been made on the backstop because of political difficulties in U.K. Might square with your take on NI Customs territory. Also fish LPF issues plus exit mechanism?

Michel Barnier’s deputy Sabine Weyand tonight briefed EU ambassadors that there has been no significant progress on the Irish border – the last remaining issue in the talks – due to political deadlock in London.

So just how calamitous would a no-deal Brexit be? The transport minister involved in planning it – who resigned today – says this

JoJo story by and me. NEW: Dominic Grieve on prospect of other ministers resigning: “I know there are many other people who are troubled by what has been happening and have come to same analysis that … Jo’s come to.

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Podcast: Jo Johnson resigns and calls for a second referendum. What happens next? As usual, Coffee House Shots has the latest. Here. 

  retwitted

Sorry to see resign. He’s right that the Government’s current proposals are “a travesty of Brexit” and represent a huge democratic deficit – out of Europe but run by Europe. However, a 2nd referendum is not the way forward and is not supported by the public.

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The latest épisode of  with features Housing Minister and self-confessed ‘relaxed Brexiteer’ with his positive take on how Brexit is going and what it means for the UK housing market. Listen here:.

BREXIT NEWS FOR THURSDAY 8TH NOVEMBER 2018

Thursday 8th November 2018

No big news on Brexit today, other than rumours that PM Theresa May will try to finalise her deal with the Cabinet next week over the backstop. Much opposition from Brexiters who see the proposals as worse than no deal, ie the UK will more than likely end up after the end of the transition period in an indefinite customs union with the EU, paying moneys, unable to negotiate proper free trade deals, full free movement of EU citizens and having no say in the rules. It was pointed out today that Turkey has been in a “temporary”customs union with the EU since 1992. Much criticism of Theresa May and her Cabinet today for their complete lack of negotiating skills and weakness and failure to stand up to the EU. Many will be asking what on earth was the point of Brexit if the UK( under this Government) is unable to leave the EU.

A fine summary. But remember the Cabinet eagerly signed off everything May did, every painful step of the way. A collective and epic failure of Government.

The challenge for May is to make sure that the backstop doesn’t turn out to be worse than no deal at all

Brexit is served – and neither option is palatable | The Spectator

When the Lisbon Treaty was signed in 2007, the inclusion of Article 50 was hailed as a concession to British Eurosceptics. For the first time there wa…

spectator.co.uk

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Liam Fox: UK must have ability to end “backstop” arrangement after

Minister Liam Fox says the UK must have the ability to end any post-Brexit "backstop" arrangement.

Fox: UK must be able to end backstop

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox says the UK must have the ability to end any post-Brexit “backstop” arrangement.

bbc.co.uk

David Davis says it is “looking like a probability” that May’s Brexit deal will fail in Parliament.

  retwitted

Don’t think there is a single Leave voter or MP who could read this by and not conclude the government has completely ruined what they thought they were voting for,

 retwitted

The Cabinet and Parliament must be able to make a fully informed decision on any future relationship with the EU. Earlier, on , I reiterated the need for the Government to release the full legal advice provided by the Attorney General.

  retwitted

On this week’s (coming tomorrow), joins at the Red Lion pub (the scene of his post-resignation shandy) to discuss a ‘no-deal’ Brexit and why MPs should be given full legal advice on Theresa May’s Brexit deal. Watch this space.

Grim reading. The ineptitude and feebleness of our negotiators make Barnier look like Talleyrand. Why did we accept the EU’s legal text of last December’s agreement as holy writ? Where was ours? It’s Negotiation 101.

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The inadequacies of our political and civil service elite are impossible to ignore. Radical, sweeping changes in Westminster and Whitehall are due. ⁦

Austrian newspaper reports EU officials in Helsinki expect a Brexit deal to be agreed ‘in the next few days’. It says Donald Tusk is expected to convene a special November summit on the 25th.

 

 

BREXIT NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY 7TH NOVEMBER 2018

Wednesday 7th November 2018

Today has been a day of rumours and rumours. Concern about the Backstop continues with Government backbenchers as well as the Opposition wanting full sight of the Legal Advice given to PM Theresa May by Geoffrey Cox , the Attorney-General.

It may be there will be a Cabinet meeting to discuss the Backstop tomorrow, but this cannot be confirmed.

BREXIT LATEST: Cabinet ministers are being invited to read the full text of the Withdrawal Agreement in private — but it doesn’t yet include the crucial Irish border backstop.   Bloomberg.com

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Arriving in Brussels, said the government should voluntarily publish its legal advice on the Irish backstop and if they didn’t then Labour would consider mechanisms to compel them. Although he didn’t specify which .

Times / Brexit live It doesn’t sound like No10 intend to share the most contentious elements of the Withdrawal Agreement – the text of the NI backtop – with cabinet ministers today

UK goods exports to the 11 fellow founding members of the Single Market have grown between 1993-2015 at just 1% pa. Over the same period, UK goods exports to the 111 countries with which it trades under rules have grown at 2.88% pa, nearly three times faster.

BREXIT NEWS FOR TUESDAY 6TH NOVEMBER 2018

Tuesday 6th November 2018.

Brexit Headlines today include Reports of the Cabinet Meeting about the Backstop, M Barnier´s Comments, and a purported leak of UK Media plan to publicize and gain support for the Brexit Deal, although the legitimacy of this has been denied by the Government.

Twitter has the best Brexit News on these topics today

  1. 4. In short term, ministers told be ready for another Cabinet meeting, maybe even at end of this week, because there might be enough movement by then to push button on a deal

  2. 3. Some ministers did urge PM to be hardline on need for limit to backstop +ability for UK to get out of it on its own, but s no big confrontation – ministers were presented a paper that set out difference btw November deal or waiting til December – it was confiscated at the end

  3. 2. Geoffrey Cox, the Attorney General, said there as a spectrum of what was possible for mechanism for escaping the backstop – ie not being trapped in neither in nor out limbo for ever – ministers say he softened his position from last week which has made a difference

  4. Lots more on today’s cabinet later on but a quick thread of what was discussed 1. Cabinet agreed horror of missing a November deal deadline – not impossible but deeply undesirable

    Stand by for a cabinet meeting on Friday, maybe, to “push button” on a deal, Cabinet told. Sounds wildly optimistic given briefings by Team Barnier to and others. Clear signals, it seems, that TF50 not that keen in a rush job.

     The Huffington Post has the disputed story of the proposed PR Plan to sell the Brexit Deal to the UK.

    Without any apparent irony, Michel Barnier has just said: “Backstop means backstop”. Brexit has truly begun to eat itself.

    1. Just imagine if the Tories go into the next general election with the UK still in the customs union – with the EU setting our tariffs and other trade barriers with 3rd countries – and with no unilateral right ever to be free of it. I almost pity Tory campaigners out on the door

    2.   retwitted

      Remaining in a customs union beyond 2020 would be unacceptable to many Conservative MPs – and here’s why, writes (former Trade Minister; voted to Remain, which makes his critique all the more powerful) This story is in Conservative Home

 

BREXIT NEWS FOR MONDAY 5TH NOVEMBER 2018

Monday 5th November

“We want to see that commitment honoured. I believe PM May is approaching this issue in good faith, but in order for that commitment to be honoured, the government and the European Union need to see a backstop in place that can cater for changes that might happen in the future.”

Dr Liam Fox at the First International Trade Dinner held in the City of London on 17th October 2018

  1. Concluding his speech at the International Trade dinner emphasises the “once in a generation chance to shape a better future for our own people and realise the highest ambitions of our businesses.” Have your say on prospective free trade deals 👉

    0:27
    214 views
  2. 90% of global growth in the next five years is predicted to come from outside of the EU. explains how 🇬🇧‘s exports reflect this global trend 👇

  3. Speaking to business leaders, reiterates our ambition to increase exports from 30% to 35% of GDP – putting us toward the top of the G7. 📖 Read the export strategy in full 👉

  4. .: “Government has a role to play in facilitating enterprise – creating the optimum conditions for our businesses to succeed and thrive. And thrive they have.” 👇

  5. 👉 Economic dividend: : “Fiscal balance is not solely about whether to raise taxes/cut spending – it’s also about how to generate more revenue by growing the economy domestically and selling more of our goods & services abroad.”

  6. 👉 The security dividend: ⚖️ Prosperity underpins social cohesion 👫 Social cohesion underpins political stability 👨‍👨‍👧‍👦 Political stability is the building block of our collective security

  7. 👉 The human dividend of free trade : “At a fundamental level, free & open trade allows people to improve their own lives, allowing the individual to access global opportunities. It delivers employment, goods and services, often where they are needed most.”

  8. . is speaking at the inaugural International Trade dinner at Mansion House. He outlines the positive effects of free trade – the trade dividend: 👉 the human dividend 👉 the security dividend 👉 the economic dividend

  9. Putting finishing touches on my speech ahead of international trade dinner at Mansion House – I’ll address business leaders on the benefits of the Trade Dividend

  10. Delighted to welcome to Mansion House for the first International Trade Dinner. Huge opportunities for the UK to strengthen links across the globe.

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 113 on Taking horses abroad if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

This notice explains the actions those involved in moving horses and other equines from the UK to countries within the EU, for example for racing, competition or breeding, would need to consider if the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 without a deal.

Before 29 March 2019

The movement of horses and other equines between the UK and other EU countries is subject to EU rules, mostly detailed in Council Directive 2009/156/EC and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/262. These govern the movement and import of equines and establish guidelines for equine identification.

They require, in general terms, that equines travel with two documents: an ID document (passport) which also includes details of their health status; and either an Intra-Community Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) or a veterinary attestation. These documents confirm fitness to travel and absence of disease. Which of the two additional documents are required depends on the purpose of the movement and perceived health risk associated with that equine type (for example racing, competition, or breeding). It is currently not necessary for equines moving between member states to do so via a Border Inspection Post (BIP).

Under a separate Tripartite Agreement (TPA), movements of certain types of horse between the UK, Ireland and France are further streamlined. For movements between the UK and Ireland, only an ID document is required. For movements between the UK and France, an ID document and commercial document (DOCOM), along with an entry on the TRACES system, is required. There is no requirement for the equines to move between member states via a BIP.

In the UK, equine ID documents (passports) are produced by private bodies, known as passport issuing organisations (PIOs), which can include breed societies. Applications for ITAHCs are made to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and the certificate is then completed by an authorised Official Veterinarian (OV). OVs also produce the veterinary attestation, where required. APHA provides this service in England, Scotland and Wales. In Northern Ireland the Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs’ Veterinary Service is responsible. This would continue to be the case in a ‘no deal’ scenario, with the changes outlined in this technical notice accommodated for.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no deal in place, the UK would be treated as a ‘third country’ and therefore any movement of equines to countries within the EU would be subject to EU third country rules. In order to travel from the UK as a listed third country, a horse or other equine would need an appropriate ID document and appropriate health documentation. These are mostly contained in Council Directive 2009/156/EC, Council Directive 91/496/EEC (the latter covering veterinary checks applied to imports) and Commission Implementing Regulations 2015/262 and 2018/659 (covering conditions applied to all EU equine imports).

We are seeking discussions with the European Commission to allow the UK to become a listed third country on the day we leave the EU. However, to allow effective contingency planning, in the event that the UK is not a listed country equine movement to the EU could not take place. We are confident however, that the UK meets the animal health requirements to secure listing, as other countries such as Australia and New Zealand have done.

The import of equines from the EU into the UK will not change immediately after exit as we are replicating current systems.

ID document

Equine ID (passports), issued by industry, would continue to be used in the UK, as they contain information relating to identification and veterinary procedures undertaken that could help to maintain a robust national equine health and traceability regime.

These industry-issued passports would continue to be valid for EU travel for horses registered either on a studbook or pedigree register; or with a national branch of an international organisation for racing or competition.

All other horses and equines travelling from the UK to the EU would have to travel with a new government-issued ID document which is expected to contain very similar information to that in existing passports. This is a requirement of the EU in relation to movements from third countries.

Export certification

As the UK would be a third country, an Export Health Certificate (EHC) would be required to move equines, on a permanent or temporary basis, to the EU.

The EU currently imposes additional requirements on third countries dependant on their perceived level of disease risk. The UK could expect to be subject to fewer additional requirements in a ‘no deal’ scenario, given its current low disease risk profile, meaning a less burdensome process for certification.

However, EU certification would require additional action from vets to confirm the absence of equine disease. This new process would require more planning from the equine owner and could involve increased cost if additional blood tests are required, estimated to be between £200 and £500 depending on the third country category the UK is placed in after leaving the EU.

The Export Health Certificate (EHC) would replace the veterinary attestation or Intra-Community Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) currently required. In addition, equines entering the EU from the UK would have to pass through a Border Inspection Post (BIP) in an EU member state.

Tripartite Agreement

The Tripartite Agreement would no longer be valid if the UK leaves the EU with no agreement, as it operates as a derogation to current EU rules and only named EU member states are eligible to use it.

Implications

In the event of a ‘no deal’, those wishing to move equines from the UK to countries within the EU would need to:

  • apply to the APHA in GB or the Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs’ Veterinary Service in Northern Ireland both for the new export certification required by the EU; and
  • if their horse is not registered either on a studbook or pedigree register or with a national branch of an international organisation for racing or competition, apply for a new government-issued ID document.

An Official Vet (OV) could deal with the veterinary elements of both of these in a single visit. This process is the same as that currently in place for the production of Intra-Community Trade Animal Health Certificates (ITAHCs). Consequently, it is not anticipated that significant additional time would be needed to produce the required documentation, although additional veterinary time to complete the necessary blood tests will need to be factored in.

Training packages for operational staff and OVs across the UK would be updated to reflect any new arrangements.

More information

If you are involved in exporting horses and other equines to the EU we recommend you also refer to the technical notice on Exporting animals and animal products if there’s no Brexit deal.

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

 

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 112 on Sanctions policy if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

This notice explains how the UK would implement sanctions if the UK leaves without a deal.

Sanctions, often known in the EU as “restrictive measures” are a foreign policy and national security tool which impose immigration, trade, financial and transport restrictions. We use sanctions to fulfil a range of purposes, including as part of our efforts to maintain international peace and security, and to prevent terrorism.

The UK and other countries and international organisations implement sanctions through sanctions regimes. A sanctions regime is a collection of sanctions targeted for a specific country or group, or with a specific purpose. The most frequently applied measures within sanctions regimes include:

  • trade sanctions: controls on the import, export and movement of goods, the provision and supply of services and the involvement of UK people in those activities
  • banning the travel of specific people
  • financial sanctions, including freezing the financial assets of specific people

Before 29 March 2019

At present, we are legally required to implement and enforce sanctions regimes agreed by the UN Security Council and, as a member of the EU, by the EU.

The detail of sanctions regimes are set out in EU law, in European Council Decisions and Regulations. The UK implements sanctions through EU Regulations and associated UK domestic legislation, such as the Export Control Order 2008 and the Immigration Act 1971.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

As international law requires, we will implement UN sanctions in UK domestic law after the UK leaves the EU.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, we will look to carry over all EU sanctions at the time of our departure. We will implement sanctions regimes through new legislation, in the form of regulations, made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (the Sanctions Act). The Act will provide the legal basis for the UK to impose, update and lift sanctions after leaving the EU.

We propose to put much of this legislation before Parliament before March 2019, to prepare for the possibility of the UK leaving the EU without a deal. Any sanctions regimes that we did not address, through regulations under the Sanctions Act by March 2019, would continue as retained EU law under the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018. This means there will be no gaps in implementing existing sanctions regimes.

We expect that the UK’s sanctions regulations will include:

  • the purposes of the sanctions regime (what the UK hopes will be achieved through imposing sanctions)
  • the criteria to be met before sanctions can be imposed on a person or group
  • details of sanctions, such as trade and financial sanctions
  • details of exemptions that may apply, such as exemptions which allow people to trade with a certain country that would otherwise be prohibited by the regulations
  • how we will enforce the sanctions measures
  • other areas, such as circumstances in which information about sanctions may be shared

We would publish the names of sanctioned persons or organisations. Regulations would be published as normal.

After the UK leaves the EU, in addition to implementing UN sanctions, and looking to carry over existing EU sanctions, we will also have the powers to adopt other sanctions under the Sanctions Act. We will work with the EU and other international partners on sanctions where this is in our mutual interest.

What you would need to do

UK sanctions measures can apply to action taken by any person in the UK (or its territorial waters, and to action taken by a UK person anywhere else. A UK person includes both UK nationals and companies incorporated in the UK.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, if you are affected by UK sanctions you should refer to the Sanctions Act and the UK regulations made under it.

If we have not yet made regulations for the sanctions regime in question, you should refer to any EU Council Regulations retained under the EU Withdrawal Act 2018, which may be modified under that Act.

You should not assume that all aspects of existing EU sanctions will be replicated exactly. Check new legislation and ensure you comply with its requirements, and check future guidance when we publish it.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, we will publish further guidance on sanctions. If you are seeking information about licences or exemptions from sanctions, contact the Office for Financial Sanctions Implementation and the Export Control Joint Unit. If you are undertaking activity which is currently exempt from EU sanctions, you should check UK sanctions regulations to see whether they contain relevant exemptions to cover that activity.

More information

Over the coming months, we will contact and engage with key stakeholders, including those who implement sanctions, to outline and discuss our future approach to sanctions.

For guidance on export controls and trade sanctions, view the Export Control Joint Unit, email: eco.help@trade.gov.uk or call the helpline +44 207 215 4594.

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 111 on Trading electricity if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it is our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until the UK can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a ‘no deal’ scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

The government is engaging with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

This notice informs industry participants and other stakeholders about changes to the cross-border trading and supply of electricity in the event that the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no agreement in place.

Before 29 March 2019

The UK’s electricity markets are currently integrated (‘coupled’) into those of the EU, with common rules governing their operation. Significant cross-border flows of electricity take place between continental Europe and Great Britain; between Great Britain and the island of Ireland; and between Northern Ireland and Ireland. These flows, and the domestic markets, are currently governed through EU legislation relevant to the functioning of the EU’s Internal Energy Market.

The Northern Ireland electricity market is separate from Great Britain and different considerations apply. Northern Ireland shares a wholesale electricity market with Ireland, the all-Ireland Single Electricity Market, an example of North-South cooperation that has benefited consumers and the economies of Northern Ireland and Ireland.

The Single Electricity Market involves significant cross-border flows of power between Ireland and Northern Ireland and operates within the framework of common EU rules on electricity markets. Reforms to maximise efficiencies and bring the Single Electricity Market in line with the requirements of the EU’s Third Energy Package came into effect on 1 October 2018. Negotiators have already made good progress on a legal provision to underpin the Single Electricity Market in the Withdrawal Agreement and the UK will work with Ireland and the EU to ensure that the Single Electricity Market is maintained in any future economic partnership.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

European energy law will no longer apply to the UK and the UK’s electricity markets will be decoupled from the Internal Energy Market.

