UK Brexit Guidance Update (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October.

Yesterday (18th July) HMG updated the guidance it had issued before the first exit day, to apprentice providers and persons operating further education collages – here.

[it also updated the guidance for schools]

This Blog does not cover employment law, or immigration law.

The Guidance is useful in that it summarises a range of matters, from travel and visas, to food supplies, and the situation for employing people after Brexit.

Please note there is no update to the (February issued) European temporary leave to remain instruction – here.

per the European temporary leave to remain instruction – EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who are granted European temporary leave to remain will be able to stay in the UK for 36 months from the date it is granted. European temporary leave to remain will be a temporary, non-extendable immigration status. It will not give indefinite leave to remain (ILR), lead to status under the EU Settlement Scheme or make EU, EEA and Swiss citizens eligible to stay in the UK indefinitely.

If EU, EEA and Swiss citizens want to stay in the UK for more than 36 months, they will need to apply for an immigration status under the new immigration system, which will come into effect from 1 January 2021. Those who do not qualify will need to leave the UK when their European temporary leave to remain expires.

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who enters the UK before the UK leaves the EU, you’re eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK. EU, EEA or Swiss citizens and their families will be able to remain in the UK indefinitely if they are granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who arrives in the UK after the UK leaves the EU but were previously living in the UK before Brexit, you can also apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Irish citizens are excluded from the aboveIrish citizens will not need to apply for European temporary leave to remain. They’ll continue to have the right to enter and live in the UK under Common Travel Area arrangements.

Food Supplies (per the guidance to apprentice providers, and it’s also in the schools document – similar guidance is in the instructions for hospitals and care homes)

The government has been working to plan arrangements that ensure goods can continue to flow into the UK without significant delays from additional controls and checks. We are continuously engaging with a wide range of stakeholders to support industry preparedness. However, the government does not have control over the checks imposed by EU Member States at the EU side of the border.

The government, including the Department for Education, will continue to work with food suppliers to prepare for a no deal departure from the EU. Colleges have significant flexibilities in terms of how they provide food for students that are eligible for free meals.

We advise that you contact your food supplier(s) if your college procures food directly to ensure they are planning for potential impacts of a no deal scenario. For example, this may include plans to adapt menus to allow for product substitution.

This would also include seeking reassurance on the ability of suppliers to continue to provide nutritious meals and to accommodate special dietary needs and allergens when introducing any substitute products.

Brexit Readiness (Ireland)

UPDATE (10th July) – Northern Ireland Department for the Economy Trade and Investment Data under No Deal is here

Exit day is 31st October (114 days)

Today, Ireland’s Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney is due to bring three Brexit memos to Cabinet, including a revised contingency action plan which will be published later in the day. (I will update this post online to link the document). The July updated Plan is here.

NEW: Goods exported from the UK to Ireland will be subject “to a minimum 24 hour notification period” hitting business reliance on roll-on-roll off ferry trade [this was expected]

The contingency plan, circa 100-pages long, is an update of the plan published last December, and then updated in January, before the first Brexit exit day of March 29th. (I posted about this plan at the time). The December plan (with its January update) is accessed here.

Per the Irish Times writing on the subject – It will cover preparations in about 20 areas, including aviation, road haulage, retail, tourism and medicines.

There will also be a memo describing preparations at ports and airports. In the January update preparations had not been fully advanced, a greater amount of detail, can be expected in this July update. We still await details of the measures for the land border with the UK, but these are expected only after October 31st.

Per the Irish Times writing on the subject – According to sources familiar with its content, the memo will approve the permanent structures at airports and ports, including Dublin and Rosslare Europort.

The third memo will outline communications plans required to inform businesses and the public about the implications of a no-deal Brexit.

[if the Ports and Communications memos are published, I will update this post online]

A campaign to prompt holders of UK driving licences to apply for Irish licences is already under way. In addition, information was made available and carried in newspapers on the island of Ireland prior to March to prompt drivers with UK car insurance to obtain Green Cards. This information (licences and insurance) is also set out, but not the subject of a state information campaign, on the UK side, and motor insurance companies have written to customers on the UK side.

The starting point for traders on both sides is EORI registration. EORI registration on the UK aside is still lagging.

The International Road Haulage (Permits) issue on the UK side was eased with the EU’s announcement of the temporary waiver, but this runs out at end of December, and would need to be extended.

The UK issued in March, its proposal for temporary customs arrangements for goods entering Northern Ireland from Ireland – here.

