Brexit: September 2018 round-up

This month the government published the second and third tranches of technical notices giving guidance to UK businesses and citizens on how to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. The Migration Advisory Committee also published its recommendations for the UK’s post-Brexit work immigration system.

No-deal Brexit technical notices

In September, the government published the second and third tranches of technical notices giving guidance to UK businesses and citizens on how to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. These included:

  • Three notices providing guidance on the product requirements and processes applicable to trading in manufactured goods that will apply to trade between the UK and the EU.
  • A notice on intellectual property that addresses geographical indications, copyright, exhaustion of IP rights, patents, trade marks and designs.
  • A merger review and competition notice, which sets out that all UK merger control and domestic competition law will remain the same, and that in a no-deal scenario the UK would transpose EU block exemption regulation into UK law.
  • A short notice outlining the data protection consequences if there is no Brexit deal.
  • A notice on handling civil legal cases that involve EU countries if there is no Brexit deal. It provides guidance on civil and commercial judicial cooperation, cross-border insolvency cooperation and family law cooperation in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

On 10 September 2018, the House of Commons Library published a briefing paper which looks at what could happen if the EU and UK negotiators do not conclude a withdrawal agreement before the UK’s exit from the EU on 29 March 2019. The paper considers how such a situation might come about, the preparations for no deal that are being made by the UK government and the EU, and what the impact might be in a range of policy areas, including trade and customs, free movement, healthcare, agriculture, energy, the environment, and security and crime.

Practical Law has published a list of all its materials on a no-deal Brexit.

Migration Advisory Committee recommendations

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published its final report into current and possible future patterns of European Economic Area migration into the UK on 18 September 2018. The report includes MAC’s recommendations for the government to consider when designing the UK’s immigration system from 2021, after the end of the implementation period post-Brexit. The recommendations include making it easier for higher-skilled workers to migrate to the UK than lower-skilled workers, abolishing the current cap on sponsored work “visas” under Tier 2 (General) and no preferential treatment for EU citizens for migration to the UK for work.

Article 50 negotiations

On the same day that the MAC report was published, the House of Commons Exiting the European Union Committee published a report on the progress of the UK government’s negotiations on EU withdrawal (June to September 2018). The report looks at negotiations on the draft withdrawal agreement and the framework for the future UK-EU relationship, as well as the government’s preparations for a no-deal scenario.

On 21 September 2018, the Court of Session requested a preliminary ruling from the ECJ as to whether it was possible for the UK to withdraw, unilaterally, its notice to the European Council of the UK’s intention to withdraw from the EU under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. In the light of the evolving circumstances of the UK’s proposed withdrawal from the EU, and the terms of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, a ruling by the ECJ on this point could be of substantial legal and practical significance.

Inquiry on impact of future UK-EU arrangements on wider UK trade policy

On 7 September 2018, the House of Commons International Trade Committee launched an inquiry to investigate the impact that future arrangements between the UK and EU could have on wider UK trade policy. Submissions are welcomed by 7 December 2018.

Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act

The Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill 2017-19 received Royal Assent on 13 September 2018, becoming the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018.

 

Practical Law In-house Robert Clay