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EU Exit Business Readiness Forum meeting on 28th March

Summary notes from the EU Exit Business Readiness Forum meeting on 28th March. BEIS summary briefing note and presentation also attached for reference.

Panellists

  • Donna Leong, Director of EU Exit Business and Stakeholder Engagement, BEIS
  • Oliver Newton, Stakeholder Engagement Team, the Department for exiting the EU (DExEU)
  • Andrew Elliot, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)
  • Steven Scott, Communications Team, the Home Office (HO)

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) held their ninth EU Exit Business Readiness Forum on Thursday 28th March at BEIS central London offices in Victoria. This was the last in the planned series of events up to the original exit date of 29th March. During this session, intended as a summary of main topics already covered over the last 8 weeks, the EU Settlement Scheme and data protection issues among other topics were revisited. BEIS staff and a cross-Whitehall panel of policy experts were available throughout the session to answer any questions, although it was noted that members of the DIT were not present.

The forum was hosted by Donna Leong, Director of EU Exit Business and Stakeholder Engagement, BEIS, with panellists Oliver Newton (DExEU), Andrew Elliot (DCMS) and Steven Scott (HO).

The Forum, aimed primarily at representative organisations such as trade associations and professional bodies, has 3 main objectives - to share the information UK businesses need to prepare for EU Exit; to provide materials to association bodies to cascade to members; and to respond to and gather feedback on existing and new materials circulated in readiness for the UK’s withdrawal.


Parliamentary Update – Oliver Newton

Following the March European Council meeting the PM wrote to the EU asking that Article 50 be extended until 29th June, this was rejected. The EU did however agree that if a deal was agreed by 11pm on the 29th March, thy would be willing to extend until 29th May. If a deal was not agreed, as has since transpired, the EU would extend to 12th April however this time was to be used to set out the next steps – either the UK leaves without a deal or a further application for an extension is made, with clear rationale for this extension.

On Monday (25th) a debate was held to give parliament control of the order paper for Wednesday 27th during which a series of indicative votes on 8 proposals was held. None of which received clear majority backing. A further round of indicative voting was expected on Monday 1st April on a shorter list of proposals. The Leader of the House motioned for another debate on Friday 29th where the Withdrawal Act would be separated from the Parliamentary Declaration in a bid to accept the deal. This has since been defeated.

Queries were raised in relation to:

  • A deal being accepted by parliament after 29th March but before 14th April and whether this would be accepted by the EU.
  • The possibility of extending article 50 again to 22nd May, should the deal be defeated again.
  • Progress made on any trade agreements.
  • Where indicative votes indicate a majority, whether the government would then pull this forward as policy.
  • Statutory Instruments already approved and whether the implementation dates would change given extensions to article 50.
  • Apprentices coming to the UK, effectively as students, and whether the same immigration requirements as students would apply.

Whether an EEA citizen who has worked in the UK for 8 years, but has no NQF level 3 qualification and earns less than £30k would be required to leave the UK after exit.

Mr Newton advised that there were 2 options available and whilst the legal default would be to leave without a deal, should the deal be accepted by parliament the EU could be approached and asked whether they would agree to accept this.

It was confirmed by Mr Newton that there were no plans to extend this again. The legal default in the event the deal cannot be agreed is for the UK to leave without a deal on 12th April.

This was not able to be confirmed as no members of the DIT were present.

Mr Newton advised that if the subject of the vote goes against what is in the conservative party manifesto, this will not be brought into policy.

It was confirmed that both the Withdrawal Bill and contingency planning SI’s make reference to “Exit Day” to enable alignment and enactment on the day the UK leaves the EU.


Data Protection Frequently Asked Questions – Andrew Elliot

Mr Elliot summarised the 5 main queries received by the department.

1. Will there be regulatory forbearance from EU27 data protection authorities?

In short no, the EU 27 will not effectively turn a blind eye. The law is changing and it is expected that it will be applied. The EU Data Protection Board will not offer any co-ordinated concessions.

Individual authorities may differ however and to date 18 member states have issued guidance.

