Brexit highlights—22 January 2021

Brexit highlights—22 January 2021

These Brexit highlights bring you a summary of the latest Brexit news and legislation updates from across a range of LexisNexis® practice areas, collated on 22 January 2021.

General Brexit headlines

This section contains key overarching Brexit news headlines.

Brexit Bulletin—Commission establishes new taskforce to oversee EU-UK relationship

The European Commission has established a new Service for the EU-UK Agreements (UKS) ‘to support the efficient and rigorous implementation and monitoring of the Agreements with the UK’, replacing the Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom (UKTF). Having fulfilled its ‘very successful mandate’ with the conclusion of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), the UKFT will cease to exist on 1 March 2021. The newly established UKS, whose instruction and term will be assessed on an ongoing basis, will then assume responsibility for future UK-EU relations. Forming part of the presidential services' Secretariat-General, the UKS will be in close co-operation with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Vice-President of the Commission (HR/VP), Josep Borrell. Former head of the UKFT, Michel Barnier, will become Special Adviser to Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, as of 1 February 2021, while Commission Vice-President, Maroš Šefčovič, has been appointed as the Member of the Commission to co-chair and represent the EU in the Partnership Council, established by the TCA. Meanwhile, on the UK side, reassignments are also underway.

See: LNB News 21/01/2021 113.

Brexit Bulletin—Future Relationship Committee outlines recommendations for future scrutiny of UK-EU relations in final report

The House of Commons Committee on the Future Relationship has published two reports, agreed before its term expired. The Fifth Report of Session 2019–21 ‘The shape of future parliamentary scrutiny of UK-EU relations’ sets out the Committee’s recommendations for coordinating future scrutiny of the UK’s relationship with the EU and development of EU policy impacting UK interests. The Committee has also published a Special Report ‘Preparing for the end of the Transition Period, and The UK-EU future relationship: the Trade and Cooperation Agreement’, setting out the government’s response to previous reports published in 2020. Meanwhile, the Committee has published correspondence with the Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, which confirms the government’s decision to bring the Committee’s term to an end on 16 January 2021 (in line with the original temporary Standing Orders establishing the Committee on 16 January 2020). The Committee had requested an extension of its term for six months, or until the 2021 Summer recess, to allow time for scrutiny of the last-minute deal reached between the UK and EU at the end of 2020 and the implications of the future UK-EU relationship (and associated outstanding matters). While refusing the request, the Commons Leader said that the government would work with Parliament to ensure ‘proper scrutiny’ of the deal and the continuing relationship between the UK and EU.

See: LNB News 21/01/2021 114 and LNB News 15/01/2021 103.

Brexit Bulletin—UK government publishes policy paper for goods coming to GB from EU

The government has published a policy paper setting out the reasonable steps that operators of frontier locations should take using the pre-lodgement model to control goods arriving into Great Britain from the EU. The paper details how the pre-lodgement model operates, as well as how frontier-location operators should prepare for the implementation of this model. The model will come into force from 1 July 2021.

See: LNB News 19/01/2021 10.

Brexit Bulletin—Lord Kinnoull presses for clarity on operation of Northern Ireland Protocol

Chair of the European Union Committee (EUC), Lord Kinnoull, has written to Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, concerning the operation of the Northern Ireland Protocol to the Withdrawal Agreement. In the letter, Lord Kinnoull expresses concern over issues raised in recent parliamentary questions, media reports and correspondence from business representatives to the government regarding shortages of products in Northern Ireland supermarkets, and delays in the movement of goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. A discussion with local businesses on the issues arising in relation to the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol is scheduled for 26 January 2021. The government has been asked to provide a response in advance.

See: LNB News 15/01/2021 106.

EU Services Sub-Committee seeks evidence on the impact of TCA provisions on the UK service sector

The EU Services Sub-Committee has launched an inquiry into the future of UK-EU relations on trade in services. In particular, it will examine the impact of provisions in the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) on the service sector in the UK. The deadline for submitting evidence is 5 February 2021.

See: LNB News 15/01/2021 35.

EU Goods Sub-Committee calls for evidence on future of trade between UK and EU

The EU Goods Sub-Committee has called for written evidence to be submitted to its inquiry: Future of UK-EU relations: trade in goods. The deadline to submit evidence is 5 February 2021.

