EU Council – EU27 Leaders 13-14 Dec (EU)

[clarification – the EU Council is a full EU28 council, consideration of Brexit is EU27]

The European Council (of EU27 leaders) commencing today (13-14 December 2018) will focus on the EU’s long-term budget, the EU single market, migration and external relations. EU27 leaders will also discuss Brexit today and the¬†euro area tomorrow.

In his letter of invitation, President Donald Tusk said –

“Given the seriousness of the situation in the UK, let me start with Brexit. The intention is that we will listen to the UK Prime Minister’s assessment, and later, we will meet at 27 to discuss the matter and adopt relevant conclusions. As time is running out, we will also discuss the state of preparations for a no-deal scenario.”

The EU began issuing Brexit Preparedness Notices in 2017, and in 2018 it also issued Contingency Planning documents (I posted these at the time). It is essential to have read these documents, and the information presented in all places, in full. Once again, the information is here (please look in all places on this site).

France already enacted a local Brexit contingency law (I posted about this), Germany has now draft local Brexit contingency laws published on relevant Ministry websites, Ireland has signalled it is stepping up local No Deal contingency measures. It is essential to follow local contingency measures, where relevant, these will be additional to the EU measures. Further measures and instructions at EU level may be forthcoming, also.

The UK has more than a hundred Technical Notices, and HMRC, the Department for Transport, and the Department of Health & Social Care have each issued further instructions, and further can be expected. Please check this blog for the links (category Brexit, EU Brexit Notices and new category UK Brexit Notices).

In addition, bi-laterals are in place in some areas that will create variations to the above, these should be set out in the local Instructions, if not now, shortly. The best approach is to read the EU information and then check locally. If in the UK (or dealing with the UK) then also read the UK information.

Unless the date is pushed back (unlikely) or Brexit does not occur at all (unlikely), the UK is a Third Country from 12pm CET 29 March 2019, and the rules of engagement change. The biggest effect is on the UK statute book, and subscribers to Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists now have a constantly updating Brexit Law List (of changes to the UK global ENV and OHS legislation).

However, activities in all EU27 member states will be affected to some extent, and the rules for engaging with the UK will alter.

Please continue to follow this Blog. In addition, although based in London, UK, I am now regularly in Ireland, and it’s possible to meet with me there.