Cross-border flows across electricity interconnectors will no longer be governed by EU legislation which provides for efficient trade and cross-border cooperation in operating the electricity system. Without these arrangements, alternative trading arrangements will need to be developed. This will need to involve regulators in the UK and EU approving new access rules, which set the terms and conditions for this trade. There are no plans to change either the domestic approval process or the requirements for access rules in the UK. The government and Ofgem are already working with interconnectors to ensure new access rules are approved in Great Britain and are providing support to interconnectors engaging with EU Member State authorities.

The EU’s Regulation on Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT) prohibits insider trading and energy market manipulation and makes provision for monitoring of the market by regulators. Market participants will need to register with an EU regulatory authority to avoid a disruption to cross-border trade, trade within EU wholesale energy markets, or trade within the Single Electricity Market.  The majority of the existing Regulation on Energy Market Integrity and Transparency regime will be maintained domestically with minimal changes. Market participants will need to make use of the alternative arrangements developed for purchase and sale of power cross-border.

The government will lay statutory instruments to ensure the UK’s energy laws continue to work on day one of exit in a ‘no deal’ scenario.

It is likely that changes will be required to domestic industry codes (the technical rules of the domestic electricity system) and licences. More information on these changes and how the process will be managed will be provided by Ofgem for Great Britain and by the Utility Regulator for Northern Ireland. In Great Britain, government has worked with Ofgem and National Grid to ensure existing measures are in place to deliver continuity of supply. Consumers need to take no action, but trade on interconnectors will be less efficient.

The EU rules will cease to apply in Northern Ireland leaving key elements of the Single Electricity Market – trading with Great Britain and cross-border governance arrangements – without any legal basis. Given the benefits to consumers and the economy of the more efficient, shared market, it is strongly in the interests of all parties to agree to a means to avoid the split of the market. Recognising this, the government will therefore take all possible measures to maintain the Single Electricity Market. The government is keen to work with the Irish Government and European Commission to seek agreement that the Single Electricity Market will continue in any scenario, including no deal.

However, if such an agreement cannot be reached, there is a risk that the Single Electricity Market will be unable to continue, and the Northern Ireland market would become separated from that of Ireland. Separate Ireland and Northern Ireland markets will be less efficient, with potential effects for producers and consumers on both sides of the border.

If this situation arises government, the Northern Ireland Utility Regulator and SONI, the Northern Ireland Transmission System Operator, will take action to mitigate the risks in Northern Ireland. Contingency planning work is considering how best to establish a separate Northern Ireland market, if the Single Electricity Market cannot be maintained. SONI may need to rely on fall-back arrangements to ensure power is able to flow over the Great Britain-Northern Ireland interconnector, in the absence of reliable rules for cross-border trading. Government or the Northern Ireland Utility Regulator will act to seek to ensure adequate generation capacity is in place, as far as possible through a competitive procurement process involving existing generation and new generation investment alongside demand side measures.

Government will use existing, energy-related legal powers where available and maintain market operation as far possible. However, it may be necessary to seek additional powers to preserve security of supply. The government would work with industry and the Irish Government to move as quickly as possible to a settled long-term state supported by sufficient levels of generation and interconnection to deliver long term energy needs.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

Interconnectors, code administrators and UK market participants will need to carry out contingency planning for a ‘no deal’ scenario. Although it will be a matter for individual businesses to work out what steps they might need to take, the government anticipates these are likely to include:

  • Interconnector owners/operators will need to work with their stakeholders to prepare alternative trading arrangements and updated rules. These alternative trading arrangements will need to be as efficient as possible and provide each connected market with the necessary information to ensure the trades will work. In developing these, the interconnectors will need to work with their customers, regulators and other stakeholders in both connected markets. New arrangements will need to be in place for 29 March 2019.
  • Interconnector owners/operators will need to engage with the relevant EU national regulators to understand their processes for the potential reassessment of their Transmission System Operator certifications. Ofgem, and where appropriate, the Northern Ireland Utility Regulator will seek to support the interconnectors in this process. Domestically, government will retain existing Transmission System Operator certifications and will ensure that EU Exit will not create any new domestic administrative requirements in this regard. The government will also make any small changes or clarifications necessary to the Transmission System Operator certification process to make sure it continues to function efficiently post-exit.
  • The administrators of the various domestic industry codes (the technical rules of the domestic electricity system) will need to work with relevant industry parties to ensure that the codes are updated. Ofgem will lead the licence change process in Great Britain and has recently issued a document to industry outlining the process it will follow: Preparing for EU exit: licence and industry code modifications; the Utility Regulator will take similar action in Northern Ireland.
  • UK market participants will need to register under the Regulation on Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT) with an EU regulatory authority for the purposes of market monitoring to avoid a disruption to cross-border trade, trade within EU wholesale energy markets, or trade within the Single Electricity Market.
  • UK regulatory authorities will provide stakeholders with further information on the contingency requirements for domestic market monitoring later in the year.
  • In Northern Ireland, electricity market participants should continue using the Single Electricity Market processes and arrangements. However, market participants should be aware of the risk that the Single Electricity Market may not be able to continue, in which case government and the Northern Ireland Utility Regulator will take action to seek to ensure continued security of supply and market stability.
  • Market participants should engage with their Regulatory Authority where their preparations identify significant concerns. Market participants should also check the status of contracts, and licences held in EU Member States, which may be impacted by the UK’s departure from the EU.

More information

Government and regulatory authorities will continue to work closely with businesses, trade associations and stakeholders on the implications of a ‘no deal’ and communicate information and updates online.

Ofgem has issued information to industry on licence and industry code modifications: Preparing for EU exit: licence and industry code modifications

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 110 on Trading gas with the EU if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

This notice provides gas market stakeholders with an explanation of how the trading of gas with European states will operate in the unlikely event that the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no agreement in place.

Before 29 March 2019

The UK has gas interconnectors (direct pipelines) with Ireland, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

After March 2019 if there’s ‘no deal’

In a ‘no deal’ scenario, EU energy law will no longer apply to the UK, and the UK will no longer play a role in the EU organisations that support the implementation of these laws, such as the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).

However, UK domestic law relating to energy, the licences and industry codes that are used to implement these laws, will remain in place. Some changes and clarifications to the licences and industry codes may be required to ensure they remain operable.

Implications

In a ‘no deal’ scenario, the mechanisms of cross-border trade are not expected to fundamentally change. National Grid (Great Britain’s Transmission System Operator), Premier Transmission Limited (Northern Ireland’s Transmission System Operator) and the UK’s interconnector operators currently use the PRISMA gas capacity trading platform to allocate capacity at interconnection points. PRISMA is a privately-owned gas capacity trading platform that provides services for a range of EU and non-EU countries. National Grid and Premier Transmission Limited are both PRISMA shareholders and currently hold commercial contracts for PRISMA’s services; their intention is to continue using the PRISMA platform.

There will be some implications for the way gas is traded with the 27 EU Member States. These are described below.

There will be changes to access rule approval and trading arrangements. Interconnector operators’ access rules are approved by regulatory authorities both in the UK and in interconnected Member States (i.e. Ireland, the Netherlands, and Belgium). The trading of gas across EU borders under these rules is governed in part by the EU Network Code on Capacity Allocation Mechanisms, which establishes the rules for capacity allocation on interconnector pipes, and how adjacent transmission system operators should cooperate in order to facilitate capacity sales. The approval of regulatory authorities in interconnected Member States is needed in order to continue using Capacity Allocation Mechanisms Code processes.

In the UK, there are no planned changes to either trading arrangements or the approval processes or requirements for access rules. However, interconnector operators should engage with the relevant EU national regulators (in Ireland, the Netherlands, or Belgium) in good time ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU to confirm whether those countries intend to continue using the Capacity Allocation Mechanisms Code as the basis for their trading with the UK and understand any requirements for the reassessment of their access rules. Ofgem and the Utility Regulator of Northern Ireland will support the interconnectors in this process.

There will be changes to Transmission System Operator certification. The operators of UK interconnectors should engage with the Irish, Dutch or Belgian national regulators to understand whether their existing Irish, Dutch or Belgian Transmission System Operator certification – i.e. their EU law approval – will need to be reassessed and, if so, the process for this reassessment. Ofgem will seek to support interconnectors in this process.

Great Britain will retain existing Transmission System Operator certifications domestically and will minimise additional administrative requirements. The government will make any changes or clarifications necessary to the Transmission System Operator certification process to make sure it continues to operate effectively.

There will be changes to other gas network codes. Many of the EU’s gas network rules are implemented in the UK in the form of the Great Britain Unified Network Code and the Northern Ireland Network Gas Transmission Code and other industry documents. These are used by Ofgem (in Great Britain) and the Utility Regulator (in Northern Ireland) in their roles as gas market regulators. These rules will remain in place in a ‘no deal’ scenario. The government will work with regulators and industry to make any necessary amendments to industry codes.

The EU’s Regulation on Energy Market Integrity and Transparency prohibits insider trading and energy market manipulation and makes provision for monitoring of the market by regulators. Market participants will need to register with an EU regulatory authority to avoid a disruption to cross-border trade and trade within EU wholesale markets. The majority of the existing Regulation on Energy Market Integrity and Transparency regime will be maintained domestically with minimal changes.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders (gas market participants)

Interconnectors, code administrators and UK market participants will need to carry out contingency planning for a ‘no deal’ scenario. Although it will be a matter for individual businesses to work out what steps they might need to take, the government anticipates these are likely to include:

  • Interconnector owners/operators: will need to engage with the relevant EU national regulators to confirm whether gas can continue to be traded on the basis of the rules in the Capacity Allocation Mechanisms Code, and to understand any requirements for re-approval of their access rules.
  • Interconnector owners/operators: will need to engage with the relevant EU national regulators to understand their processes for the potential reassessment of their Transmission System Operator certifications. Ofgem, and where appropriate, the Utility Regulator, will seek to support the interconnectors in this process. Domestically, the government will retain existing Transmission System Operator certifications and will ensure that EU Exit will minimise any new domestic administrative requirements in this regard. The government will also make any small changes or clarifications necessary to the Transmission System Operator certification process to make sure it continues to function efficiently post-exit.
  • The administrators of the various domestic industry codes: (the technical rules of the domestic gas market) will need to ensure that the codes are updated. Ofgem will lead the licence change process in Great Britain and has recently issued a document to industry outlining the process it will follow and the Utility Regulator will take similar action in Northern Ireland.
  • UK market participants: will need to register under the Regulation on Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT) with an EU regulatory authority for the purposes of market monitoring, to avoid a disruption to cross-border trade, trade within EU wholesale energy markets,
  • Market participants: should engage with their Regulatory Authority where their preparations identify significant concerns. Market participants should also check the status of contracts, and licences which may be impacted by the UK’s departure from the EU.
  • UK regulatory authorities: will provide stakeholders with further information on the contingency requirements for domestic market monitoring later in the year.

Further information

Government and regulatory authorities will continue to work closely with businesses, trade associations and stakeholders on the implications of a ‘no deal’ and communicate information and updates online.

You may also like to read Preparing for EU exit: licence and industry code modifications, published by Ofgem.

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

 

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 109 on Meeting climate change requirements if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

This notice aims to support the contingency planning of UK operators of installations (for example, power stations and oil refineries) and UK-administered aircraft operators that currently participate in the EU Emissions Trading System, and other organisations and individuals with accounts within the UK section of the Consolidated System of European Registries which also includes the UK’s Kyoto Protocol National Registry.

It clarifies the implications of the UK leaving the EU on the licensing regime for the geological storage of carbon dioxide; whilst this is not a direct component of the EU Emissions Trading System, the licensing regime for the geological storage of carbon dioxide partly relies on EU Emissions Trading System legislation.

It also outlines the impact on energy-using products that fall under the ecodesign directive and/or energy labelling regulations.

Climate change regulations and mechanisms

Before 29 March 2019

The UK is a global leader in the fight against climate change and we are proud to be the first country to set legally binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The UK’s Climate Change Act requires us to reduce emissions by at least 80% against 1990 levels by 2050. We have put clean growth at the centre of our modern Industrial Strategy and our Clean Growth Strategy sets out a comprehensive set of policies and proposals that aim to accelerate the pace of clean growth, i.e. deliver increased economic growth and decreased emissions.

The UK is deeply committed to domestic and international efforts to tackle climate change. The UK is a Party, in its own right as well as through the EU, to international climate change agreements, including the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.

EU Emissions Trading System

The EU Emissions Trading System is an international, greenhouse gas emissions trading system which applies to multiple sectors. There are around 1,000 installations in the UK which participate in the EU Emissions Trading System, including:

  • power stations
  • oil refineries
  • offshore platforms
  • industries that produce iron and steel, cement and lime, paper, glass, ceramics and chemicals.

In addition, approximately 140 UK-administered aircraft operators take part in the EU Emissions Trading System.

Participating operators are required to develop plans to monitor their emissions in accordance with the European Commission’s Monitoring and Reporting Regulation. They are also required to produce annual emissions reports that are verified independently in accordance with the Accreditation and Verification Regulation.

EU Emissions Trading System operators hold EU Emissions Trading System Union Registry accounts which provide them with access to their emissions allowances. At the end of each compliance year, operators must give up from their account one allowance for each tonne of verified carbon dioxide (or equivalent) emitted. Operators who are considered at risk of carbon leakage receive allowances through free allocation (if eligible) from their Member State of predetermined amounts agreed by the EU Commission. Other operators buy allowances on the carbon market or via a government administered auction.

Some UK-based operators falling within the scope of the EU Emissions Trading System Directive are excluded from the scheme through their inclusion in the UK Small-Emitter and Hospital Opt-Out Scheme. Instead of receiving and needing to give up allowances these operators are given emissions targets, these excluded installations pay only for emissions which exceed their target. Targets for excluded installations are set based on the allocation they would receive for free had they remained in the EU Emissions Trading System. Aircraft operators with total emissions below 25,000t or intra EEAemissions below 3,000t may use a simplified verification procedure.

The Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol established three market-based mechanisms, emissions trading, the Clean Development Mechanism, and Joint Implementation. The Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation provide for the development of projects which are credited with emission reduction units for offsetting greenhouse gas emissions. The UK has established regulatory functions, the Designated National Authority for Clean Development Mechanism projects and Designated Focal Point for Joint Implementation projects, responsible for issuing letters of approval for Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation project activities respectively.

The UK’s National Kyoto Protocol Registry is located within the Consolidated System of European Registries and facilitates the trading of Kyoto Protocol emissions units. Holders of accounts within the Registry include:

  • actors who trade in Certified Emission Reductions and Emission Reduction Units generated under Clean Development Mechanism, and Joint Implementation
  • project developers who secured approval for Clean Development Mechanism projects from the UK’s Designated National Authority

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

There is no change to the UK’s deep commitment to domestic and international efforts to tackle climate change. The UK’s Climate Change Act is domestic legislation and will be unaffected by exiting the EU. The UK will remain a party to international climate change agreements and its commitment to them will remain as strong as ever and will be unaffected by EU exit. The UK will therefore continue to take ambitious steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy highlights our policies and proposals for doing so.

EU Emissions Trading System

The UK will be excluded from participating in the EU Emissions Trading System in a ‘no deal’ scenario. This means that current participants in the EU Emissions Trading System who are UK operators of installations will no longer take part in the system and flights within the UK will no longer be covered by EU Emissions Trading System obligations. Flights between the UK and the European Economic Area (EEA) are not expected to be covered by EU Emissions Trading System obligations.

The UK will no longer be responsible for managing the EU Emissions Trading System requirements for the aircraft operators it currently administers. If those aircraft operators continue to fall within the scope of the EU Emissions Trading System (for example, if they operate intra-EEA flights after exit), these requirements will need to be administered by an EU Member State.

In a ‘no deal’ scenario, UK government will therefore remove requirements relating to the surrender of emissions allowances. However, to retain as much continuity as possible, UK government intends to maintain Monitoring, Reporting and Verification arrangements.

The European Commission Regulation 389/2013, as amended by Commission Regulation 2018/208, will invalidate any allowances issued by the UK in 2019 such that they will not have any value on the carbon market.

The UK will not have guaranteed access to the Consolidated System of European Registries which includes the EU Emissions Trading System Union Registry and the UK’s Kyoto Protocol National Registry.

Implications

EU Emissions Trading System

The government has taken steps to provide certainty to UK operators in meeting their compliance obligations for the 2018 compliance year. To ensure this will not be affected in a ‘no deal’ scenario, the government brought forward the 2018 compliance year deadline in domestic legislation for operators to report their 2018 emissions and surrender allowances for those emissions from 30 March 2019 and 30 April 2019, to 11 March 2019 and 15 March 2019 respectively.

Any EU Emissions Trading System allowances issued by the UK for the 2019 compliance year cannot be used by UK operators to meet their 2018 compliance obligations. Operators will want to consider this when planning to meet their 2018 compliance obligations.

The government will retain the existing financial penalty for failure to surrender allowances for the 2018 compliance year.

As noted above, in a ‘no deal’ scenario the UK will not have guaranteed access to the Consolidated System of European Registries which also includes the EU Emissions Trading System Union Registry. UK operators will not have guaranteed access to the UK section of the EU Emissions Trading System Union Registry.

There will be no requirement to surrender EU Emissions Trading System allowances after the 2018 compliance year – the surrender deadline for 2018 emissions is 15 March 2019.

The UK government intends to maintain Monitoring, Reporting and Verification arrangements to ensure continuing transparency over Greenhouse Gas emissions. The Monitoring, Reporting and Verification framework requires all operators to monitor and report on their annual greenhouse gas emissions and produce a verified annual emissions report. Monitoring, Reporting and Verification falls under the devolved competence of environmental policy.

UK operators of stationary installations will continue to report on their emissions. Aircraft operators who will be registered in the UK after exit day will continue to report their emissions on the same flights as required on exit day. Operators in the Small Emitter and Hospital Opt-Out scheme will also continue to report.

There is no immediate action for aircraft operators who will be registered outside the UK after exit day, even if they are currently administered by the UK (but not registered in the UK), as the UK government will not initially place Monitoring, Reporting and Verification requirements on these operators in a ‘no deal’ scenario.

The current UK regulators will continue to have powers to enforce non-compliance with these ongoing requirements.

Carbon pricing

The UK government currently sets a Total Carbon Price, created by the EU Emissions Trading System and the (Great Britain only) Carbon Price Support mechanism. The UK government announced at Autumn Budget 2017 that the Total Carbon Price was set at the right level and that it would target a similar Total Carbon Price until unabated coal is no longer used.

In a ‘no deal’ scenario, the UK government will initially meet its existing carbon pricing commitments via the tax system, taking effect in 2019. A carbon price will apply across the UK, including Northern Ireland. The Single Electricity Market is being accounted for in all options.

The UK government will publish more details of how it will initially apply a carbon price in a ‘no deal’ scenario at Budget 2018 and legislation will be included in the Finance Bill 2018-19.

Consolidated System of European Registries

As noted above, in a ‘no deal’ scenario the UK will not have guaranteed access to the Consolidated System of European Registries which also includes the UK’s Kyoto Protocol National Registry. Loss of access would affect the UK’s ability to provide routine and essential administrative support to account holders.

