Brexit Bill Tracker (UK)

The current state of Brexit Bills (Dec 5th 2018) is in the Institute for Government diagram depicted.

– Fisheries bill entered Committee stage yesterday

– Trade bill still missing in action in the Lords

– First bill *only* needed for no deal exit

– No sign of the Immigration bill (or white paper)

IF the UK Government loses the 11th December vote, the No Deal exit emergency legislation and instructions are published. I will post a new post then.

Current Brexit State 14 Nov 2018 (UK and EU)

EU and UK officials have agreed the text for the Withdrawal Agreement (a treaty) and Outline Political Declaration (on the future relationship between the UK and the EU bloc). This text was communicated to the UK at 9pm 12 Nov 2018, and the UK Cabinet will meet today at 2pm 14 Nov 2018. A vote of the UK Parliament, and of the European Parliament, is required, and each Member State must ratify.

Reminder : the UK is a Third Country from midnight CET 29 March 2019.

The EU has issued Brexit Preparedness Notices, and other Communications – here. I have posted about these.

Yesterday 13 Nov 2018, the EU issued a new Communication – here, and a new Travel Notice here. I posted this yesterday.

The UK has issued Technical Notices – here. I have posted about these.

France has agreed its Preparedness Law – the draft law is here. Further information is here. I have posted about this Law.

Some dates already apply now :

(1) pet vaccination

(2) online applications (UK) for ECMT International Road Haulage Permits (from 26 Nov 2018)

In the event, the Withdrawal Agreement and Outline Political Declaration text does not progress, further No Deal Instructions can be expected from 1st December 2018. HMRC and DfT already issued further No Deal instructions (I posted about these), and more can be expected.

In the event, the Withdrawal Agreement and Outline Political Declaration text does progress, and the Treaty is ratified, this will give a Transition/Implementation phase until Dec 2020, but the UK is still a Third Country from March 2019 (as above), albeit running under the arrangements put in place by the Withdrawal Treaty (in the UK this would be a Withdrawal and Implementation Act).

Business, charities and households must continue their preparations.

Please continue to follow and pay close attention to this Blog.

Current Brexit State (UK and EU)

The UK will exit the EU bloc at 11pm on 29 March 2019.

As of 31 October 2018, both sides have made good progress in negotiations on both the Withdrawal Agreement (for an orderly departure) and the political declaration on the future relationship. On the political declaration on the future relationship, the UK has proposals, and the UK and the EU have discussed each element of these, including the future customs arrangement.

Both sides will continue to work to finalise the Withdrawal Agreement and the political declaration on the future relationship. This is widely termed “the Deal”.

As set out in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, the UK House of Commons must vote to approve the deal before the Withdrawal Agreement can be ratified. Member States of the EU27 must also ratify the deal, along with the European Parliament.

Brexit Preparedness planning and information continues. EU Notices were issued some time ago, and reported in this Blog. UK Technical Notices were issued more recently, and also reported in this Blog. The departure of the UK from the EU bloc is a substantive change, and there will be actions for business and individuals, and further Notices can be expected. Please read these Notices carefully and continue to follow this Blog closely.

New Fisheries Bill (UK)

The UK Government lodged its Brexit Fisheries Bill at First Reading on 25th October 2018. The Bill and its Explanatory Notes are here.

The Fisheries Bill (the Bill) will provide the legal framework for the United Kingdom to operate as an independent coastal state under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS) after the UK has left the European Union (EU) and the Common Fisheries Policy (the CFP). The Bill creates common approaches to fisheries management between the UK government and the Devolved Administrations, known collectively as the Fisheries Administrations, and makes reforms to fisheries management in England.

A couple of aspects to note :

(1) The Bill replaces the sustainability objectives currently in Art. 2 of the Basic Regulation of the Common Fisheries Policy (Regulation (EU) 1380/2013), making them objectives for the Fisheries Administrations or the Secretary of State.

(2) The objectives include the objective of securing that all UK fishing boats have equal access to UK waters. This is new.

(3) The Fisheries Administrations are required to publish a statement setting out the policies which would achieve or contribute to the achievement of those objectives. In addition, the Secretary of State is required to publish a statement setting out the policies that apply to England that achieve or contribute to the achievement of a number of objectives that apply only to the Secretary of State.

(4) The Fisheries Administrations are required to pursue the policies contained in the statements unless relevant considerations indicate otherwise.

(5) As expected for a Brexit Bill, when the UK leaves the EU, any access for EU and other foreign vessels to UK waters will be a matter for negotiation. The Bill revokes the EU legislation which currently provides for automatic rights for vessels registered in the EU to access UK waters. By revoking provisions in the Fishery Limits Act 1976, it removes the need to designate which countries’ vessels are able to fish in UK waters and introduces a new requirement that foreign vessels fishing in UK waters must be authorised to be in UK waters under international agreements or arrangements or must have a licence issued by a Fisheries Administration.