See: LNB News 20/01/2021 33.

Inquiry into how Brexit rules will affect pet travel and animal exports begins

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry into how new rules and regulations on travelling abroad with pets, transporting racehorses, and the trade of farm animals for slaughter will impact on animal welfare, disease control and industry interests following Brexit. The inquiry will investigate how a potential ban on exporting live animals for fattening and slaughter could improve animal welfare, as well as its impact on UK farmers. Interested parties are encouraged to submit their views by 17 March 2021.

See: LNB News 21/01/2021 104.

Brexit legislation updates

This section contains Brexit news headlines relating to Brexit-related primary legislation and legislative preparation for Brexit generally.

How to approach and interpret retained EU law—a practical guide

In this analysis, Eleonor Duhs and Indira Rao, authors of ‘Retained EU law: A Practical Guide’, examine retained EU law and its impact on domestic law. Set out as a series of questions and answers, the analysis includes a number of practical examples and scenarios (largely taken from the field of data protection law) to illustrate how retained EU law and associated rules and provisions under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EU(W)A 2018) work in practice.

See News Analysis: How to approach and interpret retained EU law—a practical guide.

Financial Services Bill 2019–21: House of Lords first reading

First reading of the Financial Services Bill 2019-21 in the House of Lords took place on 14 January 2021. Second reading is scheduled for 28 January 2021.

See: LNB News 15/01/2021 94.

Brexit Bulletin—Committee’s letter to FSA about transparency of FFSH provisional common framework

The Common Framework Scrutiny Committee has written a letter to the CEO of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), Emily Miles. This follows scrutiny of the Food and Feed Safety and Hygiene (FFSH) Provisional Framework. In the letter, the committee makes three recommendations that would improve the FFSH framework.

See: LNB News 21/01/2021 75.

Brexit SIs and sifting updates

This section contains updates on the latest final and draft Brexit SIs laid in Parliament, plus updates on proposed negative Brexit SIs laid for sifting.

Made Brexit SIs laid in Parliament

Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97) (Amendment) Regulations 2021

SI 2021/54: Provisions are made to amend the retained EU law version of Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein which implement the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in relation to Great Britain including through controls on import and export of species listed in the Annex in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. These Regulations come into force on 14 February 2021.

See: LNB News 19/01/2021 41.

Common Agricultural Policy (Simplifications and Improvements) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2021

SSI 2021/9: Amendments are made to simplify and improve the operation of the provisions of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) retained EU legislation in Scotland. These Regulations come into force on 14 March 2021.

See: LNB News 14/01/2021 40.

Education (Fees and Student Support) (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulations 2021

SSI 2021/28: This enactment is made in exercise of legislative powers under the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, the Education (Fees and Awards) Act 1983, the EU(W)A 2018, and the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 in preparation for IP completion day. This enactment amends seven pieces of Scottish secondary legislation in relation to education. It comes into force on 1 August 2021.

See: LNB News 21/01/2021 50.

Libya (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) Order 2021

SI 2021/37: Provisions are made to extend the Libya (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020, SI 2020/1665, as amended from time to time, to all British overseas territories (except Bermuda and Gibraltar which implement sanctions through their own domestic legislation) with the modifications required to enable implementation and enforcement of the sanctions regime by the authorities in those territories also extend to those British overseas territories, with suitable modifications and for the purposes of the modified Regulations, sections 4452(3) and 53 of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (SAMLA 2018) which are required to ensure the effective implementation in those territories of the modified Regulations in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. This Order came into force on 15 January 2021.

See: LNB News 15/01/2021 50.

Draft Brexit SIs laid in Parliament

Draft Electronic Commerce Directive (Education, Adoption and Children) (Amendment etc) Regulations 2021

SI 2021/Draft: This draft enactment is laid in exercise of legislative powers under the EU(W)A 2018 in connection with Brexit. This draft enactment is proposed to amend one piece of UK primary legislation and one piece of UK secondary legislation in relation to the Electronic Commerce Directive in order to address failures of retained EU law to operate effectively and other deficiencies arising from the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. It comes into force on the day after the day on which these Regulations are made.

See: LNB News 20/01/2021 16.