2. How long will it take for the UK to benefit from an adequacy decision?

Whilst the UK will continue to apply pressure to implement adequacy decision as soon as possible, a gap is expected. Most likely 1-2 years.

3. Can we move data from the 13 countries who already have an EU adequacy decision back to the UK?

The department has rolled over 12 of the 13 current state agreements, with the exception of Andorra, in a bid to ensure continuity.

Although there is no change expected for data flowing from the UK to the EU, data flowing back to the UK either from the EEA will be subject to ‘appropriate safeguards’, which are listed in the GDPR and specific contractual clauses.

Appropriate safeguards ensure that both the sender and the receiver of the transfer are legally required to protect individuals’ rights and freedoms for their personal data.

4. Will there be regulatory cooperation between ICO and EU27 data protection authorities?

In the event of a no-deal, the ICO will look to agree bi-lateral agreements with individual authorities. Whilst some are already indicating they are ready to discuss this, others will not enter discussions until the UK leaves.

5. Can an EU processor send data to a UK controller?

In a no-deal scenario, the UK will become a third country and any transfers of data from the EU to the UK will be subject to the transfer restrictions under the European GDPR. EU-based controllers and processors will need to ensure appropriate transfer mechanisms are in place for any EU-UK transfers. This may involve mapping of data flaws and putting standard contractual clauses in place.

It was also noted that UK-based controllers or processors that are not established in the EEA, but offers goods or services to the EEA, may need to consider appointing a European representative.


EU Settlement Scheme – Steven Scott

In a no deal scenario, free movement will effectively end as soon as possible after exit day. EEA Citizens already in the UK will be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living, working and studying in the UK. This scheme is only available to EEA citizens already in the UK on the day of exit.

Those with at least 5 years continuous residence (1 year continuous residence defined as at least 6 months in any 12 month period) will be eligible to apply for settled status, a stepping stone to citizen status.. Those with less than 5 years’ continuous residence will be eligible for pre-settled status.

Irish citizens do not need to apply to the settlement scheme to benefit from protected rights, although they are free to do so. Non-Irish or non-British family members of Irish citizens will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if they want to stay in the UK after 31 December 2020.

EEA citizens who live, work or study under current “residence” status will need to apply to the settlement scheme.

The scheme is now fully open and free to register and the deadline for applications is 31st December 2020. All registration fees paid during the testing period will be refunded. An EU settlement scheme employer toolkit is available here and updates are expected by the 8th April.

The marketing campaign for the settlement scheme will go live as of 30th March, with direct marketing through employers, local authorities and community and a media campaign including television (freeview, Netflix and terrestrial channels) as well as radio advertising.

EEA citizens arriving after exit day will still be able to enter the UK to visit, work and study for up to 3 months without requiring a visa. Those who wish to remain in the UK for pleasure, work or study after this period

will need to apply (from within the UK) for European Temporary Leave to Remain (TLR) which will enable them to remain in the UK for an additional 36 months after their initial 3 month visa free period. EU TLR cannot be extended and is no guarantee of acceptance under the new settlement scheme.

EU citizens who want to stay in the UK beyond 36 months will need to make an application to, and qualify under, the new skills-based immigration system, which will go live in 2021.

Regardless of whether the UK leaves with or without a deal, the checks employers are required to make will not change.

Queries were raised in relation to:

Apprentices are considered to be employees and as such it is a condition of eligibility for the programme that they have the right to work in the UK for the whole period of their apprenticeship programme.

Prior to EU Exit, anyone currently seeking to undertake an apprenticeship and who does not have the right to work in the UK would need to apply for a Tier 2 skilled worker visa, although it is unlikely that many apprentices would qualify on the grounds of either salary level or existing level of skill (some intra-company transfers where employees are using an apprenticeship to progress in their career might be an exception). Tier 4 is a student visa and therefore not appropriate for apprentices who are first and foremost employees.

In the first instance it would be appropriate to apply for TLR, however if at the end of this period they did not qualify under the new immigration policy, they would be required to leave.