UK Brexit Preparedness – Medicines (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October (127 days)

Today, 26th June, sees the following :

(1) Ministerial Statement – here

(2) Letter to Suppliers re Medicines – here

Ministerial Statement – extracts

Guaranteeing the supply of critical ‘category 1’ goods, including medicines, medical products, veterinary medicines and chemicals remains an essential element of the Government’s No Deal contingency planning. The Government is therefore undertaking steps to secure freight capacity for suppliers of these goods in a No Deal scenario.

The Department of Health and Social Care is starting the process of setting up an express freight contingency arrangement to support continuity of supply of medicines and medical products. This will be an urgent contingency measure for products requiring urgent delivery, within a 24-48 hour timeframe, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. This express freight contingency arrangement forms part of the Department’s multi-layered approach, which includes rerouting medical supplies from the short strait crossings, extra warehouse space, stockpiling, buffer stocks, clarifying regulatory requirements, supporting traders to have all necessary paperwork in place at the border, and strengthening the processes used to deal with shortages to ensure that patients have uninterrupted access to medicines and medical products if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Government will only pay for capacity as and when it is needed and used. This will be designed to cover all of the UK. The Department will be writing to industry to set out further details of these preparations.

The Department for Transport is putting in place a freight capacity framework agreement that will provide government departments with the ability to secure freight capacity for our critical supply chains as and when required. This framework does not commit the Government to purchasing or reserving any freight capacity, but it does provide a flexible list of operators and options for the provision of the capacity that can be drawn upon if needed.

In the coming months, the Government will make further announcements on its preparations for a possible No Deal Exit on 31 October, including on trade continuity agreements to limit disruption to our trade with third countries after we leave the EU.

Letter to Suppliers re Medicines – extracts

All no-deal preparedness plans should contain a mix of the following, depending on each company’s specific situation:

–  Secured capacity for rerouting freight away from the short straits after no-deal exit day, in order to avoid the worst restrictions on flow outlined above.

–  Stockpiling product above and beyond business-as-usual inventory levels; as a default, this is recommended as six weeks’ stock above business as usual inventory, the same as last time.

–  Assurance on the readiness of a company’s logistics and supply chains to meet the new customs and border requirements for both import and export (sometimes referred to as “trader readiness”).

Where companies have not yet done so [made a plan] the Government asks that they build a plan which includes a stockpile of an additional six weeks’ supply in the UK, on top of operational buffer stocks, in addition to developing a robust re-routing plan away from the short straits. As before, for products with a short shelf life or where production constraints mean stockpiling is not possible, for example, medical radioisotopes, we ask for alternative air freight plans to be made.

In the coming days, companies will be asked to provide information at product level, focused on the minimum key data set necessary for assurance of the programme. This will build on information from the 29th March exercise, including stock levels expected to be held on 31st October and plans for re-routing away from the short straits.

EU Brexit Preparedness (EU Brexit)

UK Exit day is 31st October 2019

Please read this Blog post carefully, if you have any questions or uncertainties as to your actions, please email to arrange a telecon.

Today, 12th June, the EU Commission published its fifth Brexit Preparedness Communication – it is a review of the state of the EU Brexit preparedness and contingency measures, and is important for activities in the EU and in the UK. The document is here.

Key elements :

(1) As stated in the fourth Brexit Preparedness Communication of 10 April 2019, the Commission is ready to propose financial support measures (applicable to the E27) to mitigate the impact in the most affected areas and sectors, taking into account the funds that are available and any adjustments on the expenditure and revenue side of the EU budget that might result from a disorderly withdrawal. For more immediate support to affected stakeholders, EU State aid rules offer flexible solutions for national measures. But see Item (4) below.

(2) In this review, the Commission screened all the EU-level measures to assess whether they are still fit for purpose given the extension of the Article 50(3) TEU period. On the basis of this screening, the Commission considers that the legislative and non-legislative Union acts continue to meet their intended objectives. There is therefore no need to amend them on substance. The Commission does not plan any new measures ahead of the new withdrawal date (31st October).

(3) The Commission adopted 16 non-legislative contingency acts under the EU sanitary and phytosanitary legislation in view of the previous withdrawal date of 12 April 2019 on the basis of assurances given by the United Kingdom. These measures are now obsolete due to the extension. However, if the United Kingdom continues to provide the necessary assurances, the measures will be re-adopted to apply as of 1 November 2019.

These acts cover the listing of the United Kingdom and its Crown Dependencies as a third country allowed to export live animals and animal products to the EU; and the approval of new or extended Border Inspection Posts in the EU27 Member States most concerned by UK imports.

They do not cover acts on the recognition of health marks for products of animal origin, heat treated pallets, or fortified flour (UK requests).

