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Scottish Government Overview of ‘No Deal’ Preparations

And in another publication today, 08 October 2019, the Scottish Government released details of their own no-deal planning.

Our preparation for ‘no deal’ Brexit and planning work to date, and proposed mitigations to deal with the impact on Scotland of a ‘no deal’ exit from the European Union.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-government-overview-no-deal-preparations/

The Scottish Government has consistently opposed the UK’s proposed departure from the EU, in line with the clear majority of votes in Scotland in the 2016 referendum.

At the same time, we have also been willing to seek compromise – for example, by suggesting that the UK at least remains part of the single market and customs union.

While the risk of a ‘No Deal’ exit remains, as a responsible Government, we are taking appropriate steps to mitigate its potential impacts. In doing so, we are seeking to protect Scotland from the worst impacts of No Deal.

This overview of our No Deal planning sets out, in clear terms:

o the potential impacts of ‘No Deal’

o the steps we are taking, or planning to take – to mitigate those impacts as far as we can

o the actions we are demanding of the UK Government to mitigate some of the impacts

We must also recognise that, whatever preparations we make in Scotland or action the Scottish Government and its partners may take, and indeed whatever the UK Government might do, it is simply not possible to avoid all the impacts of a ‘No Deal’ exit.

It remains possible that ‘No Deal’ can be avoided. But we need to prepare proportionately now, and be as ready as we can be in case the worst happens. This overview describes how the Scottish Government is preparing as best we can for a possible No Deal exit from the EU on 31 October.

Scottish Government Overview of ‘No Deal’ Preparations (pdf)

Scottish Government Overview of ‘No Deal’ Preparations (local copy pdf)

Scottish Government advice for businesses and the public

The Scottish Government and its Agencies have published a range of information to support businesses and individuals prepare for the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Scottish Government – https://www.gov.scot/brexit
mygov.scot – https://www.mygov.scot/brexit
Scottish Enterprise – https://www.scottish-enterprise.com/prepare-for-brexit
PrepareforBrexit.scot – https://www.prepareforbrexit.scot

Operation Yellowhammer

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The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has written to Dominic Grieve QC MP and Hilary Benn MP, in response to the Humble Address Motion passed on Monday 9 September 2019. This is related to the request for the Government to release documents and communications associated with the Yellowhammer operation.

Operation Yellowhammer is the codename used by the Government for contingency planning in the event of the UK leaving the EU without an agreement. It is supposed to represent “worst-case” scenarios.

Dominic Grieve’s Humble Address (arcane Parliamentary jargon)

That an Humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, that she will be graciously pleased to direct Ministers to lay before this House, not later than 11.00pm Wednesday 11 September, all correspondence and other communications (whether formal or informal, in both written and electronic form, including but not limited to messaging services including WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Facebook messenger, private email accounts both encrypted and unencrypted, text messaging and iMessage and the use of both official and personal mobile phones) to, from or within the present administration, since 23 July 2019 relating to the prorogation of Parliament sent or received by one or more of the following individuals: Hugh Bennett, Simon Burton, Dominic Cummings, Nikki da Costa, Tom Irven, Sir Roy Stone, Christopher James, Lee Cain or Beatrice Timpson; and that Ministers be further directed to lay before this House no later than 11.00pm Wednesday 11 September all the documents prepared within Her Majesty’s Government since 23 July 2019 relating to operation Yellowhammer and submitted to the Cabinet or a Cabinet Committee.

Michael Gove’s letter to Dominic Grieve

Correspondence with Dominic Grieve QC MP (pdf)

and his letter to Hilary Benn

Correspondence with Hilary Benn MP (pdf)

In addition the document relating to operation Yellohammer was released and is available at

Operation Yellowhammer: HMG Reasonable Worst Case Planning Assumptions

(local copies available)

PM statement in the House of Commons: 13 March 2019

Following a vote on a motion to reject the UK leaving the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement and a Framework for the Future Relationship, the PM gave the following statement in the House of Commons.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker,

The House has today provided a clear majority against leaving without a deal. However, I will repeat what I have said before. This is about the choices that this House faces. The legal default in UK and EU law remains that the UK will leave the EU without a deal unless something else is agreed. The onus is now on every one of us in this House to find out what that is.

The options before us are the same as they have always been:

  • We could leave with the deal which this Government has negotiated over the past two years.
  • We could leave with the deal we have negotiated but subject to a second referendum. But that would risk no Brexit at all, damaging the fragile trust between the British public and the members of this House.
  • We could seek to negotiate a different deal. However, the EU have been clear that the deal on the table is indeed the only deal available.

Mr Speaker, I also confirmed last night that, if the House declined to approve leaving without a deal on 29 March 2019, the Government would bring forward a motion on whether the House supports seeking to agree an extension to Article 50 with the EU, which is the logical consequence of the votes over the past two days in this House.