Geological storage of carbon dioxide

Geological storage of carbon dioxide is not a direct component of the EU Emissions Trading System, but there is a legislative link between the licensing regime for the geological storage of carbon dioxide and the EU Emissions Trading System. In a ‘no deal’ scenario, the licensing regime for geological storage of carbon dioxide would become inoperable as legal consent to undertake storage could not be granted.

The government is planning to restore functionality in areas where the Oil and Gas Authority licenses storage. Elsewhere (that is, in Scotland and Northern Ireland) restoring functionality would require devolved administrations to modify their respective licensing regulations.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

Operators and traders with EU Emissions Trading System

Operators and traders with EU Emissions Trading System allowances in their account in the UK section of the Registry should plan for a loss of registry access and consider taking action to manage the risk of this happening. Such action might include opening a second account in another Member State’s Registry as part of their contingency planning for a ‘no deal’ scenario. The risk of loss of registry access should similarly be considered in relation to any open futures, options or other derivative contracts and hedging positions for any allowances in the Registry.

Operators should continue to comply with the EU Emissions Trading System Directive whilst the UK remains a participant. Operators should be prepared to leave the System in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, but plan to comply with Monitoring, Reporting and Verification requirements into the future.

Energy intensive industry relief schemes participants

Businesses that currently benefit from energy intensive industry relief schemes for the indirect policy costs of carbon pricing should continue to comply with the requirements set out in the government guidance for these schemes.

Kyoto Protocol National Registry

As the UK may not be guaranteed access to the Consolidated System of European Registries in a ‘no deal’ scenario, the UK may not have the ability to provide routine and essential administrative support to holders of accounts in the UK Kyoto Protocol National Registry which is located within the consolidated European system.

The UK government is considering contingency measures for this scenario and will issue further advice later this year. In the meantime:

  • account holders who use their accounts to trade Certified Emission Reductions and Emission Reduction Units may want to consider opening an account in another country’s registry for this purpose
  • Clean Development Mechanism project developers should consider the information in this notice carefully before approaching the UK’s Designated National Authority for new letters of approval
  • Clean Development Mechanism project developers who have previously received a letter of approval from the UK Designated National Authority may want to consider whether to reapply for a letter of approval from a different Designated National Authority and the timescales for securing this

Geological storage of carbon dioxide

Developers of facilities for geological storage of carbon dioxide in areas where the Oil and Gas Authority is the licensing authority may contact the Oil and Gas Authority for further information about its implementation of changes to the licensing regime, once these changes come into force. Installations do not need to be located inside this area, to access geological storage facilities within this area.

Elsewhere (that is, in Scotland and Northern Ireland) developers should contact the relevant devolved administration to confirm when regulatory updates would be implemented.

More information

BEIS and regulatory authorities will continue to work closely with businesses, trade associations and stakeholders on the implications of a ‘no deal’ and communicate information and updates online.

Information on the EU Emissions Trading System and Monitoring, Reporting and Verification is available on the European Commission’s website.

Immediate queries on the EU Emissions Trading System sections can be directed to the team at BEIS: eu.ets@beis.gov.uk

More information on geological storage of carbon dioxide will be made available on GOV.UK.

More information about climate change generally will also be provided on GOV.UK.

Energy-using products: ecodesign and energy labelling

Before 29 March 2019

In the UK, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has lead responsibility for improving the sustainability and energy efficiency of energy-using products in households and the commercial sector. This is achieved by EU Ecodesignand Energy Labelling measures which are enforced under domestic law (Ecodesign for Energy-related Products Regulation 2010 and Energy Information Regulations 2011.

Each EU Member State must appoint a Market Surveillance Authority (MSA) for control and enforcement activities. In the UK, for ecodesign, this is the Office for Product Safety and Standards, and for energy labelling, both the Office for Product Safety and Standards and Trading Standards (in GB) and the Department for the Economy (in NI).

The EU product database is a new online portal that will come into force from 1 January 2019. It will have an ‘open’ section for consumers to view product-related information and a ‘closed’ compliance section for Market Surveillance Authorities to view technical product-related information.

Suppliers are required to input relevant information into the database:

  • from 1 January 2019 for energy-using products placed on the EU market from this date
  • by 30 June 2019 for energy-using products placed on the EU market (including the UK market) between 1 August 2017 and 1 January 2019

A re-classification of energy labels is scheduled and new labels with A – G energy rating classes (instead of A+++ – G energy rating classes) will be phased in over time as planned.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

For ecodesign and energy labelling regulations which will enter into force and apply before the point of exit, regulatory alignment will be maintained by bringing relevant EU regulations into domestic law.

After the point of exit, the UK will keep step with equivalent standards wherever possible and appropriate, or even exceed them where it is in the UK’s interest to do so.

Implications

There will be no immediate change to trading practices.

Enforcement activities will continue as normal, carried out by the Office for Product Safety and Standards, Trading Standards and the Department for the Economy (NI) which will maintain their roles as Market Surveillance Authorities.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

In terms of the EU product database:

  • all consumers will still have access to the ‘open’ section of the database
  • however, the UK’s Market Surveillance Authorities will no longer have access to the ‘closed’ compliance section of the database.

There will be changes for UK and EU suppliers regarding the EU product database. UK and EU suppliers placing relevant energy-using products:

  • on the EU market will have to enter relevant information into the database.
  • on the UK market will not be required, under domestic law, to enter relevant information into the database, including for those products placed on the market between 1 August 2017 and 1 January 2019 after the point of exit.

UK and EU suppliers must ensure that relevant energy-using products:

  • placed on the UK market comply with minimum UK ecodesign and energy labelling standards.
  • placed on the EU market comply with minimum EU ecodesign and energy labelling standards.

UK and EU retailers must ensure that relevant energy-using products:

  • placed on the UK market comply with minimum UK energy labelling standards.
  • placed on the EU market comply with minimum EU energy labelling standards.

There will be no immediate impact on UK or EU consumers in regard to ecodesign and energy labelling standards.

More information

For additional information regarding goods, please refer to technical notices:

More information on the Office for Product Safety and Standards can be found on its website.

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including ‘no deal’. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 108 on Consumer rights if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

This notice provides guidance to businesses and consumers setting out the UK approach to the consumer legislative framework if the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no agreement in place.

If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 without a deal, find out how this would affect:

  • consumer protection and cross-border protection
  • alternative dispute resolution and online dispute resolution;
  • package travel
  • timeshare
  • textile labelling
  • footwear labelling

Consumer protection and cross border enforcement

Before 29 March 2019

EU consumer protection legislation ensures consumers across the EU can buy goods and services from other EU countries, knowing that the protections and safety standards are the same or similar in every EU Member State.

The consumer protection regime is supported by a reciprocal cross-border consumer enforcement framework and the civil judicial cooperation framework (covered in the Technical Notice on civil judicial cooperation). The former allows cooperation between EU Member State consumer enforcement authorities, and the latter provides access to redress for consumers when their rights have been breached. For example, if a UK consumer buys an item from an EU based trader and the item does not arrive or there is a problem, the UK consumer can use UK law and the UK courts for redress, and judgment will be recognised in the EU Member State in question. The frameworks include the ability for consumers to gain access to advice and guidance on their rights and who to contact in order to make a complaint or take action through dispute resolution mechanisms to resolve issues.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

The government is taking steps to ensure that after exit UK consumers will retain the protections they currently have when buying from UK businesses. This means making certain changes in UK legislation through the EU Withdrawal Act to ensure that the law operates effectively after exit.

As the UK will no longer be a Member State, there may be an impact on the extent to which UK consumers are protected when buying goods and services in the remaining Member States. The laws of those states are similar but may differ in some areas to UK law both as respective laws evolve over time as well as due to differing levels of harmonisation between Member States in some areas. UK consumers will also no longer be able to use the UK courts effectively to seek redress from EU based traders, and if a UK court does make a judgement, the enforcement of that judgement will be more difficult as we will no longer be part of the EU. In addition, there will no longer be reciprocal obligations on the UK or EU Member States to investigate breaches of consumer laws or take forward enforcement actions.

The UK government will continue to work with the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Civil Service to ensure the future consumer protection regime works across the UK.

Implications

UK consumers should not see any immediate differences in protection between UK law and that of EU Member States as UK and EU law is highly aligned. However consumers should always check the terms of consumer protection offered by the seller and the Member State the seller is located in to confirm if the level of protection is different from the UK level of protection. UK consumers would need to seek redress through the courts of that state rather than UK courts. For further help and advice UK consumers can continue to contact the UK’s European Consumer Centre.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

Businesses selling into EU countries should keep apprised of any future changes in EU Member State laws.

More information

Explanatory Memoranda will be published during the autumn alongside the Statutory Instruments to make the necessary changes to UK legislation. This will provide further information on the UK government approach to the consumer legislative framework.

Alternative Dispute Resolution and Online Dispute Resolution

Before 29 March 2019

Alternative Dispute Resolution is a process that enables disputes between a consumer and business to be settled via an independent mechanism outside the court system. The Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures ensure that consumers have access to high quality, transparent, effective redress mechanisms, regardless of where they reside in the EU.

There is currently guidance written by Chartered Trading Standards Institute which provides guidance to businesses. This is likely to be updated to reflect changes to the Online Dispute Resolution platform.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

In relation to Alternative Dispute Resolution the government is taking steps to ensure that consumers and businesses will still be able to use the Alternative Dispute Resolution process in the same way when buying and selling in the UK.

The UK government will continue to work with the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Civil Service to ensure the future Alternative Dispute Resolution works across the UK.

The Online Dispute Resolution platform is run by the European Commission for Member States so the UK will no longer have access to the platform.

Implications

The obligations around Alternative Dispute Resolution for businesses will not change as a result of a no deal. However, UK-based Alternative Dispute Resolution organisations will no longer be required to act in cross-border disputes. UK competent authorities, who approve Alternative Dispute Resolution providers, will no longer be required to report to the European Commission on the status of their Alternative Dispute Resolution activity.

Consumers may no longer be able to use Alternative Dispute Resolution organisations to resolve their cross-border disputes.

Businesses and consumers will no longer be able to access and use the Online Dispute Resolution platform.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

Businesses should continue to provide Alternative Dispute Resolution as per their current obligations.

When purchasing goods and services from a Member State, consumers may wish to check the Member State’s protection legislation prior to purchase.

Businesses should remove references to the Online Dispute Resolution platform from their websites.

UK consumers will be able to contact the UK’s European Consumer Centre (ECCN) for help and advice. (The government has committed to funding the ECCN for one year (from April 2019 – March 2020) if no deal is reached in March 2019).

More information

An Explanatory Memorandum will be published during the autumn alongside the Statutory Instrument to make the necessary changes to UK legislation. This will provide further information on the status of alternative dispute resolution and the inoperability of online dispute resolution.

Package travel

Before 29 March 2019

The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements 2018 Regulations (PTR 2018) requires, in line with the EU Directive, that the UK must accept insolvency protections put in place under the rules of the relevant Member State by traders established in other Member States. In turn, traders established in the UK benefit from recognition of their insolvency protection by other Member States.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

The insolvency protections remain the same for UK consumers buying a package holiday and/or a Linked Travel Arrangement from UK based traders. However, the mutual recognition element of insolvency protection will cease, as the mutual recognition requirements of the package travel Directive will not apply to the UK with the consequence that other Member States are unlikely to recognise the UK’s insolvency protection.

In consequence, our exit Statutory Instrument will amend the PTR 2018 so that, after exit, EU traders selling packages or Linked Travel Arrangements in the United Kingdom, or directing such activities to the UK, will be required to comply with the insolvency protection requirements under the PTR 2018 (ATOL protection, insurance, trust fund or bond) in the same way as all other traders.

Implications

Consumers should therefore be protected when purchasing packages / Linked Travel Arrangements from those traders required to comply with the PTR 2018 insolvency protection requirements. However, it will not protect consumers who purchase packages from EU based traders which are not targeting business activities at the UK. As a result, consumers should ensure that they are provided with clear information, including on the applicable insolvency protection (if any), before their purchase. Furthermore, in practice, taking enforcement action against any seller based outside the UK is likely to be more difficult than is currently the case.

Consumers can continue to contact the UK’s European Consumer Centre for help and advice.

Businesses should be aware that remaining Member States are unlikely to recognise UK insolvency protection. Traders may therefore need to comply with multiple insolvency regimes across the EU and will have to make themselves familiar with the regime of the country they are selling into.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

Providers will have to obtain insolvency protection in the Member State where they are established, rather than in each Member State where they do business. Therefore, travel providers will have to comply with multiple insolvency regimes across the EU and will have to make themselves familiar with the regime of the country they are selling into. EU-based organisers that actively market and sell packages in the UK will be required to comply with the UK insolvency protection rules.

No action is needed if buying from a UK based business. When consumers purchase travel from EU businesses they will be covered by the insolvency protection legislation of that Member State.

If a package travel organiser is not based in the UK, or does not direct its business to the UK, consumers should ensure that they are provided with clear information, including on the level of insolvency protection, before their purchase.

More information

An Explanatory Memorandum will be published during the autumn alongside the Statutory Instrument to make the necessary changes to UK legislation. This will provide further information on the UK package travel and Linked Travel Arrangements regime.

Timeshare

Before 29 March 2019

Currently, UK consumers are protected in the same way by the timeshare protections wherever they are buying their timeshare from in the EU, and wherever the timeshare property itself is based in the EU.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

The government is taking steps to ensure that the protections UK consumers currently have when buying timeshares remain the same if the contract is made under UK law.

Consumers that enter into a contract which is not governed by the law of the UK and instead is governed by the law of a Member State, will be subject to any timeshare protections offered to non-EU citizens by that Member State.

Implications

Consumers entering into contracts not governed by the law of the UK will be subject to the Member State’s protections which could differ in each Member State depending on how that Member State has implemented the EU directive relating to Timeshare.

EU law specifies that timeshare contracts must be written in the language of the consumer’s Member State. As the UK will no longer be a Member State, UK consumers will not be able to specify having the contract in English.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

UK businesses operating in the UK but selling timeshare based in EU Member States, may wish to stay apprised of UK and EU member state law.

Consumers interested in purchasing a timeshare should consider ensuring they understand the timeshare protection offered to them by the governing country of the contract.

More information

An Explanatory Memorandum will be published during the autumn alongside the Statutory Instrument to make the necessary changes to UK legislation. This will provide further information on the UK approach to timeshare.

Textile labelling

Before 29 March 2019

The current requirements to label or mark textile products with their textile fibre composition and indicate the presence of non-textile parts of animal origin in textile products are found in Regulation (EU) No 1007/2011 on textile fibre names and related labelling and marking of textile products.

The current process for approving new textile fibre names and manufacturing tolerances for the EU market under Regulation (EU) No 1007/2011 is carried out by the European Commission.

The Textile Products (Labelling and Fibre Composition) Regulations 2012 is a piece of UK law that provides UK enforcers with powers to investigate and carry out enforcement action against breaches of Regulation (EU) No 1007/2011.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

Regulation (EU) No 1007/2011 will be retained into UK law through the EU Withdrawal Act. It will then be amended to ensure it functions effectively. The requirements the retained regulation sets out will only apply to textile products when these are placed or made available in the UK market, rather than the EU.

The effects of these proposed amendments are as follows:

The requirements the retained regulation sets out will only apply to textile products when these are placed or made available on the UK market, rather than the EU.

The Secretary of State will be responsible for approving a new textile name or manufacturing tolerance for the UK market.

A UK Secretary of State will be able to modify, through secondary legislation, the same requirements of the regulation that the European Commission is currently able to modify through delegated acts. These requirements are as follows:

  • the list of approved textile fibre names
  • minimum requirements for the technical file submitted when a manufacturer applies for a new textile fibre name
  • special provisions for the labelling and marketing of certain textile products such as corsets and embroidered textiles
  • the list of textile products for which labelling or marking is not mandatory.
  • the list of textile products for which inclusive labelling is sufficient set out in ANNEX VI of Regulation (EU) No 1007/2011 as retained into UK law.
  • the list of items not to be taken into account for the determination of fibre composition
  • the methods for the quantitative analysis of binary and ternary textile fibre mixtures
  • the agreed allowances (testing tolerances) used to calculate the mass of fibres contained in a textile product

Implications

The requirements the retained regulation sets out will only apply to textile products when these are placed or made available on the UK market, rather than the EU.

Actions for businesses

The economic operator (usually a business or retailer) placing textile products on the UK market will be responsible for complying with the existing requirements to label or mark textile products with their fibre composition and as such should consider taking steps to ensure compliance.

Businesses wishing to introduce a new textile name or manufacturing tolerance should make their application to the Secretary of State.

More information

The government will publish guidance on the process for economic operators to apply for new textile fibre names and new manufacturing tolerances, and the process by which the Secretary of State will assess these applications.

An Explanatory Memorandum will be published during the autumn alongside the Statutory Instrument to make the necessary changes to UK legislation. This will provide further information on the labelling or marking textile products.

Footwear labelling

Before 29 March 2019

The Footwear (Indication of Composition) Labelling Regulations 1995 (the “1995 Regulations”) mandate a labelling system to provide symbols to inform consumers about the materials used in the main components of footwear. The 1995 Regulations also impose different legal obligations on the ‘responsible person’ (i.e. the manufacturer, their agent established in the Community, or the person who first makes the footwear available on the Community market) and the ‘retailer’.

The 1995 Regulations implement an EU Directive: Directive 94/11/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 March 1994 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to labelling of the materials used in the main components of footwear for sale to the consumer.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

The definition of a ‘responsible person’ in relation to footwear products included in the 1995 Regulations will be changed to the following:

  • the manufacturer (this has not changed from the 1995 Regulations);
  • the manufacturer’s authorised agent established in the UK (instead of the EU)
  • the person who first places the footwear on the UK market (instead of the EU market)

The obligations of the 1995 Regulations will only apply to footwear when they are placed on the UK market, rather than the EU market.

As a result of this amendment, some UK-based businesses previously only responsible for meeting the obligations of a ‘retailer’ will now have to meet the legal obligations of the ‘responsible person’ under the UK regulations. This will mostly affect retailers that sell footwear imported from an EU based business. See Footwear Regulations here.

The impact of a UK-based retailer becoming a ‘responsible person’ is that they would become responsible for:

  • the accuracy of the footwear label
  • supplying the labelling to be conveyed upon the footwear

The obligations conferred on ‘retailers’ under the 1995 regulations are to ensure the footwear is labelled in accordance with the requirements of the 1995 Regulations when it is offered to sale for consumers – in practice this means ensuring a label is present.

Implications

The common labelling system for footwear will remain the same. However the responsibility for ensuring the accuracy of the labelling of footwear imported from the EU will, in future, fall to UK-based businesses.

Actions for businesses

All UK and EU businesses which know that they will begin placing footwear on the UK market once the UK exits from the EU should consider checking the presence and accuracy of footwear labels.

More information

An Explanatory Memorandum will be published during the autumn alongside the Statutory Instrument to make the necessary changes to UK legislation. This will provide further information on the legal responsibilities of manufacturers and retailers to indicate the main components of footwear.

