On Thursday 13 September, the UK Government published a further 28 technical guidance notes on the implications of a "No Deal Brexit" and repeated its message that UK businesses, citizens and the public sector should be making preparations now. These new guidance notes are additional to the 25 published by the Government on 23 August 2018.
The 28 technical guidance notes explain how a "No Deal Brexit" would affect a range of issues including public procurement, personal data, environmental standards, driving, merger control, telecoms, broadcasting, consumer rights, trading in medicines, regional funding, seafaring, mobile roaming charges and travelling with a UK passport. They also provide recommendations as to what steps UK businesses, citizens and the public sector should be making at this time
All the notes should be read in light of the statement made by the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Dominic Raab MP, at the launch of the first set of guidance notes when he confirmed that a no deal "is not what we want. And it's not what we expect. But, we must be ready".
The Government's "No Deal Brexit" guidance notes published on the 13 September include:
- Public Procurement: the Public Procurement requirements will continue with the Government launching a UK specific e-notification service to replace OJEU and TED. The UK will also seek to join the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement as an individual member (the UK currently participates through the EU);
- ERDF, ESF and Horizon 2020 public funding: where a funding agreement is executed before the date of Brexit, the grant applicant will have their funding underwritten by the Treasury's guarantee. The Government is committed to putting in place arrangements which ensure access to funding for similar activities to that cover under the funds continues in the event of a No Deal Brexit.
- Broadcasting and video on demand: the UK will no longer be able to rely on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, meaning that the UK may face new requirements relating to broadcast and video on demand services.
- Merger control and competition law regulation: Although some minor changes to ensure operability will be made through the EU Withdrawal Act, the UK's existing domestic competition regime will continue and be implemented by the Competition and Markets Authority. The European Commission will continue to have the power under EU law to investigate UK firms if they engage in mergers or conduct that distort competition within the EU. Therefore activity within the relevant thresholds and which affects both the UK and EU market can expect to be reviewed by both the Competition and Markets Authority and the European Commission.
- Litigation involving EU Countries: EU framework for ongoing civil judicial cooperation between the UK and EU countries will end in the event of a no deal Brexit. The Government is looking into putting in place necessary arrangements based on international agreements.
- Driving: Citizens planning on driving in the EU are advised to look into obtaining an International Driving Permit (IDP).
- Mutual Recognition: Certain goods such as bicycles, textiles and furniture are currently subject to national laws on standards rather than EU rules, but can export to the EU as the UK's national laws are subject to mutual recognition. This will come to an end in the event of a No Deal Brexit and instead the goods exported will need to meet the national requirements of the first EU country to which the goods are exported.
This latest set of technical guidance notes can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/how-to-prepare-if-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-with-no-deal#overview.
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