(4) In some sectors, companies indicated in March 2019 that they had not had sufficient time to adapt. The Commission strongly encourages stakeholders to take advantage of the extra time until 31 October 2019 to ensure that they have taken all the necessary action to prepare for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal.

They should ensure that the necessary regulatory authorisations are in place, that they have taken the administrative steps for cross-border trade and the necessary action for relocation, corporate reorganisation or contractual adaptations.

In particular, it will not be possible to place on the EU market after Exit day products which do not comply with the necessary requirements and authorisations.

As stated above, the Commission does not plan to adopt any new measure in view of a possible no-deal scenario or to compensate for a failure to prepare by operators.

The Commission considers that the additional time available because of the extension will in principle be sufficient for operators to adapt, so that even in cases where exemptions or derogations are available, they should not be necessary.

(5) EU27 Member States should screen their national contingency measures to ensure that they remain fit for purpose given the extension of the Article 50(3) period. In case of a no-deal withdrawal, the final preparatory measures must apply as of 1 November 2019 at the latest.

(6) Note the specifics on medicinal products, medical devices and chemical substances – page 5 of the document (link above).

(7) In the field of sanitary and phytosanitary controls (SPS), EU27 Member States have set up new Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) or extended existing ones at entry points of imports from the United Kingdom into the EU. As stated above, the non-legislative act approving these BIPs will need to be adopted again given the most recent extension of the Article 50(3) period. In the meantime, EU27 Member States should use the additional time to evaluate the need for any further adjustments to these BIPs to ensure that they are fully functional from the outset.

Furthermore, the Commission maintains regular contacts with the most concerned Member States so that, in a no-deal scenario, a landbridge route between Ireland and the rest of the European Union via the United Kingdom can be implemented swiftly, including support from the necessary IT systems.

(8) The international road haulage measure expiry deadline of 31st Dec 2019 is unaltered.

It is important companies review their supply contracts, and ensure suppliers are Brexit ready.

International Road Haulage (UK Exit)

Exit day is 31st October 2019

Whilst the UK is in the EU, road transport continues as usual. Once the UK leaves the EU, road transport to and in the EU will be subject to new arrangements.

International ECMT permits were oversubscribed in the first round, accordingly the UK opened a new round of ECMT permit applications in March 2019 –

The government has secured additional ECMT permits at the ECMT Road Transport Group meeting. These include both Euro V and Euro VI permits. There are now:

• 1,320 annual Euro VI permits

• 290 annual Euro V permits

• 3,744 short-term Euro VI permits (valid for 30 days)

• 1,080 short-term Euro V permits (valid for 30 days)

Annual permits cover all journeys made using the permit between 1 January and 31 December 2019. Monthly permits are valid for all journeys within 30 days of the start date listed on the permit.

UK hauliers will be able to carry on doing work to and from the EU, after the 31st October 2019 for a short time, under the EU Contingency law enacted (see diagram). This law allows UK registered operators to carry out road haulage to EU member states until 31 December 2019. The new rules were approved by the EU Parliament and Council in March and allow most journeys without a permit until 31 December 2019:

• travel to any EU member state (empty or laden) and return (empty or laden)

• a limited amount of ‘cross-trade’ or ‘cabotage’ work

• the EU law does not allow permit free access to non-EU countries – an ECMT permit will be required (after Exit) to transit EU member states to a 3rd countries such as Switzerland or Turkey.

I will update this post or issue a new Blog post when the arrangements for 2020 are announced.

Enquiries should be made to the UK Department for Transport.

EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October 2019

On the evening of 14th May (two days ago), the UK Government said it would bring the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill to Parliament in the week beginning 3rd June 2019 (two weeks time).

The EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill is not published. The Bill is needed to implement the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement that is signed but not ratified by the UK.

This Institute for Government explainer sets out information about the Bill – here.

It is unlikely that Parliament will enact the Bill. There are a number of reasons for this, covered in the Institute for Government explainer and publicised almost daily in the media. I will issue a new Blog post if it is; and if it is, it will be a major change to the going forward arrangements.

The Exit day is the day the UK leaves the EU, unless Article 50 is revoked in which case there is no Exit day.

The arrangements for conducting trade with the EU and other matters regulated presently by EU law, after Exit day, will be as set out in ‘No Deal’ Notices and other instructions, and may be subject to change as these arrangements firm up, or new arrangements created. This Blog contains many posts drawing attention to these new arrangements (please check the different Blog categories). I update the posts online if there are updates. Or I issue new Blog posts.

Changes in the date of the Exit day must be agreed between the EU and the UK, and are not in the gift of one side unilaterally. By decision of the European Court, Article 50 may be revoked by the UK on its own.

[The Exit day may change, please keep following this Blog]