David Woods

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Brexit: The UK Government starts to open the no-deal box

Brexit / 23 August 2018

Brexit: The UK Government starts to open the no-deal box

The UK Government has today (23 August 2018) issued the first 25 of an anticipated 80 or so “technical notices” setting out what it is doing to prepare for a “no-deal Brexit”.

The UK will leave the European Union on 29 March 2019.  This guidance relates to the scenario where that date arrives without agreement being reached on the terms of that exit.

The notices issued today relate mainly to financial services, medical supplies, nuclear safeguards, farming and organic food production. Others are set to follow.

The guidance runs to some 148 pages.  It raises a number of issues and seeks to suggest some solutions. Some notable issues coming out of the paperwork are:

  1. the possibility of increases in the cost of payments by card between the UK and the EU;
  2. a plan for the UK to recognise medical devices approved for the EU market with a view to maintaining a smooth supply – but at the same time there is reference to the NHS stockpiling six weeks’ worth of medical supplies to provide a buffer; and
  3. the inevitable end of the free circulation of goods between the UK and the EU – there are some instructions for businesses in the context of the extra paperwork they will face at borders.

The Government has re-stated that reaching an agreement with the EU is the overriding priority – but it recognises the need to prepare for the “short term disruption” that is possible without one.

If you have any concerns about how this may affect your business, please get in touch with our team.

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