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

Annex A

Relevant legislation

Consumer Rights Act 2015 Parts 1 & 2 Provides essential contractual rights and remedies for consumers – covering the sale of goods, services and digital content to consumers by business; outlaws unfair terms in standard consumer contracts.

Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012 Preserves essential consumer rights which prohibits traders in England, Wales, Scotland and NI from charging consumers more than the direct cost borne by the trader for the use of a given means of payment, for credit and debit cards. This will now only apply where the payment service provider is located in the UK.

Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 Sets the ground rules for business-consumer relationship by outlawing misleading and aggressive practices likely to affect transactional decision by the average consumer.

Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 Regulates pre-contractual information for in-store, distance and off-premises contracts (goods and services); includes right to return goods sold at a distance and 14-day cooling-off period for off-premises contracts (right to cancel).

Crystal Glass (Description) Regulations 1973 Outlaws misleading application of specified descriptions to glass products and sets standard test for the fineness of glass.

Enterprise Act 2002– Consumers Part 8 and Schedule 13 & Schedule 5 Consumer Rights Act 2015 Sets a regime whereby enforcement authorities may apply to the courts for an injunction against infringements of domestic or EU legislation which harm the collective interests of consumers.

Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 on Consumer Protection Cooperation Sets out co-operation and enforcement framework to allow national authorities from all EU to jointly address breaches of consumer rules when the trader and consumer established in different countries.

Alternative Dispute Resolution and Online Dispute Resolution

This notice provides guidance to businesses and consumers on the implications of EU exit on the status of alternative dispute resolution and the inoperability of online dispute resolution following the UK’s departure from the EU, in a no-deal scenario.

The notice covers changes to the following legislation:

Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015 (as amended) Regulates the setting of an Alternative Dispute Resolution infrastructure, including a national single point of contact via the recognition by competent authorities of Alternative Dispute Resolution providers.

Regulation Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for consumer disputes – Regulation (EU) No 524/2013 Provides for the establishment by the European Commission of an Online Dispute Resolution platform.

Package Travel

This notice provides guidance to businesses and consumers on the implications of a no deal EU exit in respect of UK Package travel and Linked Travel Arrangements regime.

This notice covers changes to the following legislation:

Package Travel Regulations (The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018) Regulates information provision, contractual rights, trader liability and consumer protection against organiser insolvency.

Timeshare

This notice provides guidance to businesses and consumers setting out the UK approach to timeshare if the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no agreement in place. The notice provides guidance on changes to the following legislation:

Timeshare, Holidays, Resale and Exchange Contracts Regulations 2010 Provides for extensive pre-contractual information, bans accepting any payment prior to end of 14-day cooling-off period and provides for annual choice to renew long-term holiday product contracts.

Textile labelling

This notice provides guidance to businesses about changes to the legal requirements regarding labelling or marking textile products with their textile fibre composition and an indication of the presence of non-textile parts of animal origin e.g. fur or feathers.

It also seeks to inform business how current EU processes for approving new textile fibre names and manufacturing tolerances will be repatriated to the UK.

The notice provides guidance on changes to the following legislation:

Textile Products (Labelling and Fibre Composition) Regulations 2012 Provides for domestic enforcement of the above Regulation (EU) No 1007/2011.

Footwear labelling

This notice informs businesses about changes to the legal responsibilities of economic operators (manufacturers and retailers) to indicate the main components of footwear.

The notice provides guidance on changes to the following legislation:

Footwear (Indication of Composition) Labelling Regulations 1995 Requires labelling of footwear as to its composition through the use of pictograms by the importer to the EU or the manufacturer if in the EU.

 

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 107 on Geo-blocking of online content if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

The purpose of this notice is to provide clarity to consumers, business customers, traders and regulators on the UK government’s plans in relation to the Geo-Blocking Regulation in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario.

Before 29 March 2019

The Geo-Blocking Regulation will apply from 3rd December 2018. The Geo-Blocking Regulation will prohibit the following activities:

  • blocking access to, or forced redirection away from, a website on the basis of an internet user’s EU nationality or place of residence within the EU
  • discrimination by traders on the basis of the customer’s nationality or place of residence when they are purchasing (i) goods online, (ii) electronically supplied services (such as web hosting or cloud storage, but excluding copyrighted material such as ebooks and streamed movies), or (iii) services provided in a specific physical location (such as a theme park)
  • discrimination by traders against a means of payment solely on the basis of its place of issue within the EU

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

In a ‘no deal’ scenario, the UK version of the Geo-Blocking Regulation will cease to have effect in UK law. The original EU Regulation will continue to apply to UK businesses operating within the EU, and indeed all other non-EU businesses selling goods and services into the single market.

Implications

Following repeal of the Geo-Blocking Regulation in the UK, traders from the UK, EU and third countries would not be prohibited from discriminating between EU customers and UK customers in the respects set out above. For instance a UK trader would be able to offer different terms to a UK customer compared to a French customer.

The Geo-Blocking Regulation will continue to operate in the EU. UK traders who wish to continue operating in the EU will continue to be bound by the provisions of the Geo-Blocking Regulation when dealing with EU customers. This means that a UK trader will not be able to discriminate between customers in different EU member states, for instance between a French and a German customer, in the respects set out above.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

UK businesses and traders who wish to continue selling goods and services into the EU will need to continue to comply with the Geo-Blocking Regulation after exit, to the extent that the Geo-Blocking Regulation (which comes into force from 3rd December 2018) prohibits discrimination as between customers in different EU member states. However, traders who are already complying with the Geo-Blocking Regulation prior to exit should not need to take any additional steps to comply with the Geo-Blocking Regulation after exit.

Further information

Further information on traders’ ongoing obligations in relation to EU customers are available on the EU Commission’s website.

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

 

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 106 on Structuring your business if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

This notice explains the implications for businesses which are legal entities operating across the UK-EU border, or who have taken the form of a European specific entity, in the unlikely event that the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no agreement in place. For the purpose of this notice, ‘UK company’ means a company incorporated in the UK and includes a subsidiary incorporated in the UK regardless of the nationality of its parent but does not include a UK branch of a company incorporated elsewhere. An ‘EU company’ means a company incorporated in the EU regardless of the nationality of its parent but does not include an EU branch of a company incorporated elsewhere. This notice covers:

  • cross border business operations
  • European specific entities

Before 29 March 2019

The UK currently follows the EU rules and regulations that fall under the area of company law, which set out how companies and other legal entities operate within the Single Market, how they register and how they operate across country borders in the EU.

This is reflected in UK law mainly through the Companies Act 2006 and regulations made under that Act. For other types of legal entities which have their own specific legislation, this generally mirrors the legislation for companies (albeit with modifications) and therefore much of this notice will be relevant to these entities also.

However, this notice is expressed in terms of the effect for companies as this is the most commonly used corporate form.

EU law also provides frameworks for certain EU specific entities to form and operate: European Economic Interest Groupings, European Public Limited-Liability Companies (or Societas Europaea), and European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

The government will ensure that the UK continues to have a functioning regulatory framework for companies and that, as far as possible, the same laws and rules that are currently in place continue to apply. This will be done by using the powers in the EU Withdrawal Act 2018 to correct deficiencies in our statute book arising from our exit from the EU.

The UK government will continue to work with the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Civil Service, to ensure the future company law regime works across the UK.

Cross-border business operations

For companies incorporated in countries outside of the EU, operating by way of branches within the UK, the regime applying to them will remain substantially the same. Such companies are currently third country businesses in relation to the EU, and that will remain the case. In the UK, such companies are currently subject to the overseas companies regime and the requirements relating to them as non-EU companies will not change. The overseas companies regime is in the Overseas Companies Regulations 2009, SI 2009/1801.

However, there will be changes to the cross-border regimes for UK companies operating in the EU, because the UK will no longer be an EU member state. These companies will become third country businesses in relation to the EU.

European specific entities

The European Economic Interest Groupings and European Public Limited-Liability Companies (or Societas Europaea) frameworks require that the entities are registered within an EU member state. On exit day the UK will no longer be an EU member state and the consequences of this are set out in the sections below.

Implications

Cross-border business operations

There will be no change in who can be an owner, senior manager or director of a UK company, as the UK doesn’t apply any nationality restrictions to owners or managers of UK companies.

EU companies that operate branches in the UK are currently subject to the overseas companies regime, but the requirements applicable to them will change. They will become subject to the same information and filing requirements as any other third country’s companies’ branches. However, those additional requirements are minimal. Guidance on the current requirements can be found here.

An EU company with a branch in the UK that is required by its parent law to prepare, have audited and disclose accounts will be required to file in the UK accounting documents which will include the accounts, any annual report of the directors, any report of the auditors on the accounts, and any report of the auditors on the directors’ report. Parent law in this context will be the law of the EEA state where the company is incorporated.

An EU company with a branch in the UK which does not meet this description will, after exit day, have to comply with the provisions of Part 15 of the Companies Act 2006 that have been applied (with modifications) to overseas companies by the Overseas Companies Regulations 2009.

UK citizens may face restrictions on their ability to own, manage or direct a company registered in the EU, depending on the sector and EU member state in which the company is operating. This could involve meeting additional requirements on the nationality or residency of individuals allowed to act as senior managers or directors and/or limits on the amount of equity that can be held by non-nationals.

Further information on the requirements in EU member states can be found via the European e-Justice Portal. Information on restrictions in particular service sectors in other countries including EU member states can be found via the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

UK businesses that own or run business operations in EU member states will likely face changes to the law under which they operate, depending on the sector and EU member state. For example, this could involve meeting additional requirements in order to acquire real estate and/or requiring additional approvals to operate. Restrictions may be more burdensome for branches or representative offices, as opposed to subsidiaries which have their own legal identity and are incorporated in the EU member state concerned.

UK companies and limited liability partnerships that have their central administration or principal place of business in certain EU member states may no longer have their limited liability recognised. This is the case in certain jurisdictions that operate the ‘real seat’ principle of incorporation.

Cross-border mergers involving UK companies will no longer be able to take place under the EU Directive 2005/56/EC – cross-border mergers of limited liability companies (although they can be structured through private contractual arrangements). As the UK will no longer be an EU member state, the remaining EU member states will no longer be required to give effect to cross-border mergers that do not complete prior to the UK exiting the EU.

UK investors in EU businesses (whether these are individuals, businesses or investment funds) may face restrictions on the amount of equity that they can hold in certain sectors in some EU member states. For example, a UK audit firm could no longer be the majority owner of an EU audit firm because it would no longer be recognised among the majority of qualified owners or managers that an EU audit firm is required to have under EU law.

European specific entities

European Economic Interest Groupings, European Public Limited-Liability Companies (or Societas Europaea) and European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation will no longer be able to be registered in the UK. Those that remain registered in other EU member states after exit will still be able to trade in the UK as now.

UK members of European Economic Interest Groupings registered in other EU member states will be unable to continue to participate in the European Economic Interest Grouping unless the contract under which they are formed allows them, or is amended to allow them, to do so.

For Societas Europaea and European Economic Interest Groupings that are registered in the UK and have not made alternative arrangements before exit, the government will put in place a way of automatically converting them into a new UK corporate structure so that they will have a clear legal status post exit. For Societas Europaea this will include maintaining the employee involvement provisions.

The European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation regime already has an option allowing public authorities of non-EU countries to participate and the government will keep this.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

Cross-border business operations

UK citizens operating in the EU may wish to seek professional advice or contact the government of the country in which they own, manage, or direct a company for more information.

UK businesses operating in the EU may wish to seek professional advice or contact the government of the country in which they operate for more information.

UK companies and limited liability partnerships that have their central administration or principal place of business in an EU member state may wish to consider whether they need to restructure to satisfy the requirements for incorporation in that EU member state.

Any UK companies that are undertaking a cross-border merger will need to ensure that they can complete the merger before exit and may want to seek legal advice on their individual case.

UK investors in EU businesses may wish to make themselves aware of any restrictions that might be placed on them within the EU member state in which they are operating.

Further information on the requirements in EU member states can be found via the European e-Justice Portal. Information on restrictions in particular service sectors in other countries including EU member states can be found via the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

European specific entities

Before exit, European Economic Interest Groupings registered in the UK may want to consider transferring their official address to another EU member state and should make themselves aware of the timeframes for so doing. European Economic Interest Groupings with their official address in other EU member states can have an establishment in the UK; they will need to ensure that they comply with the registration requirements within the regulations.

Societas Europaea have the option of converting to a UK public limited company (plc) provided they have been registered as a Societas Europaea for at least 2 years or have had 2 sets of annual accounts approved. They may also want to consider whether they wish to move their seat of incorporation to another EU member state. They will need to consider the relevant timeframes for either course of action.

Owners of Societas Europaea and European Economic Interest Groupings may wish to maintain awareness of the further information that will be published on the automatic conversion of their entities to a new UK structure by ensuring that the contact details held by Companies House are up to date.

After exit, Societas Europaea registered in EU member states will need to register their existing and any future UK establishments/branches with Companies House.

More information

For further information, please also see:

Companies House for information on companies and other corporate entities, including how to set up company, filing requirements and publication requirements

Overseas Companies in the UK Registration and Disclosure Obligations for information on the registration and disclosure requirements for overseas companies in the UK

The technical notice on Accounting and audit

The technical notice on Providing services including those of a qualified professional

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

 

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 105 on Providing services including those of a qualified professional if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Recognition of professional qualifications

Before 29 March 2019

The Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications (MRPQ) Directive is a reciprocal arrangement which enables European Economic Area (EEA) nationals to have their professional qualifications recognised in an EEA State other than the one in which the qualification was obtained. It provides several routes to do so, including:

  • automatic recognition based on EEA-wide standards or professional experience (recognition based on EEA-wide standards applies to: doctors, nurses, dental practitioners, veterinary surgeons, midwives, pharmacists and architects)
  • the ‘general system’ under which, subject to certain exceptions, regulators must not refuse, on grounds of inadequate qualifications, applicants who seek to practise a regulated profession in the UK if they hold the qualifications required by an EEA State. In certain cases, regulators may require an applicant to complete either an aptitude test or an adaptation period before allowing the applicant to practise the regulated profession in the UK
  • a mechanism for those who want to work on a temporary or occasional basis in another EEA State, including the role of the regulator and the procedures and formalities with which an applicant must comply

The Directive applies in general to regulated professions unless otherwise stated. A non-exhaustive list of professions covered by the Directive is available in the database of regulated professions.

The Directive also provides rules for recognition of non-EEA qualifications held by EEA nationals.

The current version of the MRPQ Directive (Directive 2005/36/EC as amended by Directive 2013/55/EU) has been implemented in the UK by the European Union (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2015 (MRPQ Regulations). This is supplemented by sector-specific legislation.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

The MRPQ Directive will no longer apply to the UK and there will be no system of reciprocal recognition of professional qualifications between the remaining EEA states and the UK.

The UK will ensure that professionals arriving in the UK from the EEA after the exit date will have a means to seek recognition of their qualifications. However, this will differ from the current arrangements. For example, specific mechanisms and functions linked to EU membership, such as automatic recognition, or temporary access to regulated activities on the basis of a declaration, will no longer be applicable. Tools such as the Internal Market Information system will also no longer be available in the UK.

The government will continue to work with the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Civil Service as well as regulatory bodies to ensure the future system for the recognition of professional qualifications works across the UK. These arrangements are without prejudice to the rights and privileges accorded, by virtue of the Common Travel Area, to Irish and UK citizens when in each other’s state.

The government will share details of the new procedure in due course and applicants should contact the relevant regulators at the appropriate time.

Implications

There are implications for all the professions named in this notice as well as businesses.

For EEA professionals (including UK nationals holding EEA qualifications) who are already established and have received a recognition decision in the UK, this recognition decision will not be affected and will remain valid.

EEA professionals (including UK nationals holding EEA qualifications) who have not started an application for a recognition decision in the UK before exit will be subject to future arrangements, which will be published before exit day.

EEA professionals (including UK nationals holding EEA qualifications) who have applied for a recognition decision and are awaiting a decision on exit day will, as far as possible, be able to conclude their applications in line with the provisions of the MRPQ Directive.

Individuals with UK qualifications seeking recognition to offer services in the EEA should check the host state national policies. The EU Commission has stated that decisions on the recognition of UK qualifications in EU countries before exit day are not affected.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

EEA professionals (including UK nationals holding EEA qualifications) who are already established and have received a recognition decision in the UK do not need to take any action as the recognition decision will not be affected by the Withdrawal Act or the Statutory Instrument.

Further guidance will be issued to provide professionals and employers with more details concerning recognition decisions pending on exit or issued after exit.

More information

In 2015, the government published guidance for regulatory bodies of professional qualifications. It sets out the obligations placed upon them by the revised Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive 2005/36/EC. In the scenario where the UK leaves the European Union on 29 March 2019 without a formal agreement, the published guidance will be updated to reflect the changes that are made to the MRPQ Regulations.

The Lawyers’ Establishment Directive and the Lawyers’ Services Directive

Before 29 March 2019

The qualification recognition arrangements under the MRPQ Directive cover a wide range of lawyers. In addition to this framework, there is a specific framework setting out rights for listed lawyers to provide legal services and to establish on a permanent basis in EEA States other than the one in which the qualification was obtained.

This framework takes the form of two Directives:

  • The Lawyers’ Services Directive (Directive 77/249/EEC) – which allows specified lawyers to provide legal services on a temporary basis in a Member State other than the one in which they qualified. It clarifies the professional and regulatory rules applicable, the professional title they should use and the conditions for providing services
  • The Lawyers’ Establishment Directive (Directive 98/5/EC) – a reciprocal arrangement which allows specified lawyers in one Member State to establish and practise permanently in another Member State, under their existing title, and the conditions for doing so (Registered European Lawyers). It also allows lawyers that are practising in another Member State to be admitted to the profession in that Member State, after 3 years of practice without having to go through the usual qualification routes

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

If we leave the EU without an agreement, the Lawyers’ Services Directive and Lawyers’ Establishment Directive will no longer apply to the UK and there will be no system of reciprocal arrangements under which EEA lawyers (including UK nationals holding EEA qualifications) can provide services and establish on a permanent basis. We will therefore revoke the implementing legislation and EEA lawyers will be treated in the same way as other third country lawyers.

EEA lawyers will be able to practise in England and Wales under the regulatory arrangements and rules that apply to lawyers from other third countries. However, this change will mean:

  • EEA lawyers will no longer be able to provide legal activities normally reserved to advocates, barristers or solicitor under their home state professional title in England/Wales and Northern Ireland. (Reserved activities are: the exercise of a right of audience, the conduct of litigation, reserved instrument activities (conveyancing), probate activities, notarial activities and the administration of oaths)
  • EEA lawyers will no longer be able to seek admittance to the English/Welsh or Northern Irish profession based on experience

As outlined above, the UK will ensure that professionals arriving in the UK from the EEA after the exit date will have a means to seek recognition of their qualifications. This will include lawyers. We will share details of the new procedure in due course and applicants should contact the relevant regulators at the appropriate time.

