At the launch of the technical notes, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Dominic Raab MP, confirmed that a no deal "is not what we want. And it's not what we expect. But, we must be ready". He called for a measured national debate on the subject and spoke of the need for businesses, the public sector, voluntary sector and the Government to "take some steps now, so that we can avoid and mitigate those risks that arise".
The 25 guidance notes cover 10 core subjects and set out the Government's understanding of the implications of a no deal Brexit. These include:
- EU Funds: the government has agreed to guarantee EU funded programmes such as ERDF and Horizon 2020 until 31 December 2020.
- Nuclear Research: Although the UK would lose its membership of the Euroatom R&T Programme, Fusion for Energy and International Thermonuclear Experimental Reaction project, the Government says it remains committed to nuclear research.
- Farming: the government has agreed to guarantee EU farming subsidies until a new fund is put in place.
- Importing and Exporting: The new Trade Remedies Authority will investigate unfair trading practices and unforeseen surges in imports. Businesses trading with the EU will be treated as a third party so will need to meet the relevant administrative requirements and tariffs may apply.
- Labelling products and making them safe: Although EU rules relating to tobacco products and e-cigarettes, genetically modified organisms and organic food will no longer apply after Brexit, the Government has incorporated these into UK law under the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018. #
- Money and Tax: the Treasury is drafting legislation, which we expect will be brought under Section 8 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, in order to ensure there will be a functioning financial services regulatory framework in the event of a no deal. UK citizens living in the EEA may lose the ability to access existing lending and deposit services due to UK firms losing passporting rights. For businesses who rely on passporting, the guidance points out that many UK financial services firms who currently passport into the EEA are establishing EU-authorised subsidiary companies.
- Regulating medicines and medical equipment: as the UK will leave the EU medicines and medical devices regulatory networks they will no longer have access to the common systems, and the associated exchanges of data across the EU and EEA. Therefore the Government intends to set up new domestic organisations.
- State Aid law: the regulation of State subsidies will continue with the EU rules being incorporated into domestic law under the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 with the Competition and Markets Authority taking over responsibility for monitoring and enforcement in place of the European Commission.
- Erasmus+ in the UK: current participants on the Erasmus+ scheme will benefit from the treasury guarantee until 2020. The Government is currently in negotiations about access to the scheme in future.
- Workplace Rights: workers in the UK will continue to be entitled to the same rights because the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 will incorporate EU rules into national law.
Further technical notes will be published during September. This latest set of technical guidance notes can be found here.