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Article by Michael Gove – No-deal is a very real prospect

No-deal is a very real prospect. We must ensure we are ready” is an article by Michael Gove, originally published in The Sunday Times on 28 July 2019.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/no-deal-is-a-very-real-prospect-we-must-ensure-we-are-ready-article-by-michael-gove

Last week, I was honoured to be asked by our new prime minister to lead on this government’s No 1 priority preparing the country to leave the EU, come what may, on October 31. Three years after an historic and decisive referendum vote by the British people, the United Kingdom is finally on the cusp of leaving the European Union.

With a new prime minister, a new government, and a new clarity of mission, we will exit the EU on October 31. No ifs. No buts. No more delay. Brexit is happening.

It’s our aim to ensure we can leave with a deal. We want to continue with warm and close relations with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. We will do everything in our power to conclude a good agreement that honours the referendum result and secures a brighter future for us outside the single market and the customs union.

What we can’t do, however, is simply present parliament once again with the same withdrawal agreement it’s already rejected three times. You can’t just reheat the dish that’s been sent back and expect that will make it more palatable.

So we need a new approach and a different relationship. Critically, we need to abolish the backstop and ensure we find a different way to handle trade, and other important relations, on the island of Ireland.

EU Commission takes stock of preparations ahead of the June EU Council (Article 50)

On the 12 June 2019, the EU Commission issued a Press Release on preparations for the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Ahead of the June European Council (Article 50), the European Commission has today taken stock – in its fifth Brexit Preparedness Communication – of the European Union’s Brexit preparedness and contingency measures, particularly in light of the decision taken on 11 April by the European Council (Article 50), at the request of and in agreement with the United Kingdom, to extend the Article 50 period to 31 October 2019.

In light of the continued uncertainty in the United Kingdom regarding the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement – as agreed with the UK government in November 2018 – and the overall domestic political situation, a ‘no-deal’ scenario on 1 November 2019 very much remains a possible, although undesirable, outcome.

Since December 2017, the European Commission has been preparing for a ‘no-deal’ scenario. To date, the Commission has tabled 19 legislative proposals, 18 of which have been adopted by the European Parliament and Council. Political agreement has been reached on the remaining proposal – the contingency Regulation on the EU budget for 2019 –, which is expected to be formally adopted later this month. The Commission has also adopted 63 non-legislative acts and published 93 preparedness notices. In light of the extension of the Article 50 period, the Commission has screened all these measures to ensure that they continue to meet their intended objectives.

The Commission has concluded that there is no need to amend any measures on substance and that they remain fit for purpose. The Commission does not plan any new measures ahead of the new withdrawal date.

The Commission recalls that it is the responsibility of all stakeholders to prepare for all scenarios. Given that a ‘no-deal’ scenario remains a possible outcome, the Commission strongly encourages all stakeholders to take advantage of the extra time provided by the extension to ensure that they have taken all necessary measures to prepare for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Today’s Communication provides details on the extensive preparations in the EU27 in areas such as citizens’ residence and social security entitlements, customs and taxation, transport, fishing, financial services as well as medicinal products, medical devices and chemical substances.

In a ‘no-deal’ scenario, the UK will become a third country without any transitional arrangements. All EU primary and secondary law will cease to apply to the UK from that moment onwards. There will be no transition period, as provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement. This will obviously cause significant disruption for citizens and businesses and would have a serious negative economic impact, which would be proportionally much greater in the United Kingdom than in the EU27 Member States.

Full details at

‘No-deal’ Brexit: European Commission takes stock of preparations ahead of the June European Council (Article 50)

EU-press-release_IP-19-2951_en (pdf)

Other associated documents:

Communication From The Commission To The European Parliament, The European Council, The Council, The European Central Bank, The European Economic And Social Committee, The Committee Of The Regions And The European Investment Bank

EU_Preparations_DOC_1 (pdf)

ANNEX 1 to the Communication From The Commission To The European Parliament, The European Council, The Council, The European Central Bank, The European Economic And Social Committee, The Committee Of The Regions And The European Investment Bank

EU_Preparations_DOC_2 (pdf)

ANNEX 2 to the Communication From The Commission To The European Parliament, The European Council, The Council, The European Central Bank, The European Economic And Social Committee, The Committee Of The Regions And The European Investment Bank

EU_Preparations_DOC_3 (pdf)

It is also worth noting that if the UK leaves without an agreed deal with the EU, that they would insist on some pre-conditions prior to discussing a future trade agreement with the UK:

As outlined by President Juncker in the European Parliament on 3 April 2019, should a ‘no-deal’ scenario occur, the UK would be expected to address three main separation issues as a precondition before the EU would consider embarking on discussions about the future relationship:

These are:

(1) Protecting and upholding the rights of citizens who have used their right to free movement before Brexit,

(2) Honouring the financial obligations the UK has made as a Member State and

(3) Preserving the letter and spirit of the Good Friday Agreement and peace on the island of Ireland, as well as the integrity of the internal market.

Avoiding a hard border in Northern Ireland in a no deal scenario

by Politicker 0 Comments

The UK Government has set out its approach to avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March.

Published: 13 March 2019
Last updated: 14 March 2019

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/eu-exit-avoiding-a-hard-border-in-northern-ireland-in-a-no-deal-scenario

Contents

  • Compliance with international legal obligations
  • Protecting the biosecurity of the island of Ireland
  • Avoiding the highest risks to Northern Ireland businesses
  • Where can I find more information?