There will be transitional arrangements for Registered European Lawyers.

Scottish regulatory arrangements for EEA and third country lawyers are different to those in England and Wales, or Northern Ireland.

These arrangements are without prejudice to the rights and privileges accorded, by virtue of the Common Travel Area, to Irish and UK citizens when in each other’s state.

Implications and actions for individuals and businesses

EEA lawyers who have already been admitted to the legal profession, allowing them to use the professional title of solicitor or barrister in England/Wales or Northern Ireland on the exit date will be able to continue to practise under that title and provide regulated legal activities, in accordance with the relevant regulator’s rules. They will not need to take any action.

EEA lawyers who have applied for admission to the English/Welsh or Northern Irish legal profession prior to exit day (through routes available under either the MPRQ Regulations or European Communities (Lawyer’s Practice) Regulations 2000), and are awaiting a decision on the exit date, will, as far as possible, be able to complete their recognition process under pre-exit rules.

Registered European Lawyer status – which allows EEA lawyers to practise permanently in the UK under their existing title – will cease on the exit date. From exit day, EEA lawyers will be treated in the same way as other lawyers qualified in any other third country jurisdiction.

Existing Registered European Lawyers will need to consider whether they intend to provide regulated (‘reserved’ in England and Wales) legal activities. If so, they will need to take steps to transfer into the profession of the relevant UK jurisdiction (England/Wales or Northern Ireland) to continue providing those services and should contact their UK regulator for advice.

Employers of Registered European Lawyers and other EEA lawyers providing services in England/Wales and Northern Ireland will need to consider whether their employees will provide regulated (‘reserved’) legal activities. If so, they will need to take steps to make sure their employee can continue providing those services, for example by transferring into the profession of the relevant UK jurisdiction, or working under the supervision of a lawyer qualified to undertake those activities, subject to regulatory rules.

Employers of Registered European Lawyers and other EEA lawyers should contact their regulator for advice.

EEA lawyers who own or manage legal businesses in England/Wales or Northern Ireland will need to consider whether their business model is compliant with the relevant regulatory rules, once Registered European Lawyer status ceases, and should contact their regulator for advice.

More information

Further information, including arrangements for third country lawyers, is available from the relevant regulatory bodies: the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Bar Standards Board (England and Wales), The Law Society of Northern Ireland and the Law Society of Scotland.

Provision of Services Regulations

Before 29 March 2019

The EU Services Directive (2006/123/EC) makes it easier for businesses to establish themselves in other Member States, and to provide services cross-border on either a temporary or permanent basis. The Services Directive is implemented into UK legislation by the Provision of Services Regulations 2009.

The Regulations simplify the rules for, and prevent unjustifiable barriers to, the provision of services. They ensure that Competent Authorities, including government departments, Devolved Administrations, local authorities and other licensing and authorisation bodies, comply with a set of regulatory principles.

The current Regulations set out the following requirements:

  • the Regulations ensure Competent Authorities cannot impose discriminatory, disproportionate or unnecessary requirements on EEA businesses who are providing services on either a permanent or temporary basis in the UK
  • the Regulations set out the duties of businesses, detailing the requirements for contact details and other information to be made available for service recipients
  • the Regulations require Competent Authorities to notify the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy of new measures
  • the Regulations set out obligations on Competent Authorities to ensure effective administrative cooperation with their counterparts in other Member States
  • the Regulations require the government to establish an electronic assistance facility to operate as the UK’s Point of Single Contact, which is GOV.UK

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

When the UK leaves the EU, EEA businesses will be treated like other third country service providers as the Regulations will need to be amended to comply with the UK’s commitments under World Trade Organisation rules.

The Regulations will continue to ensure that businesses in the UK are not subject to disproportionate or burdensome regulation. For example, businesses and consumer rights will be protected as UK Competent Authorities will continue to regulate service provision in line with the general principles of open competition.

The government will continue to work with the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Civil Service and Competent Authorities to ensure future arrangements for provision of services work across the UK. These arrangements are without prejudice to the rights and privileges accorded, by the Common Travel Area, to Irish and UK citizens when in each other’s state.

Implications

The scope of the UK Regulations will be amended to apply to UK nationals established in the UK and UK-established businesses. EEA businesses will no longer have preferential access rights and protections provided for by the Regulations. Competent Authorities will regulate EEA businesses in the same way they regulate third country service providers. The UK services market is highly liberalised and it is not envisaged that EEA businesses will face additional barriers to entry to the UK Services market.

UK businesses providing services in the EEA would no longer be covered by the EU Services Directive. As a result, countries in the EEA could treat them in the same way as they treat third country service providers. In many EEA countries, the regime for third countries has different requirements. This could result in additional legal and administrative barriers for UK firms, such as requirements based on nationality, re-submitting information to regulators and potential loss of access to any online portal to complete mandatory applications and licenses where this is only available to EEA nationals. The tangible impacts this would have on businesses will likely vary depending on sector and the Member State.

A ‘No Deal’ scenario will also mean changes for UK nationals providing services in person into EEA countries, whether on a short term ‘fly in, fly out’ basis, longer term movement to provide services to clients, or placements within other parts of the business. Businesses should check whether a visa and/or work permit is required and otherwise comply with the immigration controls in place in each Member State where the service is being provided in person. This would vary depending on the Member State in question. If the provision of services relies on a UK qualification being recognised by a Member State regulator, individuals should check the host state national policies. The EU Commission has stated that decisions on the recognition of UK qualifications in EU Member States before exit day are not affected.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

UK businesses will continue to be obliged to provide the required information for service recipients and to maintain a complaints procedure. Businesses looking to provide services in the UK will continue to benefit from the Regulations as Competent Authorities should continue to design authorisation schemes and licensing requirements that are proportionate and justified in the public interest.

Competent Authorities will be able to regulate EEA service providers as third country service providers. Regulators will have the choice to impose more restrictive requirements on EEA service providers, in line with their new status as third country service providers. Individual Competent Authorities will be responsible for advising businesses on any future changes to their processes and any changes are likely to be subject to consultation allowing businesses time to make necessary preparations.

More information

In 2009, the government published guidance providing businesses and Competent Authorities (who set licensing requirements and authorisation schemes for businesses) with detailed advice on the principles and suggested direction for the application of the Services Directive. In the scenario where the UK leaves the European Union on 29 March 2019 without a formal agreement, the published guidance will be updated to reflect the changes that are made to the Provision of Services Regulations 2009. It would provide further information on the restrictions requirements that may be imposed on EEA service providers.

SOLVIT

Before 29 March 2019

The SOLVIT network was established in 2002 following a European Commission Recommendation of 7 December 2001. SOLVIT Centres in each EU and EEA Member State work with each other to try to resolve informally complaints that arise following a decision issued by a public authority or regulator that affects the EU single market rights of EU businesses and citizens. SOLVIT provides an informal alternative to filing a court case, submitting a formal complaint to the European Commission or putting forward a petition.

People who encounter a problem exercising their rights apply to their ‘Home Centre’, usually in their home country. The Home Centre prepares the case and sends it to the SOLVIT Centre in the country where the problem occurred (the Lead Centre), which then deals with the authority or regulator in question.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

When the UK has left the EU, it will no longer have access to the SOLVIT network. The UK will close its SOLVIT Centre, will not accept any new cases and will close any unresolved open cases after exit day.

Implications

As the UK SOLVIT Centre will close, there are implications for UK citizens and business as well as EU and EEA citizens and business in terms of raising concerns.

Actions for businesses and individuals

UK citizens and businesses will have to raise concerns directly with the national authorities of the relevant EU or EEA Member State.

EU and EEA citizens and businesses will have to raise concerns directly with UK national authorities.

More information

Stakeholders will be able to find further information on rules and rights after the UK exits the EU on www.gov.uk and in other technical notices.

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the EEA and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 104 on Accounting and audit if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a ‘no deal’ scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

This notice explains the implications for accounting, corporate reporting and audit in the unlikely event that the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no agreement in place. For the purpose of this notice, ‘UK company’ means a company incorporated in the UK and includes a subsidiary incorporated in the UK regardless of the nationality of its parent but does not include a UK branch of a company incorporated elsewhere. An ‘EU company’ means a company incorporated in the EU regardless of the nationality of its parent but does not include an EU branch of a company incorporated elsewhere. This notice covers:

  • accounting and corporate reporting
  • audit

Before 29 March 2019

The UK currently follows the EU rules and regulations that fall under the areas of accounting, corporate reporting and audit. These rules and regulations set out how companies and other legal entities report on their financial activity, corporate governance arrangements and how those reports are audited. This is reflected in UK law mainly through the Companies Act 2006 and regulations made under that Act.

For other types of legal entities which have their own specific legislation, this generally mirrors the legislation for companies (albeit with modifications) and therefore much of this notice will be relevant to these entities also. However, this notice is expressed in terms of the effect for companies as this is the most commonly used corporate form.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

The government will ensure that the UK continues to have a functioning regulatory framework for companies and that, as far as possible, the same laws and rules that are currently in place continue to apply. This will be done by using the powers in the EU Withdrawal Act 2018 to correct deficiencies in our statute book arising from our exit from the EU.

The UK government will continue to work with the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Civil Service, to ensure the future company law regime works across the UK.

Accounting and corporate reporting

The corporate reporting regime will be unchanged in many respects; however, certain changes are necessary to reflect that the UK is no longer a Member State.

Audit

The rules relating to audits of UK companies operating solely within the UK will be unchanged, but there will be additional requirements relating to the audits of UK companies operating cross-border, and to the provision of audit services cross-border.

The UK will unilaterally provide a transitional period in the field of audit until the end of December 2020. During this transitional period individuals will be able to continue to apply for their EU audit qualifications to be recognised in the UK and EU auditor registrations will continue to be recognised in the UK. Additionally, EU audit firms will continue to count towards the majority of appropriately qualified persons test for owning UK audit firms. These arrangements are set out in more detail in the sections below.

Implications

Accounting and corporate reporting

UK incorporated subsidiaries and parents of EU businesses will continue to be subject to the UK’s corporate reporting regime. However, certain exemptions in the Companies Act 2006 relating to the preparation of individual accounts will no longer be extended to companies with parents or subsidiaries incorporated in the EU. For example, a UK company is currently exempted from having to prepare individual accounts if it is dormant, and part of a group of companies with an EU parent company that prepares group accounts. This exemption will only continue to apply after exit if the parent company is established in the UK.

UK businesses with a branch operating in the EU will become third country businesses and will be required to comply with specific accounting and reporting requirements for such businesses in the Member State in which they operate. Complying with the accounting and reporting requirements of the Companies Act 2006 may no longer be treated by those Member States as sufficient.

UK companies listed on an EU market may also be required to provide additional assurance to the relevant listing authority that their accounts comply with International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standard Board. This will need to be done in accordance with EU third country requirements. In the short term, this could lead to changes to the compliance statements which are required within the annual accounts submitted to listing authorities.

As set out above there will be changes to reporting requirements which will have implications for how UK accounting and company secretariat service providers interact with their clients. This could lead to a need for changes to systems to capture additional information for reporting purposes as well as obtaining additional agreements and assurances from the relevant listing authorities ahead of their reporting date.

Audit

In order to be able to sign audit reports on behalf of an audit firm approved in the UK, the auditor must be in possession of a qualification recognised in the UK.

The UK will provide individual auditors with EU qualifications with a transitional period, from exit until the end of December 2020, during which they can apply to be recognised as auditors in the UK subject to passing an aptitude test. At the end of the transitional period EU auditors will cease to benefit from automatic recognition of their qualifications in the UK and may no longer be offered an aptitude test. However, EU qualified auditors who were recognised as a result of an aptitude test process, which is begun before the end of the transitional period, will continue to be recognised.

Auditors with Irish qualifications will not need to take an aptitude test as the Republic of Ireland uses audit qualifications granted by UK qualifying bodies.

As is currently the case, those with EU qualifications will count towards the required majority of appropriately qualified owners or managers of a UK audit firm, but only during the transitional period. After the end of the transitional period, only owners or managers with qualifications recognised in the UK will count towards the majority of appropriately qualified owners or managers of a UK audit firm. However, EU qualified individuals who were recognised as part of the management body before exit will continue to be recognised.

Audits of EU businesses seeking to raise capital by issuing shares or debt securities on a regulated market in the UK will need to be undertaken by an auditor registered with the Financial Reporting Council. The audits will need to be included in a cycle of inspections, in which the Financial Reporting Council will visit the registered auditor in the EU Member State where the business is incorporated until that Member State is recognised in the UK as having an equivalent audit regulatory framework.

EU audit firms will not be recognised among the required majority of suitably qualified owners as from the end of December 2020.

In a ‘no deal’ scenario an individual’s UK audit qualification may no longer be recognised in an EU Member State. There are exceptions such as Ireland where qualifications used are those offered by UK qualifying bodies and so they will continue to be recognised as professional qualifications. Similar arrangements may apply for some UK qualifications in some other Member States.

Audits of UK businesses seeking to raise capital by issuing shares or debt securities on a regulated market in the EU will need to be undertaken by an auditor registered as a ‘third country auditor’ in the EU Member State in which the market operates. The audit will then be in scope of a cycle of inspections by the recognised authority for that market.

A UK audit firm that wishes to own part of, or be part of the management body of, an EU firm will no longer be recognised among the required majority of EU qualified owners or managers.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

Accounting and corporate reporting

Subsidiaries and parents of EU companies established in the UK will need to make themselves familiar with the exemptions in the Companies Act 2006 relating to accounting and reporting requirements that will no longer be extended to UK companies with parents or subsidiaries incorporated in the EU.

Branches of EU companies established in the UK will become subject to additional requirements under the overseas companies regime, and after exit will be subject to the same accounting and reporting requirements as non-EU companies that have a branch here. The management of such branches should familiarise themselves with the additional reporting requirements that will be applicable to them.

UK businesses may wish to make themselves aware of the specific accounting and reporting requirements of any Member State in which they operate.

UK businesses listed on an EU market may wish to make themselves aware of EU third country requirements for listed entities.

UK legal, accounting and company secretariat service providers to UK or EU businesses with operations and listings in both the UK and the EU will need to ensure that their clients are aware of the additional reporting requirements as well as the need to obtain additional agreements and assurances.

Audit

Individuals with EU qualifications who are not yet recognised by the UK will want to make themselves aware of further details on the transitional period for automatic recognition of audit qualifications and the continued availability of the aptitude test, as referenced above. The test is available from recognised supervisory bodies for auditors the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Walesthe Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotlandthe Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and Chartered Accountants Ireland. Individuals who are already recognised do not need to take any further action.

EU businesses operating in the UK seeking to raise capital by issuing shares or debt securities on a regulated market in the UK may wish to consider securing the services of an auditor registered with the Financial Reporting Council.

An EU audit firm wanting to be an auditor of an EU business with debt or equity traded on a UK market will need to register as a ‘third country auditor’ in the UK.

Holders of a UK audit qualification who want to provide audit services in a Member State will need to understand how their qualifications will be recognised in that Member State. This will govern their ability to sign audit reports on behalf of an audit firm approved in that Member State, and their ability to be recognised as part of the required majority of EU qualified members of the ownership or management body of an audit firm.

UK businesses who wish to raise capital by issuing shares or debt securities on a regulated market in the EU may wish to consider securing the services of a ‘third country auditor’ registered in the relevant Member State.

An audit firm wanting to be an auditor of a UK business with debt or equity traded on an EU market will need to register as a third country auditor in the Member State in which the securities market is situated or operates.

More information

For more information, please also see:

Companies House for information on companies and other corporate entities, including how to set up a company, filing requirements and publication requirements.

Overseas Companies in the UK Registration and Disclosure Obligations for information on the registration and disclosure requirements for overseas companies in the UK.

The technical notice on Structuring your business

The technical notice on Providing services including that of a qualified professional

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

 

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 103 on Export and import of hazardous chemicals if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

The purpose of this notice is to outline the arrangements that would come into force to regulate chemicals in the unlikely event the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 with no agreement in place, with respect to the Export and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Regulation (known as the PIC Regulation).

Before 29 March 2019

The directly-applicable PIC Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 649/2012) implements in the EU the international Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, but goes further than the Convention in applying the provisions to chemicals considered to be banned or severely restricted in the EU under other chemicals law, principally the Plant Protection Products Regulation, the Biocidal Products Regulation and the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). The PIC Regulation requires exports of listed chemicals to be notified to the importing country and for some chemicals the consent of the importing country must be sought before export can proceed.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) facilitates the operation of the PIC Regulation through its ePIC IT system.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

The UK would establish an independent standalone PIC regime so that the UK can continue to meet its international obligations under the Rotterdam Convention. This would initially be based on the existing EU regime, with amendments to enable functions presently carried out by the EU to continue. UK exporters would continue to notify exports of listed chemicals via the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as the UK PIC Designated National Authority (DNA) (appointed jointly with the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland).

UK-based companies exporting or importing listed chemicals (including to or from EU countries) would need to comply with the requirements of the UK PIC Regulation.

Implications

Although much of the existing system would continue to apply, there will be changes:

  • UK-based companies would no longer have access to ePIC and would need to use the UK’s new system that would be operated by the HSE (as the PIC DNA) to notify exports of listed chemicals from the UK. New UK procedures for notifying exports will be in place ahead of exit day so that UK businesses will use them for exports leaving the UK after 29th March.
  • The UK PIC Regulation would apply to the export of listed chemicals that are exported from the UK, including to EU countries. Companies that currently only move listed chemicals within the EU single market and do not export them outside the EU would have to start to notify these to HSE (UK DNA) under UK PIC.
  • The intention would be to recognise UK export notifications for 2019 that are already in place when we leave the EU, with no requirement to re-submit the notification for that year (export notifications are only valid in any calendar year). Where the first export in 2019 of the chemical falls after 29 March 2019, UK companies would need to notify these to UK DNA using the new UK system.
  • Where explicit consent has been given by an importing country to another EU country under the current EU PIC arrangements, it may be necessary to seek the consent of that country for UK exports of the chemical after 29 March 2019.
  • Exporters and importers would need to include in the information they submit to the UK DNA in the first quarter of each year, details of the quantities of listed chemicals exported to or imported from EU countries, as well as other countries.

More information

Further information and instructions will be published in the coming months. We aim to give businesses and individuals as much certainty as possible as soon as we can, and to ensure that any new requirements are not unduly burdensome.

Here is existing guidance on the export and import of hazardous chemicals from and into Europe under the PIC Regulation.

We also recommend reading the following technical notices:

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

 

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 102 on Health marks on meat fish and dairy products if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

This notice provides information to certain businesses on action they would need to take before EU exit to ensure that trade can be maintained in a ‘no deal’ scenario. It is specifically aimed at UK businesses that use the health and identification marks for food products of animal origin such as meat, eggs, fish, cheese and milk.

Before 29 March 2019

If you produce meat, fish or dairy products, you must be approved to operate by a competent authority. Approval is under Regulation (EC) 853/2004 Article 4 (2).

