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Brexit in a page - what do I need to know? | 25 June 2020

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

  • A long awaited announcement from the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has been made this week on the future of financial services. Solvency II is to be reviewed by the government in autumn to ensure that it is tailored to the structural features of the UK insurance sector. Solvency II has a long history of criticism due to its inflexibility. As the UK financial services sector exports mainly to the EU, the UK government remain committed to an equivalence regime but, such a regime requires Brussels to confirm the UK rules are equivalent to those of the bloc.
  • The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (“SMMT”) has warned the UK government that one in six jobs are at risk if further help is not provided to the industry and a tariff-free trade deal with the EU is not agreed. Annual output is predicted to fall to less than 850,000 vehicles by 2025 which equates to a 40-billion-pound revenue drop should a trade deal not be agreed. The Chief Executive Office for SMMT, Mike Hawes said “Brexit is still the biggest threat to the long-term future of the industry, that’s why we do need a deal”.
  • It has also been revealed that the UK infrastructure to facilitate the movement of goods across UK borders is still in its infancy and unlikely to be ready for 1 January 2021. The Goods Vehicle Movement System is intended to allow hauliers to declare the goods they are carrying prior to arriving at a port. However, the IT system has not been tested. Giving evidence to the Brexit Select Committee, Tim Reardon from the Port of Dover urged the UK to purchase a licence for the French system instead, stating “French customs specified and built their system that does exactly the same thing in about six months so it’s not impossible. If HMRC were to buy a licence for the French system that would be a very simple thing to do and traders would like it”.
  • The future of Erasmus+ beyond 31 December 2020 is in doubt, with increasing concerns that the UK will develop a domestic student exchange programme instead. The concerns raised by UK universities are not being shared by the government. UK universities believe that ceasing to participate in the Erasmus+ scheme would be detrimental to their connections with the EU and cause a loss of student exchange opportunities. However, Michelle Donelan, Universities Minister has confirmed that it is “prudent” for the UK to prepare an alternative in light of the stalling in UK and EU negotiations. Ms. Donelan said “A British-led scheme would also give the UK an opportunity to be more international since it would extend beyond universities in Europe”.
  • The Home Office has released its latest figures on settled status and pre-settled status applications, confirming that in excess of 3.3 million EU and EEA citizens have been granted the right to remain in the UK post-Brexit. The largest nationality to be granted settled status in the UK are those originating from Poland, with Romanians, Italians, Spanish and Portuguese following closely behind. There remains an absence of accurate data on the number of EU citizens living in the UK but it is thought to be in the region of 3.8 million. However, not all EU states are showing the same level of commitment to UK citizens, with only 13 of the 27 states planning similar systems for UK citizens in their territory.

Key dates

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

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 or visit our Brexit Hub to find out more. 

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