The Leader of the House will shortly make an emergency business statement confirming the change to tomorrow’s business. The motion we will table will set out the fundamental choice facing this House.

If the House finds a way in the coming days to support a deal, it would allow the Government to seek a short limited technical extension to Article 50 to provide time to pass the necessary legislation and ratify the agreement we have reached with the EU. But let me be clear, such a short technical extension is only likely to be on offer if we have a deal in place.

Therefore, the House has to understand and accept that, if it is not willing to support a deal in the coming days, and as it is not willing to support leaving without a deal on 29 March, then it is suggesting that there will need to be a much longer extension to Article 50. Such an extension would undoubtedly require the United Kingdom to hold European Parliament elections in May 2019.

I do not think that would be the right outcome. But the House needs to face up to the consequences of the decisions it has taken.

EU no-deal Plans for the withdrawal of the UK from the EU

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A document was published by the EU Commission on 13 November 2018 “Preparing for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on 30 March 2019: a Contingency Action Plan“.

https://ec.europa.eu/info/publications/communication-preparing-withdrawal-united-kingdom-european-union-30-march-2019-contingency-action-plan-13-11-2018_en

The document was largely overlooked by commentators where their main focus was on the flurry of activity around finalising the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration.

Today, 19 December 2018, the EU has published the final version of the original document fomally known as

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

Preparing for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on 30 March 2019: a Contingency Action Plan

https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/com-2018-890-final.pdf

In addition they have also published a Q&A document

Questions and Answers: the consequences of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a ratified Withdrawal Agreement (no deal Brexit)

https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/contingency-qanda_en.pdf

Copies of these documents are also available here

com-2018-890-final

contingency-qanda_en

Points of note

It appears that these contingency measures will not apply to Gibralatar

By virtue of Article 355(3) TFEU and to the extent provided for in the 1972 Act of Accession of the United Kingdom to the European Communities, Union law applies to Gibraltar as a European territory for whose external relations a Member State is responsible. Article 355(3) TFEU will no longer apply to Gibraltar when the United Kingdom is no longer a Member State. As a consequence, contingency measures will not apply to Gibraltar.

Does the EU intend to close their border with Gibraltar?

No visa requirements for UK citizens visiting EU countries (for up to 90 days in a 180 day period)

For short stays (up to 90 days in a 180 day-period) the Commission has adopted a proposal for a Regulation13 which exempts UK nationals from visa requirements, provided that all Union citizens are equally exempted from UK visa requirements.

Proposals to avoid full interruption of air traffic to and from the UK

A proposal for a Regulation to ensure temporarily, for 12 months, the provision of certain air services between the United Kingdom and the EU27 Member States, allowing air carriers from the United Kingdom to fly across the territory of the Union without landing, make stops in the territory of the Union for non-traffic purposes, and perform scheduled and non-scheduled international passenger and cargo air transport services. This is subject to the United Kingdom conferring equivalent rights to air from the Union, as well as to the United Kingdom ensuring conditions of fair competition.

A proposal for a Regulation regarding aviation safety to extend temporarily, for 9 months, the validity of certain existing licences, to address the specific situation in the aviation safety sector where the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) can only issue certain certificates on the basis of a licence issued in a third country, while the United Kingdom can only issue licences as of the withdrawal date, when it has re-gained the status of “State of design”.

Further details can be found in the referenced document.

Dominic Raab’s update on EU Exit negotiations

Dominic Raab’s statement in the House regarding the UK government position on Brexit negotiations, on 9 October 2018.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/secretary-of-state-dominic-raabs-statement-update-on-eu-exit-negotiations

With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to update the House on the progress in negotiations to leave the EU, and the government’s planning for No Deal.

Negotiations

Since I last updated the House, our negotiations with the EU have continued and intensified. Over the recess break, we have been engaging constructively with our EU counterparts.

Let me take the main areas of the negotiations in turn.

On the Withdrawal Agreement, while there remain some differences, we are closing in on workable solutions to all the key outstanding issues, building on the progress we made during the summer on issues such as data and information, the treatment of ongoing police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters, and ongoing Union judicial and administrative procedures after the date of exit.

We have also been discussing proposals on the linkage needed between the Withdrawal Agreement and the Future Relationship, and the EU is engaging constructively.

On the Northern Ireland Protocol, we remain committed to the undertakings we made in the Joint Report back in December, to agree a backstop in case there is a delay between the end of the Implementation Period and the entry into force of the treaty on our future relationship.

That was agreed to avoid any risk of a return to a hard border in the intervening period. But we will not accept anything that threatens the constitutional or economic integrity of the United Kingdom. Creating any form of customs border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, which is what the EU had proposed, would put that at risk and that it is unacceptable.