In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) is the competent authority that approves slaughterhouses, meat cutting plants, and game handling establishments. Food Standards Scotland (FSS) carries out similar functions in Scotland.

Local authorities are the competent authorities responsible for all other relevant establishments in England, Wales and Scotland.

In Northern Ireland, the FSA is also the competent authority that approves liquid milk dairy establishments and egg packers. The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) carry out hygiene official controls (on behalf of the FSA) in slaughterhouses, meat cutting plants, game handling establishments and liquid milk dairy establishments and egg packers.

You cannot produce or process meat, fish or dairy products for sale unless your establishment is approved. Your produce must carry an appropriate health or identification mark. These are requirements under Regulation 853/2004, Articles 4 and 5.

The health or identification mark must be oval in shape and state:

  • that it’s produced in the EU
  • the EU country it’s from
  • your unique approval number

The above are described respectively in Regulation (EC) 854/2004, Annex I, Section I, Chapter III and Regulation (EC) 853/2004 Annex II.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

The FSA is not planning to change approval numbers, but the health and identification marks would need to change after 29 March 2019 if there’s no Brexit deal.

The UK would not be entitled to use any abbreviation in the health and identification marks that implies membership of the EU. The form of the health and identification marks would therefore need to change. This is a requirement under Regulation (EC) 853/2004, Article 6 (1), Regulation (EC) 853/2004 Article 5 and Annex II and Regulation (EC) 854/2004 Annex I, Section I, Chapter III.

The FSA recently wrote to industry about what the new health and identification marks should look like.

The aim is to keep any change to the health and identification marks as simple as possible, minimise the impact on industry and ensure continued recognition by consumers in the UK, EU and countries that we export to outside the EU. The new health mark design would need to meet the EU’s requirements for a third country health and identification mark to ensure recognition by EU countries. As a minimum, the EU abbreviation would have to be removed from the health and identification marks.

The FSA in England and Wales, FSS in Scotland and DAERA, in conjunction with FSA in Northern Ireland, are taking steps to ensure that operational staff will be equipped with new health marks from 29 March 2019, so they can be deployed on this date if necessary.

Local authorities will be kept informed of developments regarding proposed changes to the health and identification marks.

A consultation period will give stakeholders the chance to comment and respond to our proposals. After this, industry will be notified as soon as possible regarding the new health and identification marks. If you export meat, fish or dairy products to the EU or other countries you would need to use the new marks.

If you don’t export, the FSA is currently considering proposals that may allow the continued use of the old identification marks on domestic produce for a limited time after 29 March. This would help to minimise the impact on industry by allowing businesses to use up old stocks of packaging.

What you’d need to do

When the consultation process has been completed, you will be told what changes you will need to make to health and identification marks. These changes will be communicated by November 2018. You will need to change health and identification marks to continue exporting meat, fish and dairy products.

Defra, which has responsibility for international trade in food and feed products, will inform other countries that receive UK exports about the changes to UK health and identification marks.

More information

This guidance should be read in conjunction with Defra’s guidance on live animal and animal product exports, and on food labelling.

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 101 on Classifying, labelling and packaging chemicals if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

The purpose of this notice is to outline the arrangements that would come into force to regulate chemicals in the unlikely event the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 with no agreement in place, with respect to the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures regulation (CLP) (Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008).

Before 29 March 2019

The directly-applicable CLP regulation adopts, throughout all EU countries, the UN Globally Harmonised System (GHS) for the classification and labelling of chemicals.

Under CLP chemicals are classified based on their intrinsic hazards – eg, carcinogenic, toxic for reproduction, mutagenic, flammability, toxic for the aquatic environment (not exhaustive). Consideration of the risks or regulatory consequences arising from a hazard are not part of the decision-making process on classification. If a chemical is classified as meeting one of the hazard classes, it must be labelled and packaged accordingly. The process of classification at EU level is dynamic, with changes and revisions being made through Adaptations to Technical Progress (ATPs) at least once a year, to reflect the latest scientific and technical data.

Hazard identification, through CLP, is required to apply a combination of legislative measures through the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), Biocidal Products Regulation and Plant Protection Products Regulation to deliver the necessary control measures. Technical Notices have been published for each of these regulations.

Under CLP, suppliers of hazardous chemicals are required to classify (identify the intrinsic hazardous properties), label and package the chemicals they place on the market. Manufacturers and importers are also required to notify details of their classifications to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) for inclusion in the Classification and Labelling Inventory.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

The UK would establish an independent standalone chemicals regime. At the time of exit, as the UK would effectively adopt the GHS in the same way as the EU, the UK classification and labelling regime would be based on the existing EU regulatory regime in order to provide continuity for businesses, with amendments to enable functions presently carried out by the EU (including those performed by ECHA), instead being carried out in the UK by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). This would mean companies operating in the UK dealing with HSE in place of ECHA.

The majority of CLP would continue to be applied in the UK, so the main duties and obligations on suppliers to classify, label and package hazardous chemicals placed on the market would remain in place. This means the duties on UK manufacturers, importers and downstream users to classify, label and package the substances and mixtures they place on the UK market will remain. This would also be the case for the obligations on those suppliers to identify, examine and evaluate available scientific and information on substances and mixtures where it relates to the possible physical, health or environmental hazardous properties of those chemicals to ensure all the requirements of classification are fulfilled. Suppliers must also comply with mandatory classification and labelling.

All the labelling requirements would remain in place too including the principles of precedence for the different labelling elements, the location of the label on packaging, and exemptions where available. The arrangements for dealing with both transport and CLP labelling are unchanged. You can find an overview of CLP labelling and packagingon the HSE website and on transport labelling in the moving dangerous goods section on GOV.UK.

The packaging requirements stay the same, including those for child resistant closures and tactile warning devices.

The testing arrangements, including the prohibition of testing on humans or non-human primates for the purposes of CLP, will still apply.

Manufacturers and importers will also continue to comply with the duty to notify details of the self-classifications for the substances and mixtures they place on the market. Currently, these notifications are made to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). In future, these notifications will be made to HSE.

Implications

Although the existing arrangements would continue to apply, there would be changes, in particular:

  • Companies importing chemicals into the UK from EU countries would become importers under CLP and would need to be sufficiently competent to comply with the duties and obligations on an importer, just as they would if importing chemicals into the UK from a non-EU country.
  • Companies would interact with HSE for UK CLP functions, for example submission of notifications of classifications of chemicals.
  • HSE would act as the CLP competent authority for the UK, on behalf of the Secretary of State and the devolved administrations. Existing harmonised classification and labelling for named substances or groups of substances would continue to have legal effect in the UK. Once we leave the EU, HSE would have the ability to put in place new arrangements for mandatory classification and labelling. These arrangements would allow new and revised classification and labelling to be proposed, considered in liaison with the devolved authorities and adopted for the UK.
  • Companies would be required to use new UK arrangements and IT tools provided by HSE. These IT tools would be a UK mandatory classification and labelling list (of substances) and a UK notification database. The new arrangements will be operational after 29 March 2019, if there’s no deal.
  • Responsibility for chemicals being imported into the EU from the UK would rest with whoever is the EU-based importer – the importer may therefore need details of the chemicals involved from the UK-based company.
  • In future, the UK will be free to make its own decisions about chemical hazard classification, including whether or not to align with decisions made in the EU or other countries.

More information

More information and instructions will be published in the coming months. We aim to give businesses and individuals as much certainty as possible as soon as we can, and to ensure that any new requirements are not unduly burdensome.

We also recommend reading the following technical notices:

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

 

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 100 on Regulating biocidal products if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

The purpose of this notice is to outline the arrangements that would come into force to regulate chemicals in the unlikely event the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 with no agreement in place, with respect to the Biocidal Products Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 (BPR).

Before 29 March 2019

Biocidal products control harmful or unwanted organisms through chemical or biological means. The BPR regulates the EU biocides market.

BPR puts in place a two-stage process for authorising biocidal products. First, active substances (the active ingredients in biocidal products) are approved at an EU level. The evaluation work for active substances is shared amongst EU countries.

Once an active substance is approved for a specific product type, companies may apply for biocidal products of that product type, and containing that substance, to be authorised in individual EU countries.

Businesses wishing to place biocidal products on the market in more than one EU country have two options. They can either apply for EU-wide ‘Union’ authorisation, or authorisation in a ‘lead’ EU country followed by authorisation in other EU countries by a ‘mutual recognition’ process.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) authorises biocidal products for the UK market on behalf of the Secretary of State and the devolved administrations.

The process is facilitated by a central IT system, known as the ‘Register for Biocidal Products’ (R4BP3) that is run by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

The UK would establish an independent standalone biocidal products regime.

The UK would put in place a stable regulatory framework for biocidal products from the point of exit, by retaining the BPR and its subsidiary regulations in national law using the provisions of the EU Withdrawal Act. At the time of exit, the national regime would be essentially the same as the current EU framework, with changes made only where they are required to enable the regime to operate effectively in a national context.

This would ensure continued levels of protection for human health and the environment and give certainty to UK businesses putting biocidal products on the market.

Implications

HSE would continue to act as the competent authority for the UK on behalf of the Secretary of State and the devolved administrations, building on its existing capacity and capability.

Companies wishing to apply for an active substance to be approved or for a biocidal product to be authorised in the UK would apply to HSE, instead of ECHA. Active substance approvals and biocidal product authorisations would be UK-specific. Companies wishing to apply for active substance approvals or product authorisations in the EU-27 would continue to apply to ECHA.

HSE would take on the functions that ECHA currently performs, where these are still relevant in the UK. For example, HSE would co-ordinate the UK-specific active substance evaluation process, in liaison with the various administrations of the UK, and would undertake technical equivalence assessments (determining whether a new source of an active substance, or material produced by a different manufacturing process, is sufficiently similar to one that has already been evaluated, so that the evaluation conclusions remain valid).

HSE would introduce its own processes and systems for receiving and processing applications. Companies would use these instead of ECHA’s systems. In the longer term HSE would build an IT system for handling applications, with interim arrangements for receiving and processing applications put in place from exit day while it is developed.

HSE would store the information and data required to support biocidal product authorisations and active substance approvals, replacing ECHA’s databases. To enable HSE to operate the biocides authorisation regime on a UK-only basis, companies may need to submit supporting data or other information to HSE that had previously been submitted to ECHA. This would be the same information as was previously submitted and HSE would not impose additional charges.

If you hold a biocidal product authorisation that is valid in the UK on exit day, it would remain valid in the UK after exit day until its normal expiry date. Active substance approvals would also remain valid until their normal expiry date.

If you have a biocidal product being processed by HSE on exit day, HSE would, where possible, continue to process this to grant a national authorisation. HSE may, however, need to ask you to re-submit the information supporting original application to enable it to complete its evaluation.

If you have an application being processed by another EU country on exit day as part of an EU-wide authorisation process (for example, a mutual recognition or union authorisation application), you would need to re-apply to the UK for a national authorisation. However, the date of your original application would be recognised for the purposes of meeting any application submission deadlines.

A UK version of the EU list of approved active substance suppliers (the so-called ‘Article 95’ list) would be established. It would operate the same way as the current EU list. Companies already on the EU list would, on exit day, be included in the UK’s list. However, to remain on the list they would need to submit supporting information to HSE. This would be the same information as was submitted to ECHA, for example, an active substance dossier or a letter of access. Companies would also have to ensure they are established in the UK. A phase-in period would be provided to give businesses time to meet these requirements.

Under the BPR authorisation holders have to be established in the EU. In the standalone national regime, authorisation holders would need to be established in the UK. There would be a phase-in period to give businesses time to make any necessary arrangements.

These arrangements will ensure there would be minimal changes at the time of exit from the current system, and that the transition will be as smooth for businesses as possible.

More information

Further information and instructions will be published in the coming months. We aim to give businesses and individuals as much certainty as possible as soon as we can, and to ensure that any new requirements are not unduly burdensome.

We also recommend reading the following technical notices:

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

 

 

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 99 on Control on persistent organic pollutants if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

This notice outlines the arrangements that would come into force to regulate Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) if the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no deal.

POPs are organic compounds that are resistant to environmental degradation through chemical, biological, and photolytic processes. They persist in the environment for long periods, are capable of long-range transportation, bioaccumulate in human and animal tissue and biomagnify in food chains, and have potentially significant impacts on human health and the environment.

Exposure to POPs can cause serious health problems including certain cancers, birth defects, dysfunctional immune and reproductive systems, and greater susceptibility to disease.

Before 29 March 2019

The POPs regulations implement, manage and enforce the international Stockholm Convention agreement on POPs and the Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution on POPs (CLRTAP). Competent authorities in the four UK countries manage permits and inventories. They are also responsible for some monitoring and enforcement of the regulations.

The competent authorities are:

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

The UK is a party to both the Stockholm Convention and the CLRTAP in its own right and as such would be bound by their obligations and retain existing protections. This will not change after leaving the EU.

The competent authorities would remain the same as currently.

Control of production, placing on the market and use

The criteria for managing existing substances and new substances exhibiting characteristics of POPs would remain the same. Future updates would be in accordance with Stockholm Convention decisions and agreed scientific and technical progress. The Secretary of State, Scottish Minister, Welsh Minister and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland are responsible for ensuring that these substances are not produced and do not reach the market once identified in accordance with restrictions set out in the annexes to the legislation. Competent authorities in the relevant country should be contacted if there are any concerns about a substance.

Exemptions from control measures

Exemptions from the restrictions agreed by the Stockholm Convention and set out in the current EU regulation would remain the same.

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) Inventories

Each competent authority is responsible for keeping a record of PCB equipment still to be destroyed. They would continue to keep this record and should be informed if any equipment is identified as containing PCBs or when they have been safely destroyed.

Annexes

The list of substances in the annexes to the current EU regulation that are controlled and monitored would be unchanged. Waste management methods and concentration limits for individual substances set out in the annexes to the EU regulation would remain unchanged. Future updates would be in accordance with Stockholm Convention decisions and an agreed scientific and technical progress.

New POPs substances

Identification of potential new POPs substances, with the exception of pesticides, may come from any source but would be managed initially through the UK chemicals regulatory regime that would replace REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals). If all the characteristics of a POP emerge from the evidence gathering, the UK would develop a dossier to present to the Stockholm Convention’s POP Review Committee (POPRC) for assessment.

We also recommend reading the following technical notices:

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 98 on Control on mercury if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

This notice outlines the arrangements that would come into force to regulate mercury and mercury compounds and mixtures, if the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no deal.

Anthropogenic releases and emissions of mercury and mercury compounds are recognised internationally as global pollutants, causing harm to the environment and human health. Although all humans are exposed to mercury to some degree, some groups are at a higher risk, in particular foetuses, breast-fed babies and infants exposed through seafood consumption, either directly or through their mother, and people who are chronically exposed to high levels of mercury, for instance due to subsistence fishing or work. As a result, mercury is listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as among the ‘ten chemicals of major public health concern’.

Before 29 March 2019

The use, disposal, storage and movement of mercury in the UK is currently regulated through a framework based on EU Regulation 2017/852 on mercury. This legislation allows the implementation of the UN Minamata Convention on Mercury, a global effort to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury.

For business operators, the EU Regulation places restrictions on mercury-added products and industrial processes, as well as establishing an authorisation process for new mercury-added products and mercury using industrial processes that were not being manufactured or used prior to 1 January 2018.

It also requires that interim storage of mercury and mercury compounds for industrial activities is carried out in an environmentally sound manner and in line with guidance produced under the Minamata Convention.

The regulation also addresses movement and storage of mercury waste and requires operators in the chlor-alkali, natural gas cleaning, non-ferrous mining and smelting industries to report annually to the competent authorities on their mercury waste.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

The competent authorities would remain the same as designated under the Control of Mercury (Enforcement) Regulation 1200/2017.

Exports

Currently under the EU Regulation, it is prohibited to export mercury, mercury waste, the mercury compounds/mixtures listed in Annex I of the Regulation and mercury-added products listed in Annex II, outside the EU with certain derogations.

The UK will be leaving the EU customs union, deal or no deal.

As a result, business operators should take into account that the movement of the above mercury materials, including mercury waste, from the EU to the UK would newly be classified as exports, and therefore prohibited under the current EU Regulation.

Under the EU Regulation and EU waste shipments regulation, member states would continue to be able to accept mercury waste from the UK for disposal after the UK leaves the EU. This would be subject to the conditions of the derogation for the import of mercury waste for disposal i.e. where the exporting country has no access to available conversion capacity within its own territory.

For the UK, our plans for a no deal scenario would seek to replicate the current situation for the materials listed above by allowing export from the UK to the EU only.

Imports

The restrictions and derogations on the import of mercury, mixtures/compounds of mercury, and mercury-added products listed in Annex II of the EU Regulation would continue to be the same in a no deal scenario as currently set out under Articles 4 and 5 of the EU Regulation.

Operators will be aware that, as mentioned above, export of the listed mercury materials outside the EU is prohibited under the current EU Regulation. As a consequence, operators would not be able to receive shipments from the EU. In 2017, only a small quantity of commodity mercury came to the UK from EU member states so we believe this change should have a limited impact on business.

The current requirement for business operators to obtain written consent to import mercury or the mixtures of mercury for a use allowed in the UK would continue if no agreement were reached. This would be obtained at a national level from the competent authorities, as is currently the case.

Storage

The requirements on the interim storage of mercury and mercury mixtures/compounds would continue to be the same for business operators in the UK in the case of a no deal scenario. Regulations on the technical requirements for such interim storage would be made jointly by the Defra Secretary of State and devolved ministers, whilst continuing to be based on decisions adopted under the Minamata Convention. The requirements for the storage of mercury waste, as currently set out in the EU Regulation, would also continue to be the same.

New mercury-added products and processes

The UK will continue to be a party to the Minamata Convention in its own right in a no deal scenario. EU Regulation 2017/852 on mercury would be retained in UK law under the EU Withdrawal Act 2018. In a no deal scenario, the process of providing the initial notification of a new mercury-added product or process to the competent authorities would continue to be carried out at the national level in the UK, following the same procedure.

Whilst the criteria for authorisation would also continue to be the same as those stipulated under the EU Regulation and Minamata Convention, the duty to assess and decide on whether a new mercury-added product or process is authorised would be exercised jointly by the Defra Secretary of State and devolved ministers.

This would also mean that for operators to manufacture or use new mercury-added products or processes in both the UK and EU, these would have to be authorised independently by both.

We also recommend reading the following technical notices:

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU member states. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario

 

 

 

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 97 on Importing high-risk food and animal feed if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the Government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

This notice provides information to certain businesses on action they would need to take before EU exit to ensure that trade can be maintained in a ‘no deal’ scenario. It’s specifically aimed at UK businesses that import food and animal feed both from EU and rest of the world. The notice informs them of:

  • changes to the IT system for pre-notifying the import of high-risk food and feed from outside the EU
  • changes to the import requirements for high-risk food and feed transiting through the EU from a non-EU country to the UK
  • a new requirement for the pre-notification of the import of high-risk food and feed originating within the EU

Before 29 March 2019

The current regime for importing high-risk food and feed into the UK is regulated by EU legislation.

