Update on the Brexit Technical Papers
On 13th September, the Government published another tranche of Brexit ‘no deal’ technical preparation papers in addition to those issued at the end of August. A further 28 papers have been distributed; the updates below refer to those areas that could directly affect businesses Camden and Euston
We continue to urge you to review the applicable papers and ensure you have considered the impact to all aspects of your business.
The UK recently passed the Data Protection Act 2018, incorporating much of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into UK law, and supplementing its provisions. Therefore, GDPR will apply even when the UK leaves the EU.
However, the legal framework governing transfers of personal data from EU organisations to UK organisation will change on exit. You may need to take action to ensure EU organisations are able to continue to send you personal data. Data will however be allowed from UK to the EU.
In a no deal scenario, some businesses — for example those who use EU data centres — would need to agree standard contractual clauses with their EU data partner. These are data protection clauses, approved by the European Commission, that allow the free flow of personal data in exchange for agreeing to uphold certain data protection standards.
We recommend you proactively consider what action you may need to take, and if necessary seek legal advice to ensure that you are protecting personal data.
Currently, businesses trading to the EU may use one of the following methods to ensure that their products are following proper regulation: the mutual recognition principle (for non-harmonised products) or the ‘new approach’ framework.
Trading under mutual recognition
Some manufactured goods, for example furniture, textiles and bicycles, are subject to national regulations rather than EU-wide rules. These are known as ‘non-harmonised goods’. They can freely circulate on the EU market under the ‘mutual recognition principle’, without being bound by individual national requirements. The principle guarantees that any product lawfully sold in one EU country can be sold in another, even if the product does not fully comply with the technical rules of the other country.
If you are a business that trades non-harmonised products under the mutual recognition principle, in a no deal scenario you will have to conform to the national guidelines of the first EU country that you trade to. However, if you have already exported a non-harmonised good to an EU country by meeting the relevant national requirements, you will still be able to market that product. Future exports will need to abide by the EU country’s regulations.
For example, if you make a good in the UK and subsequently wish to trade with Germany, you will have to follow the national guidelines of Germany.
This only applies to manufactured goods. Further information will be provided in due course regarding foodstuffs currently covered by the mutual recognition principle.
Trading under the ‘New Approach’ framework
Goods currently covered by the EU’s New Approach must meet EU legislation; for many products this is the CE marking.
In the event of a no deal, the UK will continue to recognise the CE mark of conformity of products coming from the EU for a ‘limited time’. Products already placed in the EU and UK markets will not have to go through further retesting.
However, goods tested by a UK notified body (where necessary) but placed on the EU market will have to submit to retesting by an EU recognised conformity assessment body. UK notification bodies will be able to assess products for the UK market against UK essential requirements (which will be identical to EU essential requirements).
Further information about retesting goods by an EU-recognised conformity assessment body is available here.
The UK’s departure from the EU would mean UK organisations would be unable to access EU funding for a number of projects after exit day. The Government will guarantee certain projects, including:
· UK LIFE: The UK Government has guaranteed to continue to fund programmes already approved by the European Commission. It has also agreed to fund LIFE funding due to UK organisations acting as partners in projects led by other Member States. This covers ongoing projects, and those awarded funding by the end of 2020.
· European Regional Development Fund: The UK Government will cover all projects that would have been funded by the EU under the 2014–2020 programme period. Projects set to be funded up to 2023 will lose their funding.
· Connecting Europe Facility Funding and the European Social Fund: The UK Government will guarantee projects set to receive EU funds in the 2014–20 budget period.
For programmes affected, the relevant UK Government Department will be in touch if the guarantee needs to be put into place.
Current EU environmental standards will continue to be upheld in the UK.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority will take a larger role, as the UK would no longer be bound to follow the Court of Justice of the European Union, nor would the European Commission be able to undertake investigations of business premises in the UK.
European Commission decisions that are made before exit will continue to have the same legal status in UK law that they have now.
This is not an exhaustive list as it does not cover civil legal cases, seafaring, satellites, passports and space which are covered in the preparation papers. It is therefore imperative for businesses seek appropriate legal advice on the developments of these notices where necessary.
Camden Town Unlimited is currently running a survey to find the gaps that exist in assisting businesses understand Brexit. Please fill out this survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CTUET in order for us to understand the support that you need.