Do our companies have any clue about what’s ahead of them in case of no-deal Brexit? – Lucia Kleštincová

Do our companies have any clue about what’s ahead of them in case of no-deal Brexit?

18.09.2018 • 2 min readBrexit

If on 30th March you wake up surprised that your supplier’s truck is stuck at the British Channel and banned from entering the continent, it is likely that you could have done your homework slightly better.

If on 30th March you wake up surprised that your supplier’s truck is stuck at the British Channel and banned from entering the continent, it is likely that you could have done your homework slightly better.

Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. European businesses and citizens are responsible for preparing for the still-very-real possibility that negotiations with the Brits will fail. This is repeated at every possible occasion also by Michel Barnier, chief negotiator of the European Commission on the UK’s departure from the EU.

A departure of a Member State is a complicated transaction. In addition, it must be designed in an extremely short time. Moreover, everything is happening in the context of the British politics, one of the big unknowns in the process.

Despite all of this, businesses keep on asking whether it is possible to count on the deal, because preparations for “no deal” are complicated and expensive. Well, nobody can guarantee you a deal. Therefore, I recommend that you study these two resources, weigh your risks and act accordingly. You have 192 days left.

1: Guidance notices of the European Commission

There are dozens of guidance notices in which the Commission explains implications of hard Brexit (i.e. Brexit without agreement) for citizens and entrepreneurs from the remaining 27 Member States. Out of the topics that I deal with (functioning of the internal market – the GROW tab in the left-hand menu), I recommend you to check out, for example, the notices dealing with:

  • Imports of goods from the UK. Among many other consequences, it will not be automatically possible to assume that British goods are aligned with the EU rules. What will be the destiny of conformity certificates issued by the UK authorities?
  • Type approval of vehicles. Since we are such a car producing superpower, will the car manufacturers be allowed to continue trading with components approved by the UK authorities?
  • Recognition of professional qualifications. What if you have been practicing, for example, your legal attorney license on the basis of a British diploma?

2: Information notices issued by the British Government

Following the Commission’s example, the British issued another set of announcements last week to explain the implications of the no-deal scenario. A few examples useful for the Slovaks too:

  • Protecting workers’ rights in Britain and protecting the rights of students. For example, what if you received an Erasmus grant to study at a UK university?
  • Privacy. Does your startup have an affiliate in the UK? Will it still be bound by the GDPR rules?
  • State aid. Are you worried that your UK competitors will benefit from more lax state aid rules post Brexit?

I know. It’s all written in all but commonsensical lawyer-lingo. Nonetheless, I am convinced that it is a good point of departure (at least for your lawyers) to find your way in the jungle of Brexit effects analyses. At a minimum, if you operate in a sector that is one of the main “beneficiaries” of the internal market. The European legislation has greatly simplified the rules for your operations across the EU – which will be EU27 only as of 30th March…

The content of this website does not reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in the therein lies entirely with Lucia Klestincova.

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