‘High-risk’ means:

  • all products of animal origin (POAO)
  • specified food and feed not of animal origin (FNAO)

Checks are made at the border on high-risk food and feed from third countries. There are no routine checks on the import of food and feed from other EU countries.

Imports to the UK from outside the EU (third country trade) – notification of imports using TRACES

Consignments of high-risk food and feed from countries outside the EU must be pre-notified at their point of entry into the EU, using the import module of the EU Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) system.

This means that, where a consignment from outside the EU enters the EU, the UK port or airport is made aware of the consignment’s expected arrival to ensure the appropriate safety checks are carried out before its release onto the market.

Information on the EU’s TRACES system can be found at the European Commission’s website.

Imports to the UK from within the EU

Pre-notification is currently required only when high-risk food and feed from third countries is being imported into the EU.

Import controls – Transit consignments

High-risk food and feed products originating in countries outside the EU, destined for the UK, which enter the EU to transit onwards to the UK (transit consignments) are subject to relevant imports controls at the first point of entry into the EU. Once they have entered the EU, these products can then enter the UK by any route and no additional controls are required.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

Currently, the EU determines what FNAO is to be considered high-risk. In future, on any imports to the UK from the EU and third countries, this will be for the UK to decide. Import controls would be risk-based. Broadly, because the risk does not change on day one, no new controls are planned for imports from the EU of food and feed currently categorised as high-risk.

Pre-notification for TRACES users

If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no deal in place, it is anticipated the UK would no longer have access to the EU import notification system, TRACES. This means importers to the UK from the rest of the world will no longer be able to use TRACES to notify the UK about those goods. To ensure those importing high-risk food and feed could continue to do so, a new import notification system is being developed to take the place of TRACES. More information on the new system will be published in the autumn.

Imports from the EU

The UK would also lose access to the systems for exchanging intelligence about food incidents between EU countries and the reciprocal obligations between those countries and the European Commission. In order to respond to food safety incidents effectively, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) intends to require all importers of high risk food and feed from the EU to pre-notify them using the new UK import notification system.

Currently no EU FNAO is designated as high risk.

Import controls – consignments transiting the EU

If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no deal in place the UK will no longer be able to rely on the EU undertaking full import controls on high-risk consignments transiting through the EU to the UK. The goods will therefore need to be checked as they enter the UK.

Implications

General

Broadly, because the risk is not expected to change on day one, no new controls are envisaged in relation to imports of high-risk food and feed from the EU for a time limited period after Exit.

Pre-notification for TRACES users

Anyone currently using the TRACES system to pre-notify the UK about high-risk food and feed product imports from the rest of the world will need to start using the UK’s new import notification system, ahead of March 2019.

Updates will be issued to the industry between now and March 2019 to assist users to prepare for this change and ensure their own businesses are ready for imports on the day the UK leaves the EU. Representatives from key user groups are involved in the design, testing and preparation of the system.

Guidance and training material will be available several months in advance of March 2019 clearly setting out any differences from the existing system, although these will be minimal as it has been developed to replicate TRACES functionality.

Pre-notification for importers from the EU

In order to maintain high levels of food safety, the UK would require importers of high-risk food and feed to pre-notify the FSA of their imports from the EU. The FSA is working closely with Defra to establish when this requirement could be satisfactorily introduced. There would be no change on the day the UK leaves the EU to current import controls or requirements for notifications of imports of live animals and animal products for imports direct from the EU.

This requirement is not expected to have direct impact at the border or for port health authorities. Pre-notifications would be made electronically, in advance, by those introducing high-risk foods and feed into the UK, and would be managed by the FSA. As noted above, currently no EU FNAO is designated as high risk.

Import controls – transit consignments

Importers wishing to transit high-risk food and feed through the EU to the UK would need to recognise that the requirements differ depending on whether these are POAOor FNAO.

EU food law provides a clear provision for POAO. For this purpose, POAO would need to transit the EU under seal and land in the UK at a location with a Border Inspection Point (BIP) so that UK officials can perform the necessary import controls on these products.

However, there is not an equivalent transit provision within EU food law for high-risk FNAO. Therefore, to ensure that the UK’s imported food control regime remains sufficiently robust with no increased risk to public health, high-risk FNAO (as identified by country and by commodity), currently controlled under EU legislation must enter the UK via a Designated Point of Entry (DPE) so that UK officials can perform the necessary import controls on these products

For information about which locations have BIPs please go to the European Commission’s website. For information on locations that have DPEs, please go to the FSA’s website.

More information

For more information, please read Importing animals and animal products if there’s no Brexit deal. The FSA will continue to engage with stakeholders as we develop processes in the lead up to March 2019.

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

 

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 96 on Existing free trade agreements if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For 2 years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

The purpose of this notice is to inform businesses and other interested parties about the government’s plans to ensure continuity for the UK’s existing trade agreements with partners outside the EU if we do not reach agreement with the EU on the terms of our withdrawal prior to 29 March 2019.

While the UK government is confident that it will agree a deal and a time-limited implementation period, as a responsible government it will continue to prepare for all scenarios, including the unlikely outcome that the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal.

This is contingency planning for a scenario that the UK government does not expect to happen, but people should be reassured that the government is taking a responsible approach.

Before 29 March 2019

As a member of the EU, the UK currently participates in around 40 free trade agreements with over 70 countries. These free trade agreements cover a wide variety of relationships, including:

  • Economic Partnership Agreements with developing nations
  • Association Agreements, which cover broader economic and political cooperation
  • trade agreements with countries that are closely aligned with the EU, such as Turkey and Switzerland
  • more conventional free trade agreements

In 2017, ONS data showed that trade with third countries with EU free trade agreements accounted for around 12% of the UK’s total trade. Businesses in the UK, EU and partner countries are eligible for a range of preferential market access opportunities under the terms of these free trade agreements. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • preferential duties for goods. This includes reductions in import tariff rates across a wide range of products, quotas for reduced or nil rates of payable duties, and quotas for more relaxed rules of origin requirements.
  • enhanced market access for service providers.
  • access to public procurement opportunities across a range of sectors.
  • improved protections for intellectual property.

For continuity and stability for businesses, consumers and investors, we are committed to ensuring these benefits are maintained, providing a smooth transition as we leave the EU.

We are currently working with partner countries to prepare for a range of possible scenarios to maintain existing trading relationships.

After March 2019 if there’s no-deal

During any implementation period, arrangements would be put in place with partner countries so that the UK is treated as an EU member state for the purposes of international agreements, including trade agreements.

In the event of a ‘no deal’, there will be no implementation period. In this scenario, the government will seek to bring into force bilateral UK-third country agreements from exit day, or as soon as possible thereafter.

These new agreements will replicate existing EU agreements and the same preferential effects with third countries as far as possible, whilst making the technical changes needed to ensure the agreements operate in a bilateral context. Ministers and officials are engaging regularly with partner countries to complete this work. When we reach final agreements with partner countries will depend on our ongoing discussions with them.

Should arrangements to maintain particular preferences in a no deal scenario not be in place on exit day, trade would then take place on a ‘Most-Favoured Nation’ (MFN) basis, which is sometimes referred to as ‘World Trade Organization (WTO) Terms’, until such a new arrangement has been implemented. Under WTO rules, the principle of MFN treatment means that the same rate of duty, on the same good, must be charged to all WTO members equally. This principle is subject to certain exceptions, including if a free trade agreement is in place. For services, the MFN principle means WTOmembers are required to grant treatment no less favourable to services and service suppliers of any other WTO member, than that which they grant to like suppliers from any other country.

In leaving the EU, the UK is regularising the terms of our WTO membership because our commitments are currently contained within the EU schedules. We are working closely with WTO members to ensure a simple, fair, and transparent transition in establishing the UK’s independent WTO schedules, in a manner that minimises disruption to our trading relationships.

The UK is already a full member of the WTO, and negotiations are ongoing for us to become independent members of the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement, on the basis of its current commitments as a member of the EU. Separate to seeking continuity for existing free trade agreements, powers in the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018 enable the UK to put in place a UK unilateral trade preference scheme for developing countries as the UK leaves the EU. In the first instance, it is intended that this will provide the same level of access as provided by the current EU trade preference scheme. This will maintain tariff free access for Least Developed Countries and continue to offer generous tariff reductions to around 25 other developing countries.

Implications

In the event of a ‘no deal’, EU trade agreements will cease to apply to the UK when we leave the EU.

Our intention is that the effects of new bilateral agreements will be identical to, or substantially the same as, the EU agreements they replace. However, users of current EU free trade agreements should be aware that, in contrast to the current situation and during any Implementation Period, there may be practical changes to how they make use of preferences under these new agreements. For example, UK and EU content will be considered distinct, and each new agreement will individually specify what origin designations may be used to qualify for preferences. We will aim to limit these changes as far as possible, but the final form of new agreements and any resulting changes will depend on ongoing discussions with our trading partners. The Trade Bill contains a reporting requirement stating that the government will publish a report before these new free trade agreements are ratified on any significant changes to the new trade-related provisions.

Where arrangements to maintain particular preferences in a no-deal scenario are not in place by exit day, trade would take place on WTO terms. Under such terms, traders would pay the applied MFN tariff. This is the tariff applied equally to all countries in the absence of preferential arrangements. In the event of no-deal, the government will determine and publish a new UK MFN tariff schedule before we leave the EU. Information on the current tariff rates are freely available to view in the UK’s applied goods schedule and can be found on the UK Government’s Tariff Look Up tool. Further practical information on arrangements for the border and relevant contact information for guidance can be found in:

The specific commitments for services trade that WTO members apply to trading partners, independently of any preferential arrangements, are set out in each Member’s schedule of commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services. Some countries have liberalised beyond these specific commitments.

For more information on the WTO, visit the WTO website.

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

 

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 95 on Maintaining the continuity of waste shipments if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

This notice sets out for businesses involved in the import or export of waste how the UK government will maintain the continuity of waste shipments between the UK and the EU in the unlikely event the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Before 29 March 2019

Under the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, international shipments of waste are controlled through a process of prior written consent. This allows countries exporting hazardous waste to verify that the authorities in destination countries are content to accept the proposed shipment and that the waste can be managed in an environmentally sound manner at its final destination. An Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) decision (C (2001)107) provides the control framework for the transboundary movement of waste between OECD countries for energy recovery and recycling.

The EU Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR) implements the provisions of the Basel Convention and the OECD decision into EU law and provides a system to control the movement of waste into, within, and from, Europe for energy recovery or recycling. It prohibits the shipment of waste for disposal, by landfill or incineration, to countries outside the EU and the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) and the export of hazardous waste to countries that are not members of the OECD.

The UK has national legislation on waste shipments: the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations (2007) designates the UK competent authorities and sets out offences and penalties. The UK Plan for Waste Shipments prohibits shipments of waste for disposal to or from the UK unless they fall under specific exceptions. For example, Ireland and Greece were granted an exception to allow the shipment of hazardous waste to the UK for disposal by High Temperature Incineration in August 2017 because the UK has specialist facilities for disposal that the exporting countries did not have.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

Validity of approvals to ship notified waste to, from and through the EU

On 25 January 2018 the European Commission issued a notice to stakeholders stating that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, import/export licences issued by the UK would no longer be valid for shipments of waste to the 27 remaining EU countries, and licenses issued by the EU would no longer be valid for shipments to the UK, from the day the UK leaves.

This means current approvals to ship notified waste between the UK and the EU that extend beyond the 29 March 2019 would be subject to a re-approval process to ensure continuity. The same applies to waste shipments transiting the EU. There is currently no process set out in the EU Waste Shipment Regulations on how notified shipments that have already been approved by UK and EU competent authorities should be re-approved. Defra is contacting other EU countries to discuss arrangements. UK and EU exporters of notified shipments will be advised before the end of November 2018 on next steps.

Waste shipments from the UK to the EU

When we leave the EU, the UK will remain a party to the Basel Convention and a member of the OECD, and will continue to implement the international rules contained in these agreements.

In the unlikely event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the UK would be treated in the same way as any other OECD country, or any country that is party to the Basel Convention, looking to export waste to an EU country. UK exporters would need to familiarise themselves with the customs guidelines the EU has laid down for imports of waste from outside the EU.

Under the WSROECD countries wishing to export waste to the EU for disposal must submit a duly reasoned request (DRR) to the relevant EU competent authority, explaining why the country does not have and cannot reasonably acquire the appropriate disposal facilities. The UK government would need to submit DRRs for any exports to the EU of waste for disposal, before a notification to export could be submitted by a UK exporter to the relevant UK competent authority. In most cases the export of UK waste for disposal is already prohibited so the impact of this additional step is unlikely to be significant.

There would be no changes to the procedure for exports of waste for recycling that are eligible to be shipped under the Green Control procedure as laid down in the OECDdecision and the WSR.

Waste shipments from the EU to the UK

In the unlikely event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the UK would be treated in the same way as any other OECD country looking to import waste from an EU country and would continue to apply the procedures laid down in the Basel Convention and the OECD decision.

The WSR prohibits the export of waste for disposal, and the export of mixed municipal waste for recovery, to states other than EU and EFTA states. EU states would be prohibited from exporting waste for disposal, or exporting mixed municipal waste for recovery, to the UK under EU law.

There would be no changes to the procedure for imports of waste for recycling that are eligible to be shipped under the Green Control procedure as laid down in the OECDdecision and the WSR.

Further information

The UK government’s website on the import and export of waste provides general information concerning shipments of waste.

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 94 on Trading and moving endangered species protected by CITES if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

This notice sets out how people who trade in, or travel with, endangered animals or plants, or their products, would be affected if the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 without a deal.

It outlines how the UK would continue to comply with its international obligations under the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) if no deal is reached with the EU. CITES is an international treaty which protects wildlife from unsustainable trade.

Before 29 March 2019

Global trade and movement of endangered animals or plants, or their products (for example skin, fur, teeth, shell, feathers, blood or seeds) is controlled under CITES. In the EU, CITES is implemented via the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations, which set requirements for trade in certain species within, to and from the EU and the rest of the world.

All CITES-listed species are contained within Annexes A to D of the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations. The Species+ database includes details of all CITES-listed species.

Annex A species have the highest level of protection – in the EU, their commercial use is prohibited except where a certificate has been issued for a specific prescribed purpose, for example for an antique-worked artefact. The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is responsible for issuing permits and certificates.

Annex B, C and D species can currently be freely traded in the EU. Commonly traded Annex B items include caviar, snowdrops, orchids, corals, reptiles (for example pythons), and many animal skins used in the manufacture of bags and watch straps (for example alligator skin). Permits are currently needed to move or trade Annex B, C and D species outside the EU.

As the UK is a party to CITES in its own right, it will continue to be bound by the obligations of the Convention after leaving the EU, regardless of the outcome of negotiations. Through transferring the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations into UK law, the UK will continue to comply with its international obligations under CITES.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, species that are currently freely moved and traded between the UK and the EU (those listed in Annexes B – D) would require a CITES permit or import/export notification. This would mean movement of all species controlled under CITES between the UK and the EU would need to follow the same processes as those currently in place for movement between the UK and non-EU countries.

The exact process would depend on the Annex under which the species is listed.

Businesses or individuals trading in or moving endangered species outside the UK would need to check the specific requirements with the intended import or export country on the Global CITES website, and either apply to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) for a CITES permit or request and complete an import notification form.

For Annex A and B listed species:

  • imports to the UK from the EU would need an export permit (or re-export certificate) from the EU country the item is moving from, and an import permit from APHA.
  • exports from the UK to the EU would need an export permit (or re-export certificate) from APHA and an import permit from the relevant EU member state.

For Annex C listed species:

  • imports to the UK from the EU would need an export permit (or re-export certificate) from the relevant EU country and an import notification on entry to the UK.
  • exports from the UK to the EU would need an export permit (or re-export certificate) from APHA and an import notification on entry to the EU country.

For Annex D listed species:

  • imports to the UK from the EU would need an import notification on entry to the UK.
  • exports from the UK to the EU would need an import notification on entry to the EU member state.

Those importing species from the EU would need to consider the routes and points of entry to the UK that are allowed for import and export of species, including making sure that suitable facilities are in place for handling live animals and ensuring they use an appropriate land, sea or air port for the shipment. Further information and instructions will be published around border entry points in due course.

In certain prescribed circumstances, there are exemptions from needing to comply with CITES regulations, meaning a simplified process. For example, a permit is often not required for captive-bred and artificially-propagated plants, personal and household effects and exchanges between scientific institutions.

Further information

Details of how to obtain a CITES permit in the UK are available on GOV.UK, as are current details of fees for CITES permits and designated CITES points of entry.

Information on Border inspection Posts (BIPs), which are approved facilities for carrying out checks on animals and animal products from third countries, can be found here.

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 93 on Exporting objects of cultural interest if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

This notice clarifies the procedures for export licensing for objects of cultural interest in the unlikely event that the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no agreement in place.

Before 29 March 2019

At present there are no licensing requirements for objects of cultural interest for import into the UK or EU.

There are currently two licensing regimes in place for the export of cultural goods from the UK:

  1. UK law applies for exports to any foreign destination;
  2. EU regulations apply to objects travelling outside the EU.

Although licences are often required under both regimes for objects intended for export outside the EU, the UK system has been adapted so that exporters usually only need to obtain one specific individual export licence (which may cover more than one object).

Both licensing systems are administered by Arts Council England (ACE) and you can read ACE’s Procedures and Guidance for Exporters. This guidance advises you which licence to apply for and outlines the lead times for issuing licences.

With limited exceptions, these are:

  • 5 working days where an object has been imported into the UK within the last 50 years
  • 28 working days where the object has not been imported within the last 50 years

Licences are applied for and issued on paper, and at present potential exporters should contact ACE for licence application forms and further guidance on current processes.

Current policy normally grants an export licence for any object which has been imported into the UK within the last 50 years.

If an EU licence is required, this is subject to sufficient evidence being provided to show that any export of the object from a member of the European Customs Union on or after 1 January 1993 was lawful and definitive.

After 29 March 2019 if there’s no deal

What you need to do to export from the UK to the EU and the rest of the world

In autumn 2018 a Statutory Instrument will be laid that would revoke the relevant EU regulations in relation to the cultural objects export licensing system on exit day.

From that date, if there’s no deal, you would need only a UK licence to export cultural objects from the UK to any destination, and we will stop issuing EU licences. ACE will distribute guidance on any changes to the UK licensing system to reflect new procedures.

Further information will follow in the New Year about whether and how the UK export licensing system will have regard to legal and definitive dispatch from other countries.

EU licences issued by ACE before exit day would be valid for export at UK borders after exit day for the duration of their validity (the period of validity for EU export licences cannot exceed 12 months).

Likewise, the offences, rights, obligations, and restrictions relating to licences will continue to apply after exit day. For example, if a person is granted an EU licence in the UK before exit day on the condition that the object be returned to the UK within one year, and after exit day acts under the authority of the licence by removing the item from the UK but fails to comply with that condition by not returning the object, that will still constitute an offence under UK legislation in the same way as it would have before exit day.

