Project Ireland 2040 (Ireland)

(Today) 16th February 2018 Ireland published the results of its Project Ireland 2040 process, that seeks to plan for regional development and an additional one million additional residents. Project Ireland 2040 is here.

It consists of two plans.

A National Planning Framework (NPF) will decide how to achieve balanced regional development. It will prioritise growth in the major cities of Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford (Dublin is forecast to grow at a slower rate). This NPF is here.

The second strand is the National Development Plan (NDP), a 10-year, €115 billion programme to upgrade State infrastructure in anticipation of the population increase.

The Irish Times (newspaper) summaries here.

Ireland Government Brexit Update (Ireland)

The Irish Government issues (today) 16th February 2018 its first Government Brexit Update. This is here.

In this Update (Issue No 1), the Irish Government identifies its Brexit Priorities, latest Government Brexit Engagements, the launch of a new Government Brexit website, and various other initiatives and preparations underway.

The Ireland Government Brexit website is here.

[please note this Ireland post is categorised Brexit – UK Brexit posts are differently categorised in Referendum Outcome (UK)]

Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill 2017-19 (UK)

I posted earlier about the EU Brexit Notice on haulage, which gave notice that UK vehicle registrations and driving licences would not be valid in the EU after 00:00 30 March 2019 (subject to any transition period or Trade Deal).

The UK Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill is a new UK Brexit Bill (not signalled in the Queens Speech) that had its First Reading in the House of Lords on 7th February 2018. The Bill is here. The Explanatory Notes are here.

The UK has now decided, irrespective, it will ratify the international 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (which it had not ratified hitherto).

The Bill provides the UK Secretary of State with the powers to introduce administrative systems for haulage permits, which may be needed once the UK has left the EU, and a trailer registration scheme, which will be required following the UK’s ratification of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.

The Secretary of State will be able to make regulations prohibiting the use of a goods vehicle registered in the UK on an international journey specified in the regulations without a permit, where such permits are provided for in an international agreement. The regulations will also set out the administrative procedures for the allocation and granting of permits, including the number of permits available, the application process, the criteria to be taken into account in determining the issue of permits, and provisions for cancelling permits. Regulations will also allow the Secretary of State to establish an appeals process for the cancellation of a permit. The Bill sets out enforcement provisions, including powers for examiners to require the production of permits and offences for breaching regulations or failing to produce a permit for inspection. The Bill also includes a power to charge fees for the application for, and the issue of, a permit.

The Bill also makes provision for the Secretary of State to establish a trailer registration scheme, in view of the provisions of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, to ensure that trailers can be registered before entering international traffic. The scope of the scheme will be set out in regulations made under Part 2. Mandatory registration will apply only to commercial trailers (in practice almost exclusively HGV trailers) and the largest non-commercial trailers that enter international traffic. Smaller, common non-commercial trailers, such as caravans and horse trailers, may be registered by their keepers if they wish.

Again, registration is a necessary pre-cursor to travel abroad. The UK will ratify the 1968 Convention in order to support UK vehicle transport abroad. Where the outcome of negotiations with the EU mean that existing EU Licence arrangements will no longer apply after the UK’s exit from the EU, the Bill provides the Secretary of State with the powers to set up and enforce any alternative arrangements that may be agreed internationally, enabling the continued movement of goods to and from the EU by UK hauliers. A consequence of ratification is that unregistered trailers could be turned away at the borders of other countries who have ratified the 1968 Convention. Therefore, for operational reasons, a trailer registration scheme needs to be implemented.

The Bill (once enacted) will repeal the International Road Haulage Permits Act 1975 and make new provisions. It will also amend other legislation such as the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994, the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995 and the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001, and makes consequential amendments to legislation in Northern Ireland.

Please read the linked explanatory notes carefully. I will Blog post separately when the UK creates the Convention ratifying instrument.

UK exits the EU (Notices full list)

UPDATE : more EU Notices are published 8th February 2018. These are found in the central location (see link below).

I have posted before such Notices that have come to my attention. The EU has now compiled a central location on the web for their Notices – here.

Please take a good look at any that I might have missed. Please email any questions direct to me on my Cardinal Environment email address. Thank you

UK exits the EU (customs)

I posted before on Brexit Notices issued by the EU to Operators and Stakeholders. The EU has now set up a specific Brexit Customs website here.

Two Notices are available on this website :

(1) EU rules in the field of customs and indirect taxationhere.

Authorisations granting the status of Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) and other authorisations for customs simplifications, issued by the customs authorities of the United Kingdom will no longer be valid in the customs territory of the Union (from the exit day).

Goods originating in the United Kingdom that are incorporated in goods exported from the EU to third countries will no longer qualify as “EU content” for the purpose of the EU’s Common Commercial Policy. This will affect the ability of EU exporters to cumulate with goods originating in the United Kingdom and may affect the applicability of preferential tariffs agreed by the Union with third countries.

Taxable persons wishing to use one of the special schemes of Chapter 6 of Title XII of the VAT Directive (the so-called Mini One-Stop Shop or MOSS), who supply telecommunications services, broadcasting services or electronic services to non- taxable persons in the EU, will have to be registered for the MOSS in a Member State of the EU (from the exit day).

(2) EU rules in the field of import/export licences for certain goodshere.

As of the withdrawal date, import/export licences issued by the United Kingdom as an EU Member State on the basis of Union law will no long be valid for shipments to the EU-27 from third countries or vice versa.