Tools & Resources

Providing services to EEA and EFTA countries after EU Exit - Guidance for UK businesses on EU service provision if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 with no deal, UK businesses will no longer operate under European Economic Area (EEA) regulations for the cross-border trade of services. UpdatesAdditional country guides were published this week that contain information and links to help businesses navigate the third country regulations in each country. The updated list is here: Providing Services to EEA and EFTA Countries after EU Exit

HMRC EU Exit Webinars

The HMRC EU Exit webinars will cover what UK businesses need to know to keep imports and exports up to speed and identify the key steps to continue trading with EU businesses. They cover important actions that businesses trading with the EU must take now, including registering for a UK trader number (known as an EORI number) and understanding how to complete customs declarations for all future international trade.

The webinars will take place on:

  • Thursday 4 April
    • 10-11am
    • 3-4pm
  • Friday 5 April
    • 11-11am
    • 1-2pm

There are 4,000 places across the four sessions but we are urging businesses to sign up now to avoid disappointment – they have proved very popular to date. Businesses can register to attend here.


Recent Announcements and Updates

Importing and Exporting, Transport and Haulage

Cross government guidance updated for hauliers on transporting goods out of the UK by road if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. UpdatesClarification on the documentation required by hauliers for importing and exporting goods if the UK leaves the EU without a deal: Transport Goods out of the UK by Road if the UK Leaves the EU Without a Deal Checklist for Hauliers

DfT updated guidance on checking if you need to register a trailer before towing it abroad. UpdatesYou must register commercial trailers over 750kg and all trailers over 3,500kg before towing them through Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine: Trailer Registration

DIT updated guidance on temporary rates of customs duty (tariffs) on imports after EU Exit. Updates – Removed xls, replaced ods, updated descriptions, edited figures: Temporary Rates of Customs Duty on Imports after EU Exit

NEW – HMRC published a communications pack: roll on roll off ports and Eurotunnel in the event of a no deal EU exit: Communications Pack Roll on Roll off Ports and Eurotunnel in the Event of a No Deal EU Exit

NEW – HMRC published guidance on VAT on goods you move from Ireland to Northern Ireland if the UK leaves the EU without a deal: VAT on Goods you Move from Ireland to Northern Ireland if the UK Leaves the EU Without a Deal

NEW – HMRC published guidance on customs procedures for goods moving between Ireland and Northern Ireland if the UK leaves the EU without a deal: Customs Procedures for Goods Moving between Ireland and Northern Ireland if the UK Leaves the EU Without a Deal

NEW – HMRC published an impact assessment for VAT and services if the UK leaves the EU without a deal: HMRC Impact Assessment for VAT and Services if the UK Leaves the EU Without a Deal

HMRC updated help and support for traders if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. UpdatesA video about the 5 key areas businesses must be aware of to keep trading with the EU if the UK leaves without a deal has been added: Help and Support for Traders if the UK Leaves the EU With No Deal

HMRC updated a Statutory Instruments relating to EU Exit. Updateslink to The Customs (Revocation of Retained Direct EU Legislation, etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 has been added: Statutory Instruments Relating to EU Exit

HMRC updated Statutory Instruments relating to EU Exit. UpdatesThese SIs were re-laid under an affirmative procedure 28 March 2019:The Cash Controls (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 The Customs (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 The Customs Safety and Security Procedures (EU Exit) Regulations 2019: Statutory Instruments Relating to EU Exit

HMRC updated guidance on notices Made Under the Customs (Import Duty) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. UpdatesThe address to send applications for authorisation to use the Simplified Declaration Procedure (SDP) or Entry in the Declarant’s records (EIDR) has been updated: Notices Made Under the Customs Import Duty EU Exit Regulations 2018

Regulations and Standards

NEW – BEIS published guidance on provision of services regulations: guidance for UK service providers and Competent Authorities: Provision of Services Regulations Guidance for UK Service Providers and Competent Authorities

NEW – Cross government reminder to waste industry to review contingency plans should the UK leave the EU without a deal: No Deal EU Exit Government Issues Reminder to Waste Industry