As my Rt Hon friend the Prime Minister has said, it is not something she, nor any British Prime Minister, could conceivably agree to. We are engaging with the EU on our alternative proposals that preserve the integrity of the UK. They will be in line with the commitments we made back in December, including the commitment that no new regulatory barriers should be created between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK unless the Northern Ireland Executive and the Assembly agree.

On the Future Relationship, we continue to make progress, for example, on both the internal and the external security arrangements for future cooperation, although there is still some way to go.

And as the House will know, the Prime Minister presented our proposals on the economic partnership to EU leaders, at the informal Salzburg Summit. We understand that the EU has raised some concerns, particularly around the distinction between goods and services under the common rule book and with respect to the Facilitated Customs Arrangement. We continue to engage constructively with the EU, we continue to press our case.

The UK’s White Paper proposals are the best way of ensuring there is continued frictionless trade in goods after Britain leaves the EU, whilst fulfilling the joint commitment to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and respecting the referendum.

These negotiations, Mr Speaker, were always bound to be tough in the final stretch. That is all the more reason why we should hold our nerve, stay resolute and focused, and I remain confident that we will reach a deal this autumn. Because it is still in the best interests of the UK, and the European Union.

It is the best way of protecting trade between Britain and the EU, trade which underpins millions of jobs across Europe.

It is the best way of making sure we continue to cooperate seamlessly on security matters, to tackle crime and terrorism to keep UK and EU citizens safe.

And it is the best way to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland that would adversely affect communities living there, or indeed separating Northern Ireland from Great Britain which we will not countenance.

To achieve these aims, the UK has brought forward serious and credible proposals. We continue to engage with the EU to press our case, and to better understand the nature of some of their concerns. Equally, it is time for the EU to match the ambition and pragmatism that we have shown.

No Deal

Mr Speaker, while we intensify negotiations to secure the deal we want,the deal that we expect, we are also expediting preparations for no deal. In case the EU do not match the ambition and pragmatism we have demonstrated.

As the Prime Minister stated on 21 September after the Salzburg Summit.

The government has made clear we will unilaterally protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK in the event of No Deal. To the 3 million here, we say: you are our friends, our neighbours, our colleagues, we want you to stay. And we will be setting out all of the details as soon as is practical.

We also now urge the EU and all its member states to step up and give UK citizens on the continent the same reassurances. Mr Speaker it is time, on both sides, to provide all our citizens with that comfort and with that confidence.

Since I last updated the House in September, we have published 52 more technical notices, in two further batches.

They inform people, businesses and other key stakeholders of the steps they need to take, if we don’t reach a deal with the EU.

They cover a wide range of sectors, building on other work that has taken place across government over the last two years. They enable us to prepare the UK for Brexit irrespective of the outcome of the negotiations. They acknowledge that there are risks to a no deal scenario. But they also demonstrate the steps we will take to avoid, mitigate and manage any potential short-term risks and disruption.

Overall now we have published 77 technical notices which form part of the sensible, proportionate, measures that we are taking to prepare the country for every eventuality.

Mr Speaker our most recent batch of technical notices were published on the 24th of September they are set out in a written Ministerial statement today. There are 24 and they range from aviation, and the advice for airlines on the impact of ‘no deal’ and the actions for them to consider to maintain services on the day we leave the EU, through to car insurance, and the arrangements to ensure Green Cards will be available free of charge from insurance companies to enable UK drivers to continue to drive on the continent.

The publication of the technical notices enables further engagement as part of our No Deal planning.

So for example, our earlier technical notice on VAT set out the VAT changes that companies will need to prepare for when importing or exporting goods from the EU, when supplying services to the EU, or interacting with EU VAT IT systems. That one was welcomed by the British Chamber of Commerce, and we are grateful to them and to all of our stakeholders for their constructive ongoing engagement on that necessary planning.

More broadly, I met with the British Chamber of Commerce, the CBI, the IoD, EEF and the Federation of Small Businesses as part of the government’s Business Advisory Group on the 17th of September, to make sure we are explaining our negotiating proposals and No Deal planning, and listening to UK businesses of all sizes, and across all sectors.

We will keep providing people and businesses with the advice they need as we negotiate our exit from the European Union.

We also keep working with the devolved administrations on all aspects of our planning for exit. I attended the joint ministerial committee on the 13th September. It has now met 12 times, and our last meeting was a valuable opportunity to give the devolved administrations a full update on the negotiations, as well as discuss the necessary No Deal planning. We continue to listen very carefully to all of their views.

Mr Speaker, that is the way, with concerted effort on all fronts, that we have put ourselves in the best possible position to make the best of Brexit.

And I commend this statement to the House.

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