Exit Day (UK Brexit)

UPDATE : this information note is issued along with the SI – here.

The Statutory Instrument (SI) is now laid to change the exit day (in UK law) from this Friday to either of 12th April or 22nd May.

Here it is.

It will be debated in Parliament (because the SI will be enacted via the affirmative procedure) later this week (UPDATE : on Wednesday). If it is not passed, the action of voting it down will not change Brexit day which is 12th April, at the soonest (or 22nd May, if Parliament ratifies the Withdrawal Agreement package, which is now unlikely).

Brexit day is 12th April.

There is a possibility this Statutory Instrument is not passed. In this case there will be legal uncertainty. But this uncertainty may be mitigated, if the relevant sections (that give legal authority to the UK Brexit Laws) of the EU Withdrawal Act are not themselves in force.

I will issue another Blog post on this matter later this week.

Many UK Brexit Laws are enacted, and listed in the Brexit Law List in subscribers’ Cardinal Environment EHS Registers and Checklists. However, not all are yet enacted.

Each of these identifies the ‘exit day’ as the date in force.

We will commence the massive task of consolidating into the UK Statute Base once the exit day itself is tied down. In any event we will commence before 12th April.

UK Chemicals Regulation (UK Brexit)

This morning DEFRA published additional guidance, and the HSE (the Brexit chemicals regulator) links this guidance to its expanding instructions – here.

Subscribers to Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists will see the Retained REACH Regulation being worked on to incorporate the UK Brexit Law changes as soon as the Brexit day is completely settled (at the moment it is 12th April 2019).

Note, the UK Brexit Law uses the term “exit day”. We are waiting for the Statutory Instrument to change the exit day to align with the Brexit day of 12th April.

It is likely we will split the Retained REACH Regulation into sections, in order to make it easier to use.

April 12th 2019 (UK & EU Brexit)

The EU has now issued its Press Release announcing it has completed all the No Deal preparations on its side. This Press Release has links to the new Laws and Notices – here.

Companies who are subscribers to Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists may make arrangements to discuss any matter, with me, via email.

We are waiting for the Statutory Instrument (on the UK side) to change the exit day from 29th March 2019 to two weeks later on 12th April 2019, to align with the Brexit date.

12th April 2019 is the new Brexit date.

[there are still circumstances that could change this date, or the arrangements that would apply, but the EU says today that it’s view is No Deal is increasingly likely]

I will issue another Blog post when further information is available.

Products, Animals, Food & Feed Imports (UK Brexit)

Registration is now open for the UK’s new Import of Products, Animals, Food & Feed System (IPAFFS). In a no-deal, Brexit importers from non-EU countries must use IPAFFS from Day 1.

The (already issued no-deal) Guidance and Instructions were updated today (18th March 2019) – here.

Checklist for animals, animal products, high-risk food and feed to the UK (see the guidance)

• make sure you know the import notification process for importing from non-EU and EU countries

• speak to your exporters from non-EU and EU countries to make sure they’re aware of the changes

• for live animals and germplasm coming from the EU, notify the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) or the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in Northern Ireland; if they’re coming from outside the EU, notify the UK border inspection post (BIP) that your consignment is arriving at least 24 hours in advance

• for POAO and ABP from the EU that travel on official documentation (an Intra Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) or commercial documents like DOCOMs), notify APHA at least 24 hours before arrival

• for germplasm, products of animal origin (POAO) and animal by-products (ABP) subject to vet checks, notify the UK BIP (for non-EU trade) that your consignment is arriving in advance

• import non-EU high-risk food or feed of non-animal origin into the UK through a designated point of entry (DPE)

Summary

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March, there will no longer be access to the EU’s import system TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System) for importing into the UK.

To ensure imports of live animals, products of animal origin, animal by-products, germplasm and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin can continue after exit, the UK is launching a new system called the Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS).

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is releasing IPAFFS in phases.

From 29 March, you can use IPAFFS if you’re importing live animals, animal products and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin from non-EU countries.

You can register for IPAFFS now, and create notifications for consignments arriving after 29 March.

EU Brexit Preparedness (EU Brexit)

UPDATE : the EU Contingency measures are now enacted – here.

Notwithstanding any approach made by the UK to delay the exit date, the EU is stepping up Brexit Preparedness activities.

Here – is the link to the EU Brexit Preparedness online site. New here are the links to the National EU-27 online sites (scroll down the page). Plus under Legislative Initiatives in the middle, find the EU Contingency measures now ready as legislative acts or finalised COM documents. I have posted about these before. Note : these EU Contingency measures are unilateral time-limited measures.

In addition, the EU has today launched an online portal detailing all preparedness work and supports available for farmers and agrifood operators – here.

There are also some bi-laterals, these are not gathered in one online portal, please keep following the Blog as I post about those as they are known about.

UK Parliament Votes on Exit Date (UK Brexit)

UPDATE (5) : 22nd March 2019 – the EU has agreed an extension. I will issue a new blog post next week after the package is voted on again.