This applies to : (full list is in the Notice)

– waste shipments

– certain hazardous chemicals

– ozone depleting substances

– drug precursors

[Article 50 transition arrangements, if agreed, may change the exit day from 00:00 30 March 2019 (CET) to 31 December 2020 – I posted separately about the Transition/Implementation Period]

UK exits the EU (use of dot EU Top Level Domain)

Under current EU rules, UK owners of dot EU Top Level Domain names will no longer be eligible to use them. The matter was considered by the UK Parliament (European Scrutiny) Select Committee on 17th January 2018 – here.

This reviewed the DCMS Explanatory Memorandum – extract below :

Explanatory Memorandum from the Minister of 21 December 2017

The then Minister of State at the Departure of Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) (Matthew Hancock), states that:

▪ currently, only persons, companies or organisation based in the European Union, Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein can register a domain name under .eu or .ею (Cyrillic script);

▪ the UK has the fourth largest number of registrations within the EU (340,000), which is the same number as the previous report;

▪ top Level Domain Name policy is a reserved matter. However, as the Devolved Administrations may have interest in the use of .eu by persons, organisations and businesses based in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, they were consulted in the preparation of the Government’s Explanatory Memorandum (although no detail of the Devolved Administrations’ views is provided);

▪ thus far, UK stakeholders have not been vocal in raising any issues or the possibility of UK based users of .eu losing its use on Brexit; and

▪ the UK Government will continue to carry out stakeholder engagement to further understand the views of UK users of .eu to inform its negotiating position.

The Government also quotes, in full, a statement from the .eu registrar about the implications of UK exit for .eu domain names that have been registered by UK residents, which essentially states that the registrar is awaiting instruction from the European Commission about how to proceed:

“On 23 June 2016 voters in the UK referendum expressed their preference to leave the European Union. As the next steps have still not been determined and the political and legal processes have not yet been initiated, note that no action will be taken against .eu or .ею domain names that have been registered by residents in UK. EURid has been appointed by the European Commission to manage the technical infrastructure of .eu and its variants in other scripts. When further details are known about the timing and details of a UK exit, the European Commission will instruct EURid on how to proceed. We will continue to keep all our stakeholders fully informed.”

UK exits the EU (transition period)

UPDATE : Thursday 8th February – the UK proposal for continuation of existing EU-third country agreements is here.

UPDATE : Wednesday 7th February – the draft EU wording for the Transition clauses of the Withdrawal Agreement is here.

Draft clauses to note : [the next step for this draft wording is for it to be agreed by the EU-27 member states, the wording could alter after this step]

(1) There shall be a transition period, which shall start on the date of entry into force of this Agreement and end on 31 December 2020.

(2) Union law (with stated exceptions) shall be binding upon and applicable in the United Kingdom during the transition period.

(3) During the transition period, the United Kingdom shall not act as leading authority for risk assessments, examinations, approvals and authorisation procedures provided for in Union law.

(4) During the transition period, the Court of Justice of the European Union shall have jurisdiction as provided for in the Treaties. In addition, the Governance and Dispute Settlement Part of the Withdrawal Agreement should provide for a mechanism allowing the Union to suspend certain benefits deriving for the United Kingdom from participation in the internal market where it considers that referring the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union would not bring in appropriate time the necessary remedies.

——-

UPDATE : Monday 29th January – the EU position is here. It’s a status quo period without institutional representation lasting until 31 December 2020. The Press Release is here (with links).

Two key questions :

(1) registration of EU nationals allowed or not allowed in the transition period ?

(2) EU Notices apply from 29 March 2019 or 31 December 2020, which ?

NOTE : this Annex also sets out the Withdrawal Treaty issues that are still to be resolved. I will post about the EU-UK Withdrawal Treaty separately. The Irish border will continue as a separate strand during the transition period.

NOTE (2) : the possibility of a transition arrangement obtains its legal authority from Article 50, and so the Transition terms will be set out in the Withdrawal Treaty.

——-

UPDATE : UK 26th January 2018 statement on the Transition Period (the UK terms it the Implementation Period) – here.

Last night Hammond/Davis/Clark sent letters to business leaders in which they said of the transition/implementation period:

“The period’s duration will be strictly time-limited, and should be determined simply by how long it will take to make these

changes.” The full letter is here.

The EU position will be published on Monday 29th January 2018.

——–

The date of exit is 00:00 30 March 2019. The EU and the UK have signalled their willingness to agree a Transition Period.

Very little is yet published on the nature of this to-be-agreed Transition Period, save the EU stating it should not extend beyond 31st December 2020.

EU and UK negotiators are currently talking through the loose ends that remain over the UK-EU Withdrawal Treaty – citizens’ rights, the financial settlement and the Irish border – along with topics such as Euratom, which governs the movement of nuclear materials, that have yet to be substantively discussed.

A draft treaty putting the agreements on the three Withdrawal issues into legal language is due to be published within weeks. I will publish this as a separate post.

The EU and the UK authorities have signalled the Transition Period cannot be agreed until the Withdrawal Treaty is in legal language at least. The Withdrawal Treaty will be ratified later in 2018 in advance of the 2019 exit date.

I will update this post when more information is available about the Transition Period. My post updating will NOT be automatically emailed to your inbox, so please make sure to revisit this post on the Blog itself.