NEW – EA published guidance on EU Exit regulatory position statements: EU Exit Regulatory Position Statements

NEW – HSC published guidance on changes to nutrition legislation if there’s no EU Exit deal: Nutrition Legislation if there is No EU Exit Deal

NEW – HSC published guidance on vitamins and minerals in foods if there’s no EU Exit deal: Vitamins and Minerals in Foods if there is No EU Exit Deal

HSC updated guidance on planning for a possible no-deal EU Exit: information for the health and care sector. Updates – ‘Prescriptions issued in the EEA and Switzerland: guidance for pharmacists’ has been added to the document collection under the ‘Health and care services: guidance’ heading. Guidance on changes to nutrition legislation: Planning for a Possible No Deal EU Exit for the Health and Care Sector

NEW – MHRA published guidance on Conditional Marketing Authorisations, exceptional circumstances Marketing Authorisations and national scientific advice in a no deal scenario: Conditional Marketing Authorisations, Exceptional Circumstances Marketing Authorisations and National Scientific Advice in a No Deal Scenario

Workforce and People

Cross government guidance updated on Visiting the UK after Brexit. Updates - Added information about ‘merchandise in baggage’ and importing from the EU to the UK in a no deal. Added information about controls on cash from the EU to the UK in a no deal: Visiting the UK after Brexit

NEW - DExEU published guidance on EU exit eligibility arrangements to access public funds after free movement ends if there is no deal: EU Exit Eligibility Arrangements to Access Public Funds after Free Movement Ends if there is No Deal

DExEU updated the policy paper on citizens' rights in the event of a no deal Brexit. Updates - To reflect that the UK will not leave the EU on 29 March 2019 and to clarify that the family reunion policy applies to EU citizens with pre-settled and settled status: Policy Paper on Citizens Rights in the Event of a No Deal Brexit

DWP updated guidance for EU citizens in the UK on benefits and pensions in a ‘no deal’ scenario. Updates - Information about claiming benefits for EU citizens wanting to move to the UK after 12 April 2019: EU Citizens in the UK Benefits and Pensions in a No Deal Scenario

NEW - HO published guidance on employing EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members after Brexit: Employing EU EEA and Swiss Citizens and their Family Members after Brexit

NEW - HO published guidance on the EU Settlement Scheme: translated information materials: EU Settlement Scheme Translated Information Materials

NEW - HO published guidance on the Settled status for EU citizens and their families: translations: Settled Status for EU Citizens and their Families Translations

NEW - HO published guidance on the EU Settlement Scheme: UK tax and benefits records automated check: EU Settlement Scheme UK Tax and Benefits Records Automated Check

NEW - HO published guidance on the EU Settlement Scheme: frontier workers and their family members: EU Settlement Scheme Frontier Workers and their Family Members

NEW - HO published guidance on the UK’s future skills-based immigration system: UKs Future Skills Based Immigration System Engagement Programme

NEW - HO published guidance on the EU Settlement Scheme: application fee refunds: EU Settlement Scheme Application Fee Refunds

HO updated guidance on the EU Settlement Scheme caseworker guidance. Updates - New EU Settlement Scheme guidance for staff on suitability requirements: EU Settlement Scheme Caseworker Guidance

HO updated guidance on the EU Settlement Scheme: application processing times. Updates - Processing times: EU Settlement Scheme Processing Times

HO updated guidance on the EU Settlement Scheme, ID document scanner locations. Updates - New ID Document scanner locations added: EU Settlement Scheme ID Document Scanner Locations

HO updated guidance on the EU Settlement Scheme: apply for an administrative review. Updates - Add information about applying for an administrative review from outside the UK: EU Settlement Scheme Apply for an Administrative Review

HSC updated guidance on healthcare for UK nationals living in the EU, EFTA and Switzerland. Updates - Information for students about EHIC rights when studying in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland: UK Nationals Living in the EUEEA and Switzerland Healthcare

UKV&I updated guidance on the EU Settlement Scheme: evidence of UK residence. Updates - Add link to the automated check page: EU Settlement Scheme Evidence of UK Residence

