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General

Brexit – 29 March 2019 (GEN – 935.00)

27 July 2018

3 min read
European Policy
General

Brexit – 29 March 2019 (GEN – 935.00)

27 July 2018

3 min read

GEN – 935.00. Orgalime has informed its member associations and related associations such as Eurovent on important Brexit matters as outlined by the European Commission. The industry and all other actors should, irrespectively of the outcome of the negotiations (i.e. a ratified withdrawal deal or no deal), prepare for all possible consequences.

Background

On 19 July, the European Commission issued a Communication describing the ongoing work to prepare for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Building on requests from the European Council (29 March and 28 June 2018), the Communication encourages all actors (EU institutions, Member States, economic operators) to step up the preparedness actions for Brexit and consider all possible scenarios.

Irrespective of the outcome of the negotiations (ratified withdrawal deal or no deal), the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will cause significant disruptions for citizens, businesses, and administrations at all levels (European, national, regional, local). 

Preparation for the two main scenarios

  1. If a withdrawal agreement is ratified by the EU and UK before 30 March 2019 (official withdrawal date), a transition periodis foreseen from 30 March 2019 until 31 December 2020. In practice, this means:
    • During the transition period, the EU law will in general continue to apply in the UK, but from 30 March 2019, the UK will no longer be able to take part in the EU decision-making process and EU governing bodies and agencies. 
    • An agreement on the future relationship between the EU and UK should be agreed, signed and ratified at the end of the transition period, and apply from 1 January 2021
  2. If there is no withdrawal agreement or if the agreement is not ratified by both the EU and UK, there will be no transition period and EU legislation will therefore cease to apply as of 30 March 2019. In practice, this means:
    • There will be no arrangements in place for EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU
    • Tariffs will be applied at borders with the UK, including customs checks and controls
    • The UK, as a third country, will be subject to general international rules, including WTO rules 
    • UK entities will no longer receive EU funding and participate in EU procurement procedures. 

Preparation for Brexit requires joint efforts at EU, national, regional and local levels, and particularly includes private actors, business operators and professionals.

As a result, economic operators and other private entities are strongly recommended to assess their specific situation and the impact of the worst-case scenario in Brexit negotiations for their business models, as well as to take the necessary economic decisions and finalise all administrative steps before 30 March 2019. 

For example, economic operators who currently hold authorisations and certificates issued by UK authorities should apply for such authorisations and certificates in an EU-27 Member State, before the withdrawal date, to maintain undisrupted access to the single market.

Commission strands of action

  • Thorough screening of the EU acquis and the need for targeted legislative initiatives in view of Brexit (to be adopted before 30 March 2019)
    • Example: EU proposal complementing EU type approval legislation with regard to Brexit (currently in co-decision)
  • Publication of 68 technical notices setting out he legal and practical implications of the UK withdrawal from the EU
    • Example: stakeholder notice on “Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU rules in the field of Industrial Products”
  • Relocation of EU agencies and bodies and reattribution of tasks
    • Examples: As of 30 March, the two London-based agencies (the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority) will be relocated to Amsterdam and Paris. 
  • Practical administrative arrangements
    • Examples: adaptation of IT systems and databases to which the UK will not have access anymore; closing down of EC representation in the UK and opening of an EU delegation office in the UK on 30 March 2019

Next steps

In October 2018, at the European Council meeting the EU and UK should agree on the withdrawal agreement accompanied by a political declaration on the future relationship.

Recommended actions

As many of the Eurovent members have activities and relations with British companies, they are strongly recommended to analyse their situation and to prepare for the possible consequences of the two main scenarios.

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