At present there are no licensing requirements for objects of cultural interest for import into the UK or EU.

What you need to do to export from the EU to the UK and the rest of the world

If you hold an EU licence issued by the UK authority before exit day, and hope to use it to authorise the export of objects of cultural interest to destinations outside the EU after exit day, you should also take any further steps to ensure uninterrupted compliance with the EU and individual EU countries’ licensing regimes, as appropriate for your individual circumstances.

Individuals and businesses moving objects of cultural interest from the EU to the UK will already be familiar with domestic export licensing systems of various EU countries. After EU-exit, these movements may also be subject to the EU export licensing system. In some cases, this may mean that you would have to fulfil further administrative requirements. You would be encouraged to consult the licensing authorities in the country of export.

At present there are no licensing requirements for objects of cultural interest for import into the UK or EU.

Early in the New Year the Export Licensing Unit at ACE would announce a cut-off, after which they would not process and issue EU licences before exit-day. There would be two cut-off dates: one for applications that need to be referred to expert advisers, and a later one for applications that do not. Please refer to the Statutory Guidance and the Procedures and Guidance for Exporters for further details on this distinction.

After these dates, applicants would be required to send in applications for all exports on UK export licence forms.

More information

A Statutory Instrument revoking the EU regulations governing the EU export licensing regime will be published in autumn 2018.

Details on how the UK licensing procedures will be adapted to reflect changes arising from EU exit will also be published in autumn 2018. This will include changes to the Statutory Guidance.

Find out more about the Statutory Guidance and current Procedures and Guidance for Exporters.

More information and instructions will be published in the coming months. We aim to give businesses and individuals as much certainty as possible as soon as we can, and to ensure that any new requirements are not unduly burdensome.

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario

 

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 92 on Exporting GM food and animal feed products if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

The aim of this notice is to provide information to certain businesses on action they would need to take before EU exit to ensure that trade can be maintained in a ‘no deal’ scenario. It’s specifically aimed at UK businesses:

  • holding or seeking authorisations for genetically modified (GM) food or feed
  • holding or seeking authorisations for animal feed additives
  • exporting animal feed products to the EU
  • that have applications to update the list of feed for particular nutritional purposes (PARNUTS) pending at the time of EU exit
  • that represent companies that are based in non-EU countries which rely on UK representation for EU trade

This notice provides an explanation of the relevant legislative requirements, including having a representative or being established in one of the countries of the European Union or European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The role of the representative is to provide assurance that the non-EU establishment complies with EU legislation.

Before 29 March 2019

EU legislation as it applies to certain categories of food and feed (including GMfood/feed, animal feed, feed additives etc.) includes conditions on where businesses can be established. Details of current requirements which apply are detailed below.

GM food/feed

EU GM food/feed authorisation holders, or those in the process of seeking authorisation, must be established in the EU or EEA (Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, Article 4(6)). Businesses not based in the EU will need to designate a representative who is based in the EU or EEA.

Animal feed

In 2018, the Commission advised that all businesses importing feed products from non-EU countries to the EU now require a representative within the EU or EEA. Previously, this requirement applied only to certain feed products from non-EU countries (Regulation (EC) 183/2005, Article 24, which refers to the conditions for imports of feed laid down in Article 6 of Directive 98/51/EC).

For feed additive authorisations linked to a specific authorisation holder, the holder must either be established in the EU or EEA, or designate a representative established within the EU or EEA (Regulation (EC) No 1831/2003, Article 4(3)) – these are authorisations relating to zootechnical, coccidiostats and histomonostats, and GMadditive categories.

Updates to the list of uses of PARNUTS can only be initiated by an application to the European Commission from either a natural or legal person established in the EU or EEA or from an EU country (Regulation (EC) No 767/2009, Article 10).

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

If the UK leaves the EU in a ‘no deal’ scenario, businesses within the scope of this notice will need to be established in the EU or EEA, or have a representative that is established in the EU or EEA if they wish to trade in the EU. Businesses should also consider the implications below where the business currently acts as representatives for companies in non-EU countries or are not established in the EU or EEA.

Implications

UK exporters of feed products to the EU will require representation in the EU or EEA. As a guide only, current UK procedures on becoming a representative are available on the Food Standards Agency website. EU countries will each have their own systems for this and businesses should consult with the relevant competent authority in the EU country for further advice on gaining recognition for their representative.

The requirement for non-EU country representation would apply to all feed products exported to the EU. This follows the European Commission’s announcement of a revised interpretation of Regulation (EC) 183/2005, Article 24. The Food Standards Agency is currently seeking clarity on this interpretation but companies should nevertheless anticipate this revised interpretation and consider designating a representative within the EU or the EEA.

UK businesses holding EU authorisations for GM food or feed, or for animal feed additives, will need to designate a representative established in the EU or EEA. You will need to provide details of the representative to the European Commission. This could be a branch of your business which is established in the EU or EEA or another business.

Changes to holder-specific authorisations for GM food or feed or for feed additives require amendments to EU legislation which would need to be in place by 29 March 2019. Businesses in the process of such changes would need to approach the European Commission without delay.

UK businesses that have applied for EU authorisation of GM food or feed; feed additives; or updates to the list of PARNUTS, and whose application is still being processed at the time of a UK ‘no deal’ exit from the EU, if they wish for the application(s) to continue, will need to designate a representative established within an EU country or the EEA. The business would also need to provide details of the representative to the European Commission. For feed additives, this applies to both generic authorisations and those linked to a specific authorisation holder.

UK businesses acting in the role of a representative(s) for establishments in non-EU countries to enable them to export feed product to the EU, will need to inform the establishments they represent that they will no longer be able to act as their representative and advise them that they will need to appoint a representative based in an EU country or the EEA.

Appointing a representative

When appointing a representative, UK businesses should ensure that the potential representative is based in one of the 27 EU countries, or an EEA country, and that the potential representative is able to provide the necessary assurance to act as such. When appointed, the representative needs to submit a request to the appropriate competent authority in the EU country or EEA state in which they are based. The UK business should obtain confirmation that they have done so and, finally, that the competent authority has informed the European Commission.

More information

If you require more information or have questions on this technical notice, please email the Food Standards Agency: euexit@food.gov.uk

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

 

 

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 91 on Breeding animals if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

This notice provides information to help breed societies recognised under zootechnical legislation and related breeders and businesses get ready for changes they may need to make if the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 without a deal.

The legislation applies to purebred equines, cattle, sheep, pigs and goats, hybrid breeding pigs and their germinal products.

Before 29 March 2019

Zootechnical legislation facilitates trade in purebred breeding animals and their germinal products. Separate species-specific legislation is being replaced by a new streamlined regulation in November 2018. It allows breed societies to apply to be recognised and have their breeding programme approved by a member state competent authority if they meet zootechnical standards.

Once recognised they are entitled to certain rights. For example, a pedigree bull from a recognised UK breed society can be automatically treated as a pedigree by an equivalent breed society in another EU member state.

Purebred animals being traded and entered into another breed society register or breeding book must be accompanied by a zootechnical certificate.

UK breeding programmes can also be extended into the territory of another EU member state.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

In the unlikely event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the UK would become a third country from March 2019. UK-recognised breed societies and operations involved in the trade and movement of purebred livestock and germinal products would no longer be recognised societies or operations in the EU.

A recognised UK breed society or breeding operation would no longer be automatically entitled to enter their pedigree breeding animals into an equivalent breeding book in the EU and would have no right to extend a breeding programme into the EU.

Existing EU legislation allows for trade with third country breed societies and operations. This provides for the European Commission to maintain a list of breeding bodies in third countries that meet certain requirements relating to equivalence of their breeding programmes and rules of procedure to those in the EU. As the Commission indicated in a notice to breeders of 21 November 2017, in a ‘no deal’ scenario UK zootechnical businesses that meet these requirements would be treated as third country breeding bodies by the EU.

This would allow them to enter pedigree breeding animals into equivalent EU breeding books or registers as they can now, provided the animals are accompanied by a zootechnical certificate in accordance with the existing EU legislation. Defra will shortly contact Zootech stakeholders directly to discuss the steps they need to take to plan for March 2019, including providing any information needed to enable Defra to submit their applications for listing as third country breeding bodies to the Commission.

Zootechnical certificates would continue to be issued by breed societies and breeding operations as now.

The arrangements for EU-recognised breed societies and operations operating in the UK would not change initially. They would continue to have access to the UK in the same way as they do now.

More information

You may also want to refer to separate technical notices on exporting and importing animals and animal products.

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 90 on Plant variety rights and marketing of seed and propagating material if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

This notice sets out how trade in seed and propagating material between the UK and the EU would be affected if the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 without a deal, and how plant breeders would be able to protect their intellectual property.

Before March 2019

Plant variety rights

Plant variety rights are a form of intellectual property that allow the rights holder to control seed and propagating material and collect royalties. They are available for all species of plants and are essential for the economic success of plant breeding.

EU legislation provides a framework for protection of plant variety rights in all 28 EU countries, largely superseding the UK’s longstanding national system. EU plant variety rights are managed by the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO), an EU agency.

Seed and propagating material

EU legislation for seed and propagating material assures the quality of material on the market. It applies mainly to food crops but also provides quality assurance for ornamental, amenity and forestry plants (forest reproductive material, or FRM). All crops must comply with the legislation, but the level of detail required varies with the type of crop.

For the main food and feed crops, the variety must first be registered on a National List. Officially controlled certification of seed and propagating material then takes place to assure identity and quality through testing and labelling.

Variety registration in the UK is led by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), which coordinates almost all testing. Two types of testing are carried out by a number of organisations across the UK:

  • variety performance and quality
  • distinctness, uniformity and stability (DUS). The EU allows mutual recognition of DUS testing between EU countries

Once a variety is registered on a National List, it is added to the EU’s ‘Common Catalogue’, allowing it to be marketed across the EU.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

Plant variety rights

If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 without a deal, EU plant variety rights granted up to that point, including those held by UK businesses, would continue to be recognised in the remaining 27 EU countries. Those rights would also automatically be recognised and given protection under UK legislation, without rights holders needing to take any action.

Where EU rights have been applied for, but not granted before 29 March 2019, an application for rights in the UK would need to be made to APHA, following the normal process for UK plant variety rights, and using the same priority date and DUS test.

For new varieties, breeders would need to make two applications, where currently they make one, to achieve the same geographic coverage, as separate protection would be required in the UK and the EU. APHA is reviewing its processes to mitigate the resulting increased costs for plant breeding businesses, by increasing efficiency and where reasonable accepting DUS tests from the EU, see below.

For protection in the UK, an application would need to be made to APHA, following the normal process and payment of fees for UK plant variety rights.

For protection in the EU, an application would need to be made to the Community Plant Variety Office, following the normal process and payment of fees.

Marketing seed and propagating material in the EU

Varieties registered solely via UK National Listing would no longer be listed on the EU Common Catalogue and would not be marketable in the EU. UK certified seed and propagating material and UK DUS testing of plant varieties would no longer be accepted in the EU.

In order to market UK seed and propagating material in the EU, businesses would need to meet two requirements:

  • The variety would need to be listed on the Common Catalogue – breeders would need to add them to the EU Common Catalogue through registration in an EU country.
  • Seed would need to be certified, and the certification would have to be from the EU or from a third country recognised by the EU as equivalent for seed certification.

In the event of a no deal, the UK would apply to the EU to recognise its certification processes as equivalent, but we cannot guarantee this recognition would be in place at the point the UK leaves the EU. Approval can take a minimum of 12 months so we are exploring approaches to speed up this process. There will be further communications on this in the coming months.

The UK has applied to join the international scheme for FRM that will allow the UK to apply to the EU for recognition of its certification process and marketing of FRM in the EU.

Through these actions, Defra is attempting to reduce the impact on businesses looking to export seed to the EU.

Marketing seed and propagating material in the UK

Varieties that are already registered on the EU Common Catalogue, but not on the UK list, are currently being added to the UK National List, which would allow them to be marketed in the UK. Any business wanting to add varieties to the National List in this way should contact APHA. Email and phone numbers are on GOV.UK.

In a ‘no deal’ scenario, Defra intends to allow varieties on the EU Common Catalogue to be marketed in the UK for an interim period of two years after the UK leaves the EU, and to apply the same interim period to the marketing of EU certified seed and propagating material.

After this, businesses would need to comply with new UK arrangements. The main food and feed crop varieties marketed in the UK would need to be on the UK National List. The normal process and fees for National Listing would apply. Seed and propagating material from outside the UK would need to comply with normal international requirements. APHA is reviewing its processes to reduce costs and mitigate the impact.

For forest reproductive material (FRM), the intention would be to recognise EU standards as equivalent to UK standards and allow material to be marketed in the UK. Existing national schemes would continue to be used to register and certify material within the UK.

DUS testing

Defra plans to continue to accept EU DUS reports, providing they are of comparable quality to UK DUS reports. The exception will be agricultural species currently tested by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), NIAB and Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA). For these species, only DUS reports from approved UK science organisations will be accepted.

More information

Current guidance, application forms and protocols for plant breeder’s rights, national listing and seed certification can be found here.

For more information on importing and exporting of plants if there’s no Brexit deal, please see the technical notice on this area.

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

It is part of the government’s ongoing programme of planning for all possible outcomes. We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU.

The UK government is clear that in this scenario we must respect our unique relationship with Ireland, with whom we share a land border and who are co-signatories of the Belfast Agreement. The UK government has consistently placed upholding the Agreement and its successors at the heart of our approach. It enshrines the consent principle on which Northern Ireland’s constitutional status rests. We recognise the basis it has provided for the deep economic and social cooperation on the island of Ireland. This includes North-South cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which we’re committed to protecting in line with the letter and spirit of Strand two of the Agreement.

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU Member States. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains, though, the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal. As we do, and as decisions are made, we’ll take full account of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and participate in other EU arrangements. As such, in many areas, these countries adopt EU rules. Where this is the case, these technical notices may also apply to them, and EEA businesses and citizens should consider whether they need to take any steps to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario.

BREXIT NO DEAL TECHNICAL NOTICE NO 89 on Commercial fishing if there’s no Brexit deal

Published by HMG on 12th October 2018

A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario) remains unlikely given the mutual interests of the UK and the EU in securing a negotiated outcome.

Negotiations are progressing well and both we and the EU continue to work hard to seek a positive deal. However, it’s our duty as a responsible government to prepare for all eventualities, including ‘no deal’, until we can be certain of the outcome of those negotiations.

For two years, the government has been implementing a significant programme of work to ensure the UK will be ready from day 1 in all scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a no deal scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon.

This series of technical notices sets out information to allow businesses and citizens to understand what they would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

This guidance is part of that series.

Also included is an overarching framing notice explaining the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.

We are working with the devolved administrations on technical notices and we will continue to do so as plans develop.

Purpose

This notice sets out how the commercial fishing industry (the commercial catching of fish, as well as the marketing of fish and seafood) would be affected if the UK leaves the EU without a deal in March 2019.

Before 29 March 2019

The commercial catching of fish and marketing of fish and seafood, including the farming of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic plants and algae (aquaculture), is regulated by the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) provides money, including industry grants, to member states for certain fisheries activities.

After March 2019 if there’s no deal

When we leave the EU, the UK will formally leave the CFP and introduce our own fisheries policies. The government’s White Paper, Sustainable Fisheries for Future Generations, published on 4 July 2018, sets out a clear direction for a sustainable and profitable fishing industry. The White Paper also states the government’s intention to move away from the “relative stability” towards a fairer and more scientific method for quota allocation, regardless of exit scenario.

The EU Withdrawal Act 2018 will ensure EU law is transferred into UK law and continues to have effect so that we have a functioning statute book from the day we leave. Defra, together with the Devolved Administrations, is currently preparing secondary legislation (under the Withdrawal Act) to ensure the law works in the UK after we leave.

The UK will assume the rights and obligations of an independent coastal state under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) relating to our territorial waters (out to 12 nautical miles) and Exclusive Economic Zone (out to 200 nautical miles or the median line with other states). We will be responsible for managing natural marine resources in these areas, and be able to control and manage access to fish in UK waters. We will meet our international obligations under UNCLOS to cooperate with other coastal states over the management of shared stocks. We will ensure that appropriate fisheries control and enforcement measures continue.

Access to waters

  • Access to fish in UK waters: While non-UK-registered vessels will no longer enjoy automatic access to UK waters (subject to any existing agreements relating to territorial waters), there will be no change to the rights and responsibilities of UK-registered vessels fishing in UK waters. They must continue to abide by the relevant legislation and licence conditions, including the economic link criteria.
  • Access to fish in EU and third country waters: There will be no automatic access for UK-registered vessels to fish in EU or third country waters (subject to any existing agreements relating to territorial waters).
  • Fishing opportunities for UK vessels in UK waters: UK Fisheries Administrations will tell UK quota holders what their quota allocation will be. The government will also confirm arrangements for those who fish for non-quota shellfish (scallops and edible/spider crabs) and demersal species under the Western Waters effort regime. UK Fisheries Administrations inform quota holders of their allocations in March each year and will seek to do so in 2019 to minimise disruption to fishing and allow fishermen to plan for the year. There will be no automatic access to exchanging fishing opportunities with EU member states, and no automatic access for EU member states to exchange fishing opportunities with the UK.

Access to ports

UK-registered vessels landing into EU and third country ports

UK-registered vessels will no longer have an automatic right to land fish in any EU port. Access will be permitted to EU designated ports for port services, landings, transhipment and the use of market facilities where vessels meet EU requirements governing illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. UK-registered vessels will have to notify their intention to visit an EU designated port and present information relating to the vessel and catch on board. UK vessels may be subject to inspection: this could include a full document check, inspection of the catch and, where information has been provided electronically, database checks.

Access to EU and third country ports by UK-registered vessels will be permitted without prior notice in cases of distress or force majeure.

In anticipation of our joining the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC), UK-registered vessels wishing to continue fishing in the NEAFC Convention Area and landing into the EU will have to complete Port State Control 1 forms, available on the NEAFC website.

EU and third country vessels landing into UK ports

Access to UK ports for non-UK vessels, including EU vessels, will be subject to equivalent requirements to those outlined above. They will be required to provide notice of the intention to land into a designated port in the UK, except in cases of distress and force majeure.

EU vessels fishing in the NEAFC Convention Area and landing into the UK would need to complete a Port State Control 1 form.

Regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs)

The UK will no longer be a member of RFMOs through EU membership. As an independent coastal state, we will join all relevant RFMOs as quickly as possible.

The process of joining RFMOs and ratifying their conventions may take up to 6 months: there may, therefore, be a short gap in our membership. During this time, UK vessels may not be able to fish in international waters covered by RFMOs.

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)

The UK government has guaranteed that in a ‘no deal’ scenario all structural and investment fund projects, including EMFF projects, approved before 31 December 2020 will be fully funded.

Labelling and marketing of fishery and aquaculture products

All common marketing standards for fish sold for human consumption – whether in the UK or the EU – will remain the same, including those governing quality, size, weight, p