Energy & Climate

BEIS updated guidance on meeting climate change requirements if there’s no Brexit deal. Updates - The 2018 compliance deadline to surrender allowances for the EU ETS is now 10:59pm on 12 April 2019. If EU exit day is changed again, the compliance deadline will be 30 April 2019 (or immediately before exit in the event that exit day is before 1 May 2019): Meeting Climate Change Requirements if there is No Brexit Deal

Intellectual Property

IPO updated guidance on IP and Brexit: the facts. Updates - Two videos under the heading Statutory legislation for What will happen to your registered community design (RCD) and unregistered community design (UCD) when we leave the EU added: IP and Brexit the Facts

Organisational Compliance

NEW – Ministry of Justice published guidance on Cross-border civil and commercial legal cases after Brexit: Guidance for legal professionals: Cross Border Civil and Commercial Legal Cases after Brexit Guidance for Legal Professionals

Other

DExEU updated guidance on International Agreements if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Updatesmade to the following agreements: China Forestry MoU, Ghana Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement, Indonesia Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement, CAR Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement, Liberia Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement, Cameroon Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement, Congo Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement, ICCAT, NAFO, NEAFC, NASCO, Port State Measures, IOTC, Chile Organic Equivalence Agreement, Argentina Organic Equivalence Arrangement, Australia Organic Equivalence Arrangement, Canada Organic Equivalence Arrangement, Costa Rica Organic Equivalence Arrangement, India Organic Equivalence Arrangement, Israel Organic Equivalence Arrangement, Japan Organic Equivalence Arrangement, New Zealand Organic Equivalence Arrangement, South Korea Organic Equivalence Arrangement, Tunisia Organic Equivalence Arrangement, United States Organic Equivalence Arrangement, Argentina Organic Equivalence Arrangement, Australia Organic Equivalence Arrangement, Canada Organic Equivalence Arrangement, Costa Rica Organic Equivalence Arrangement, India Organic Equivalence Arrangement, Israel Organic Equivalence Arrangement, New Zealand Organic Equivalence Arrangement, Argentina Organic Equivalence Arrangement, Australia Organic Equivalence Arrangement, Canada Organic Equivalence Arrangement, Costa Rica Organic Equivalence Arrangement, India Organic Equivalence Arrangement, Israel Organic Equivalence Arrangement, New Zealand Organic Equivalence Arrangement, South Korea Organic Equivalence Arrangement, Tunisia Organic Equivalence Arrangement, United States Organic Equivalence Arrangement, UK-Switzerland Trade Agreement, UK-Switzerland-Liechtenstein Trade Agreement, Norway and Iceland Trading Arrangement: International Agreements if the UK Leaves the EU Without a Deal

DfT updated guidance on international driving permits for UK drivers from 28 March 2019.

Updates - UK driving licence holders now need a 1969 IDP to drive in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, French Polynesia, Georgia, Guyana, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Niger, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zimbabwe: International Driving Permits for UK Drivers from 28 March 2019

Triage Tool

Gov.uk has an online tool to help businesses prepare for the UK leaving the EU. Businesses can use the Triage Tool to find out:

  • what their business may need to do to prepare for the UK leaving the EU
  • what’s changing in their sector
  • information on specific rules and regulations

Businesses will need to answer 7 simple questions to get guidance relevant to their business.

BEIS Sector Primers

These sector primers aim to bring together on one webpage the top 3 – 5 issues for each sector and provide guidance. The primers link through to more detailed material elsewhere on gov.uk. The sectors covered are:

Association members can find further information on preparations for a potential “no-deal” Brexit including links to relevant documents and sources on .Gov/ HMRC platforms, information on importing, exporting and transporting goods, trading goods covered by the “New Approach” framework (CE marking directives), trading timber products and chemicals here.

This document will be updated on a regular basis as information is confirmed and released.

Links to:

Summary of 9 Policy Themes

EU Exit Business Readiness Forum presentation pack - 28th March 2019

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