UPDATE (4) : 19th March 2019 – the package will not be voted on until next week (the final week) before the exit date (29th March).

UPDATE (3) : 18th March 2019 – the Speaker of the House of Commons rules the package cannot come back for a third vote (MV3) unless it is substantially altered.

UPDATE (2) : the PM statement dated today 15th March (does not add) – here.

UPDATE : The PM’s spokesperson says that the end date of the transition period will *not* change as a result of an Article 50 extension i.e the extra days the UK spends as an EU member state will eat into the transition period.

I said I would post to update on the date of the exit date, after the votes today.

In UK and EU Law the exit date is 29th March 2019.

Today, the UK Parliament agreed the UK government proposal that it would ask the EU for a delay in the exit date.

The Government proposal is to bring back for a further vote of UK MPs, the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration package that was rejected (a second time) a few days ago.

If the package is agreed on the third time of asking, then the proposal is to ask the EU to delay for a short period (until 30 June 2019).

If the package is not agreed, then the proposal agreed today is to ask the EU to delay for a much longer (unspecified) period.

Specifically the proposal is to hold the vote on the package by 20 March (the day before the European Council – of EU leaders) and it notes that it is highly likely that the EU would require a clear purpose for any extension (that is beyond 30 June because the package was voted down again by UK MPs), not least to determine its length.

The Government will make a statement tomorrow, which may give further clarity on the order of events.

Reminding, further legal actions will be needed to change the exit date from 29th March.

The laws required to adjust the UK statute book so it can operate on its own, listed in the Brexit Law List on subscribers Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers and Checklists, will still be required. They come into force on exit day. It is the date of the exit day that would appear to be about to be moved.

The no-deal notices and instructions still matter. Until there is a UK-EU deal that is agreed and then ratified by the UK and EU Parliaments, or the article 50 notification is withdrawn/revoked, no-deal will take place, even if the UK MPs voted yesterday (for the second time) that it should not.

Moving the exit date will be subject to agreement by the EU.

Specifically, considering the days before 29 March 2019 –

* the UK Government must agree an extension with the 27 remaining EU governments next week, and they have to agree on that unanimously with the UK Government.

* then after securing an extension from the EU, the UK Government must then introduce new legislation to change the exit date and the statutory instrument to effect this must be passed before 29 March.

* this is the case even if the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration is passed (on its third time of asking) – although this package would itself put in place a transition period.

I will issue a new Blog post when there is more information.

Events today 13th March (UK Brexit, Chancellor’s Statement)

Today a number of key events occurred as follows :

(1) (time limited, no deal) UK customs tariffs were published – a Commons Research Paper gives further details – here. [NB : this Blog does not focus on customs tariffs]

(2) time limited (no deal) special arrangements for the international border on the island of Ireland were publishedhere.

* The UK government would not introduce any new checks or controls on goods at the land border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, including no customs requirements for nearly all goods.

* The UK temporary import tariff announced today would therefore not apply to goods crossing from Ireland into Northern Ireland.

* The UK government would only apply a small number of measures strictly necessary to comply with international legal obligations, protect the biosecurity of the island of Ireland, or to avoid the highest risks to Northern Ireland businesses – but these measures would not require checks at the border.

(3) the UK Chancellor announced :

* Consultation on a new business energy efficiency scheme for SMEshere.

* A review of the Aggregates Levy (put in place in 2002) – here.

* A call for evidence on the strengthening of the UK’s offshore oil and gas decommissioning industryhere.

Offshore oil and gas decommissioning industry – A call for evidence, as announced at Budget 2018, seeking to identify what more should be done to strengthen Scotland and the rest of the UK’s position as a global hub for safe, environmentally-friendly decommissioning that meets the Oil and Gas Authority’s ambitious cost reduction targets.

* A Review on the Economics of Biodiversity – A new global review, led by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, to assess the economic value of biodiversity and to identify actions that will simultaneously enhance biodiversity and deliver economic prosperity. The review will report in 2020, ahead of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity in Beijing in October that year.

* Re Biodiversity and conservation in Overseas Territories – A call for evidence inviting creative ideas from stakeholders on how the government can safeguard the biodiversity found in the Overseas Territories.

* Red Diesel: Response to Call for Evidence – A summary of responses to the May 2018 call for evidence on red diesel and air quality.

* In the Environment Bill (so far we have only seen part of the Environment Bill) – mandate net gains for biodiversity on new developments in England to deliver an overall increase in biodiversity.

(4) the Government’s motion to rule out leaving the EU on 29th March 2019 without a Withdrawal Agreement and associated Political Declaration was amended to make it apply universally, and then agreed.

Tomorrow, a Government motion to seek consensus on a delay in the exit date to 30 June 2019 will be debated in Parliament. Note : any delay will require EU approval.

I will issue a new Blog post on the matter of the exit day, tomorrow.

Remember : in international and domestic law the exit day is 29th March 2019.