(6) The Bill revokes, replaces and clarifies existing powers for the Fisheries Administrations to license fishing in UK waters. For the most part, this is a consolidation of existing powers but the Bill makes several significant changes. It provides for equal access for UK vessels in UK waters by clarifying that licences issued by any Fisheries Administration are effective throughout UK waters. It also requires for the first time that foreign vessels are prohibited from fishing in UK waters unless they have a licence issued by a Fisheries Administration.

(7) As expected for a Brexit Bill, the Bill revokes EU legislation which currently sets UK fishing opportunities (quotas) and gives the Secretary of State powers to determine the UK’s fishing opportunities. Before doing so he must consult the other Fisheries Administrations. He must also make certain notifications, including a notification to Parliament.

(8) The Bill also introduces powers to enable annual fishing opportunities (quotas), which the Secretary of State can allocate to the English industry, to be sold to those in the English industry (attached to named English ports). This is new.

New Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill (UK)

UPDATE : second reading is today 14 November 2018. Research briefing is here.

The UK Government introduced yesterday (26th October 2018) a Brexit Bill on the matter of international arrangements for healthcare once the UK has left the EU. The Bill and its Explanatory Notes are here.

The Bill provides the Secretary of State with powers to fund and arrange healthcare outside the UK, to give effect to healthcare agreements between the UK and other countries, territories or international organisations, such as the European Union (EU), and make provision in relation to data processing, which is necessary to underpin these arrangements and agreements.

The Bill was introduced as a result of the decision to leave the EU and is intended to enable the Government to respond to the wider range of possible outcomes of EU Exit in relation to reciprocal healthcare including the implementation of new reciprocal healthcare agreements.

A couple of aspects to note :

(1) The EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill (not yet lodged, and dependent on a deal being reached between the UK and the EU) would allow the UK to continue reciprocal healthcare during the Implementation/Transition Period (as provided for by the Withdrawal Agreement) following Exit day (and after the implementation period for those people covered by the Withdrawal Agreement).

But, it does not support long-term arrangements covering the general UK population after the Implementation Period. Further, the powers in the EU (Withdrawal) Act would not be sufficient for the UK to make provision in the event the UK does not reach agreement with the EU, but wishes to arrange for healthcare overseas for UK citizens, either on a unilateral basis or by means of bilateral agreements with individual countries.

(2) So the Bill provides the Secretary of State with powers which are necessary to arrange for the provision of healthcare overseas and to fund this, after the UK leaves the EU. The powers are required both in a deal and in a no deal scenario, and go beyond the EU sphere, to allow the Secretary of State to implement any new agreements on reciprocal healthcare which the UK puts in place with both EU and non-EU states should this be part of a global strategy.

(3) The powers enable the Secretary of State to address the essential matters relating to healthcare overseas, including defining individual entitlements to healthcare, and operational and administrative matters, including data sharing where necessary to facilitate treatment. This also includes being able to reimburse other states for healthcare costs, and to recover health care costs from them.

Commercial Driving in the EU (UK Brexit Preparedness)

Today the UK Government published instructions on the actions commercial drivers must take (in the event of No Deal and no bilateral arrangements) in order to drive in the EU27 bloc after Brexit. This information is here.

The contents of any future EU-UK trade deal (or bilateral arrangements) may affect these instructions, so it’s essential to keep watching for updates (the information link in the first paragraph of this Blog post identifies ways to stay updated).

[A] Community licences and ECMT permits

Currently, UK lorry drivers carrying out international journeys must have a standard international operator’s licence along with a community licence for journeys to, from or through the EU and EEA.

Vehicles under 3.5 tonnes (including vans) and drivers operating on own account (carrying their own goods) do not need an international operator’s licence or Driver CPC.

ECMT permits will enable UK operators to drive in the EU and EEA (except Cyprus) if UK issued community licences are not recognised. ECMT permits are also recognised in 15 other countries.

Operators with a Northern Ireland operator’s licence will not be required to obtain an ECMT permit for a journey to the Republic of Ireland. Operators with a Great Britain operator’s licence should apply for an ECMT permit if they plan to drive in the Republic of Ireland from 29 March 2019.

Only limited numbers of ECMT permits will be available. Application will be online for ECMT permits from 26 November to 21 December 2018.

To apply for ECMT permits, a vehicle operator licence online account is required.

[B] Trailer registration (UK Brexit law)

From 28 March 2019, commercial trailers over 750kg and all trailers over 3,500kg must be registered before they can travel through countries that have ratified the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.

This includes countries in the EU, EEA and Europe (listed in the Government Information, see link in the first paragraph of this Blog post).

Trailer registration is not required for trailers that are only used in the UK or only used for journeys between the UK and Ireland.

More details are in the Government Information, see link in the first paragraph of this Blog post).

More Technical Notices (UK Brexit Preparedness)

Further Technical Notices are published today. The collection is found here.

I will be shortly adding the Brexit Law list to Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers and Checklists. Please look out for the links appearing in both ENV and OHS. This Brexit Law list will be added to over the coming months.

The UK Technical Notices identify a large number of new systems, new consultations, and new processes that will be brought on stream. Please continue to follow this Blog closely.