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Brexit in a page - what do I need to know? | 24 July 2020

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

Weekly reflection

The heat is increasing during the trade negotiations. Here is a summary of this week’s progress.

  • Jonathan Hall, an appointee to the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee, has given evidence to parliament’s Treasury Select Committee about the impact of Brexit on UK financial markets. Mr Hall said that whilst the financial markets are likely to be less efficient as a result of Brexit, it will not be disastrous. Whilst acknowledging that an equivalence regime will facilitate UK financial firms access to the EU markets, Mr Hall stressed the importance of the UK remaining the regulator of its own markets.
  • The Institute for Government’s latest report issues a stark warning to government in relation to UK business and Brexit. The report highlights that a proportion of UK businesses are not prepared to spend money on Brexit preparations that may be unnecessary and, further, that three out of five UK businesses have not undertaken any preparations at all for the end of the transition period. The report states that the COVID-19 pandemic has starved businesses of cash thereby preventing any stockpiling or implementing new measures ready for 1 January 2021. The report urges the government to take account of Brexit when considering its economic response to COVID-19 and provided targeted support for UK businesses.
  • The Freight Transport Association (“FTA”) have again highlighted the serious impact on hauliers if a free trade agreement is not secured. Currently, cross border hauliers are able to travel and make deliveries from the UK to the EU by virtue of the transition agreement. However, if agreement is not reached between the UK and EU on licensing, hauliers will need to secure a permit under the European Conference of Ministers of Transport Scheme (“ECMT”) to continue cross border deliveries. The difficulty with ECMT is that only 2,088 permits will be granted to the UK. Last year there were 8,348 UK registered international road hauliers. In the absence of a free trade agreement, the UK could negotiate separate arrangements with individual EU Member States but that would be a lengthy process. Sarah Laouadi, the European Policy Manager at the FTA said “Haulage businesses, already under financial strain from COVID-19, needed clarity within weeks, as Christmas peak time starts in Autumn for the industry. If you learn whether you have the right to continue operating as a company on Dec 28 and the only fall back plan is the ECMT system, which requires applications and allocations for permits, it will be too late”.
  • The Irish Department of Transport has confirmed this week that drivers travelling from Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland will need to carry an insurance green card from 1 January 2021. This will remain the position unless the European Commission declares otherwise. The UK government have recently, in a guidance paper, stating that an International Driving Permit may be required in some countries but, UK drivers holding a UK driving licence will be exempt from this requirement when travelling to Ireland after the end of the transition period. The Association of British Insurers said “Irish drivers crossing the border into Northern Ireland will not require a green card, but that as things currently stand, Northern Ireland drivers travelling the other way will”.

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Key dates

23 July 2020
The face to face trade deal talks continue with Michel Barnier in London end

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

31 December 2020
End of the transition period

30 June 2021
End of time for applying under the settled status scheme

To discuss any concerns about how Brexit may impact your business, please contact Jacqui Bickerton, Principal Associate or visit our Brexit Hub to find out more. 

 

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