The unique social, political and economic circumstances of Northern Ireland must be reflected in any arrangements that apply in a no deal scenario.

This government is committed to the Belfast Agreement and to do everything in our power to ensure no return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Today we are confirming a strictly unilateral, temporary approach to checks, processes and tariffs in Northern Ireland. This would apply if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March.

The UK government would not introduce any new checks or controls on goods at the land border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, including no customs requirements for nearly all goods.

The UK temporary import tariff announced today would therefore not apply to goods crossing from Ireland into Northern Ireland.

We would only apply a small number of measures strictly necessary to comply with international legal obligations, protect the biosecurity of the island of Ireland, or to avoid the highest risks to Northern Ireland businesses – but these measures would not require checks at the border.

Because these are unilateral measures, they only mitigate the impacts from exit that are within the UK government’s control. These measures do not set out the position in respect of tariffs or processes to be applied to goods moving from Northern Ireland to Ireland.

Tariffs on imports after EU Exit

The Government is publishing information on essential policies which would need to be in place if the UK were to leave without a deal.

This approach was outlined by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons on 12 March 2019 to ensure MPs are fully informed before the vote on No Deal on 13 March 2019.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-temporary-rates-of-customs-duty-on-imports-after-eu-exit

The information, aimed towards business, includes the government’s approach to customs duty, which is a tax you pay when importing goods.

The rate of customs duty you pay is known as the ‘tariff’.

If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, you may need to pay different rates of customs duty (tariffs) on imports. These rates would only be applied if the UK were to leave the EU with no deal.

The UK government would set temporary rates which would:

  • apply from 11pm on 29 March 2019
  • be in place for up to 12 months from 29 March 2019

Here is a list of the temporary rates of customs duty (tariffs) on imports after EU Exit.

MFN and tariff quota rates of customs duty on imports if the UK leaves the EU with no deal

Preferential tariff rates
A preferential tariff rate would apply if the country:

  • has a free trade agreement with the UK
  • is part of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences
  • If a preferential tariff rate applies, this is the rate of customs duty (tariff) you would pay.

    Most-favoured-nation (MFN) tariff rates

    If a preferential tariff rate does not apply, this is the rate of customs duty (tariff) you would pay.

    Tariff quota rates (TRQ)

    If a tariff quota rate applies, you could apply to import a limited amount at a reduced rate of customs duty (tariff). You would need to claim for the tariff rate quota using the TRQ order number.

    Implications for business and trade of a no deal exit on 29 March 2019

    by Politicker 0 Comments

    A document was published today that explains the Government’s latest assessment of the implications for business and international trade in the UK, if it leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March.

    The Government’s primary aim is to ensure that the UK leaves the EU on 29 March with a negotiated deal which will honour the result of the referendum. However, as a responsible government, it continues to plan for all eventualities, including one in which the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

    This paper summarises Government activity to prepare for no deal as a contingency plan, and provides an assessment of the implications of a no deal exit for trade and for businesses, given the preparations that have been made.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/implications-for-business-and-trade-of-a-no-deal-exit-on-29-march-2019

    Document at

    Implications for Business and Trade of a No Deal Exit on 29 March 2019 (pdf)

    Some interesting excerpts:

    17.Evidence suggests that individual citizens are also not preparing for the effects that they would feel in a no deal scenario. UK citizens travelling to or living in the EU would need to complete a number of administrative tasks to ensure that their interactions with the EU are as unaffected as possible. These range from renewing passports, to applying for a car insurance green card and International Driving Permit to drive in the EU. As of February 2019, despite a public information campaign encouraging the public to seek out the Government’s advice on preparing for a “no deal”, noticeable behaviour change has not been witnessed at any significant scale. Based on DExEU survey data from January 2019, 55% of UK adults did not expect to be affected by a no deal exit.

    despite a public information campaign Has anybody actually seen this ?

    24.When the UK leaves the EU, it will leave the Single Market and the Customs Union, and, in the absence of a trade agreement, the EU will treat the UK as a third country for trade in goods. On exit, this could affect the availability of goods in a number of ways, including customs administration and delays at the border. In the absence of an alternative agreement, UK citizens would be treated as third country nationals by Member States, and potentially be subject to full Schengen checks. This would mean they would no longer be able to use e-gates, and checks to enter EU Member States could take longer than they currently do

    Longer queues at immigration/passport control – although there were always long queues before Brexit.

    29. One of the most visible ways in which the UK would be affected by delays in goods crossing the Channel is our food supply, 30% of which comes from the EU. Although our food supply is diverse, resilient, and sourced from a wide variety of countries, the potential disruption to trade across the Short Channel Crossings would lead to reduced availability and choice of products. This would not lead to an overall shortage of food in the UK, and less than 1 in 10 food items would be directly affected by any delays across the Short Channel Crossings. However, at the time of year we will be leaving the EU, the UK is particularly reliant on the Short Channel Crossings for fresh fruit and vegetables. In the absence of other action from Government, some food prices are likely to increase, and there is a risk that consumer behaviour could exacerbate, or create, shortages in this scenario. As of February 2019, many businesses in the food supply industry are unprepared for a no deal scenario.

    This would not lead to an overall shortage of food in the UK unless the public panic buy …

    48. …UK nationals would still be able to travel to the Schengen Area visa-free, for 90 days in every 180, but would not be able to undertake paid activity during this time…

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