Technical Notices (UK Brexit Preparedness) #1

UPDATE : the Guardian is reporting today, 5th August, that the Technical Notices (restyled as Public Service Information Notices) will be issued by the various responsible government departments (Department for Transport, DEFRA, the Home Office, and BEIS) and not DExEU as first envisaged. The Guardian article is here.

Tim Shipman, Sunday Times is reporting today, 29th July, that the Technical Notices (I posted about earlier) may not necessarily be fully public, and they will be made available not in series, but in a single bloc at the end of August 2018.

I will Blog Post again if/when there is an update.

The EU Notices are found here.

The Sunday Times article is here.

UK exits the EU (WTO goods schedules)

UPDATE (3) : objections also lodged by other countries

UPDATE (2) : objection is lodged by New Zealand – here. Earlier feedback is here.

UPDATE (1) : UK has now (end July 2018) submitted its WTO services schedules; and its GPA (procurement agreement) schedules to WTO and GPA members.

Yesterday 24th July, both the UK and the EU each filed their (goods) documents at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The EU said it will renegotiate its WTO trade commitments (to account for the UK exit from the 28-nation bloc) under Article 28 of GATT, a lengthy process involving the other WTO members – here.

The UK said it will make technical changes to its current WTO commitments (presently encompassed within those of the 28-nation bloc) via a 1980 procedure known as a technical rectification – here. The proposed UK Schedule referred to is here.

The WTO Press Release is here. WTO Members have three months to review the UK Schedule, and the UK Schedule is considered approved if there are no objections.

Background

The UK is already a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). It is one of the founder members of both the WTO and its predecessor, the 1948 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade – the “GATT”.

As with every other member of the WTO (and if outside the EU-28 bloc that has its own schedules), the UK would require its own “schedule of concessions” for goods and “schedule of specific commitments” for services. These schedules indicate specific commitments and obligations assumed by WTO members on tariff rates and other concessions. They provide predictability concerning market access for trade and are an integral part of the WTO agreements.

UK-specific WTO schedules are underway, which, as far as possible, the UK intends, will not alter the scope of UK market access obligations either in goods (GATT) or services (GATS) schedules.

In goods, this also includes the market access currently enjoyed by trading partners under Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs) and Aggregate Measurement of Support (AMS).

In services, it also means preparing a UK-specific Annex on Article II (Most Favoured Nation Treatment) exemptions under the GATS.

The UK intention is to have WTO schedules on the way to certification by the point of exit from the EU.

The UK Policy Paper – Trade White Paper: Preparing for our future UK trade policy – government response – here – says

Should the goods and services schedules be uncertified as we leave the EU, we do not anticipate there to be any problems – it is not uncommon for WTO members to operate on uncertified schedules for periods of time. In any case we will continue to work for as early a certification point as possible. The EU itself has not had up to date certified schedules since the EC15 enlargement in 1995.

Background reading on Services Schedules is here.

New National Planning Policy Framework (England)

The long anticipated revision to the National Planning Policy Framework applicable in England has today (24th July) been published, here.

This replaces the 2012 Framework. The planning practice guidance to support the framework is also published online (here).

The Press Release is here.

The viability guidance is also updated – here.

UK exits the EU (EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill)

The White Paper – Legislating for the Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union – is published today (24th July) – here.

This White Paper sets out the UK government’s early expectations for the content of the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill. The EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill will put into UK Law the content of the Withdrawal Agreement that is being negotiated between the UK and the EU.

Note : the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement is not the same as the EU-UK Trade Deal.

The White Paper identifies that large parts of the Withdrawal Act, include the section providing for Exit Day, will be saved (delayed) by the Withdrawal Implementation Bill.

Note : the Withdrawal Implementation Bill will deal with –

(1) citizen rights

(2) payment of monies by the UK to the EU (known as the Financial Settlement)

(3) the Northern Ireland-Ireland Protocol (known as the Irish Border backstop)

(4) the implementation period (also known as the transition period)

and some other aspects.

UK exits the EU (Ireland Brexit Preparedness)

Ireland has online resources to help business and households prepare for Brexit.

The Department of Finance here has resources, including the EU Brexit Preparedness Notices.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade here has resources.

Enterprise Ireland here has resources.

The Bank of Ireland here has resources, these include links to the Brexit resources produced and compiled by others.

UK exits the EU (EU Settlement Scheme)

Late on Friday (20th July), the UK government laid before Parliament the provisions for Appendix EU to be added to the Immigration Rules. The documents are here (including the Explanatory Note).

It is a “statement of changes” that has a singular purpose: the introduction of Appendix EU into the Rules to implement the EU Settlement Scheme as the UK readies to leave the European Union.

The changes set out in the statement take effect on 28 August 2018 for an initial pilot period in the North West of England.

A Home Office Press Release issued at the same time identifies that NHS workers and students will be invited to take part in the trial. The Press Release is here.

UK exits the EU (EU Brexit Preparedness)

The EU issued today (19th July) a Communication on preparing for the withdrawal of the UK from the EU on 30 March 2019. It is located in the Other Preparedness activities section of the EU’s Brexit Preparedness online site – here.

The Communication is accompanied by a Factsheet and a Press Release, as you can see from the direct link – here.

The Factsheet makes clear –

” If the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified before 30 March 2019, most of the legal effects of Brexit will apply as of 1 January 2021, i.e. after a transition period of 21 months, the terms of which are set out in the draft Withdrawal Agreement.

In the absence of a Withdrawal Agreement, there will be no transition period and EU law will cease to apply to and in the UK as of 30 March 2019.

The negotiations between the EU and the UK on the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement are still ongoing. Once negotiations have concluded, the Withdrawal Agreement will need to be ratified. The future relationship between the EU and the UK can only be negotiated after the UK has left the EU.

In addition, even if the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified and an agreement on the future relationship is successfully concluded during the transition period, this relationship will not be that of a Member State of the EU.

Therefore, all businesses concerned have to prepare, make all necessary decisions, and complete all required administrative actions, before 30 March 2019 in order to avoid disruption. “