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Brexit in a page - what do I need to know? | 15 May 2020

Brexit expert Jacqui Bickerton summarises all you need to know about Brexit.

Weekly reflection

  • The Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) has voiced concerns over EU countries’ reciprocal temporary regimes lapsing. The UK put in place a temporary permissions regime for EU firms which, once granted, will ensure their trading continuity with the UK after the end of the transition period. However, Nausicaa Delfas, International Director at the FCA believes that some EU countries’ reciprocal regimes no longer exist. Whilst accepting that financial services business are well prepared for Brexit, Ms. Delfas said “The risks that remain are the ones we can’t resolve unilaterally. We will continue to speak with our European counterparts and understand what risks remain, and whether the European member states put in place new legislation. But as we can’t guarantee any of that, it is very important firms think about what business they would like to continue in the EU and what arrangements they will put in place for doing so”.
  • This week has seen a stark warning from the EU about the financial services equivalence scheme. Ahead of further talks on Monday, a senior EU official stated that Brussels will only grant the British financial services sector access to the EU’s markets if the UK moves its position on other areas, such as the EU’s fishing access to UK waters. Suggesting that it will act in “its own interests”, the EU official further said “Just because we have made the equivalency assessment in June, does not mean we will make the decision in June”.
  • A junior minister from the Executive Office in Stormont has received a letter from the UK government confirming that border control posts will be implemented in Belfast, Warrenpoint and Larne. This will affect goods crossing the Irish sea from the UK to Ireland. Businesses have called upon the government to waive some of the entry and exit declaration forms for imports and exports, together with health certificates for each product destined for local Irish supermarkets.
  • The National Farmers Union have issued a warning this week about the shortage of EU workers for the sector after the end of the transition period. Whilst the Coronavirus pandemic is currently heightening the staff shortages, Jack Ward who is the Chief Executive of the British Growers Association said “It may be a foretaste of what next year will look like”. The UK is heavily reliant on seasonal farm workers with the majority originating from Eastern Europe. The National Farmers’ Union called on the UK government to finalise their immigration plans for immigration beyond 31 December 2020, stating “Whilst we support hiring British workers, anyone who suggests that as a solution long term is just not being realistic”.

Key dates

May 2020
Further trade deal talks with both the EU and non-EU countries

June 2020
Final date for the UK to request an extension to the transition period

June 2020
EU Summit to assess the progress of talks

26 November 2020
End date for the trade deal to be finalised

31 December 2020
End of the transition period

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