Draft Brexit SIs laid for sifting and sifting committee recommendations

Brexit SI Bulletin—latest drafts and sifting committee reports, 22 January 2021

The Commons European Statutory Instruments Committee (ESIC) and the Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee (SLSC) are responsible for the sifting process under the EU(W)A 2018. These committees scrutinise proposed negative Brexit SIs and make recommendations on the appropriate parliamentary procedure before the instruments are laid in Parliament. This bulletin outlines the latest updates and recommendations, collated on 22 January 2021.

See News Analysis: Brexit SI Bulletin—latest drafts and sifting committee reports, 22 January 2021.

Brexit SI Bulletin—drafts laid for sifting on 15 January 2021

Under the EU(W)A 2018, before certain statutory instruments are formally laid in Parliament, they have to go through a preliminary sifting process to determine the appropriate parliamentary procedure. The latest draft Brexit SIs laid for sifting are reported here. Subjects covered include amendments to legislation in the field of European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation in order to address failures of retained EU law and other deficiencies arising from the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. It also makes amendments under the Limited Liability Partnerships Act 2000 to continue to align the accounting and reporting framework for Limited Liability Partnerships with that for companies.

See News Analysis: Brexit SI Bulletin—drafts laid for sifting on 15 January 2021.

Post-Brexit transition guidance

Tariff rate quotas—post-Brexit transition guidance from European Commission

Subjects covered in this guidance include tariff rate quotas, import licences and securities. While the Brexit transition/implementation period ended at 11 pm on 31 December 2020 (IP completion day), the government continues to issue new and updated Brexit webpages and guidance documents on the associated legal and practical changes. Further guidance may be issued post-IP completion day, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.

See: LNB News 21/01/2021 81.

Anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures—post-Brexit transition guidance from European Commission

The European Commission has published updated guidance for stakeholders. Subjects covered in this guidance include the application of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures in force in the EU post-Brexit. While the Brexit transition/implementation period ended at 11 pm on 31 December 2020 (IP completion day), the government continues to issue new and updated Brexit webpages and guidance documents on the associated legal and practical changes. Further guidance may be issued post-IP completion day, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.

See: LNB News 19/01/2021 80.

State aid—post-Brexit transition guidance from European Commission

Subjects covered in this guidance include the legal position on EU State aid control and State aid granted by the UK and the rules applicable in Northern Ireland. While the Brexit transition/implementation period ended at 11 pm on 31 December 2020 (IP completion day), the government continues to issue new and updated Brexit webpages and guidance documents on the associated legal and practical changes. Further guidance may be issued post-IP completion day, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.

See: LNB News 18/01/2021 96.

Temporary relaxation of the enforcement of the retained EU drivers’ hours rules—post-Brexit transition guidance from DfT and DVSA

DfT and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have published new guidance for drivers. Subjects covered in this guidance include a temporary relaxation of the enforcement of the retained EU drivers’ hours rules in England, Scotland and Wales for drivers involved in the international carriage of goods by road and between GB and NI, due to ‘exceptional pressures’ on the freight industry as a result of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. A temporary relaxation of the rules has been introduced until 31 March 2021, to address risks of congestion in and around ports affecting international supply chains. While the Brexit transition/implementation period ended at 11 pm on 31 December 2020 (IP completion day), the government continues to issue new and updated Brexit webpages and guidance documents on the associated legal and practical changes. Further guidance may be issued post-IP completion day, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.

See: LNB News 21/01/2021 112.

International road haulage—post-Brexit transition guidance from DfT

The Department for Transport (DfT) has published updated guidance for UK goods vehicle operators. Subjects covered in this guidance include what UK goods vehicle operators need to do to carry out international road haulage and which documents a driver or a passenger in a lorry or other heavy goods vehicle needs to carry when crossing international borders. While the Brexit transition/implementation period ended at 11 pm on 31 December 2020 (IP completion day), the government continues to issue new and updated Brexit webpages and guidance documents on the associated legal and practical changes. Further guidance may be issued post-IP completion day, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.

See: LNB News 18/01/2021 84.

International road haulage—post-Brexit transition guidance from DVSA

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has published updated guidance for international vehicle operators. Subjects covered in this guidance include the licenses and permits required to operate vehicles with a gross vehicle weight above 3.5 tonnes on international journeys from the UK. In this update, the DVSA has removed Serbia from the list of countries you can get a bilateral international road haulage permit for. It is still possible to apply for an ECMT permit for journeys to Serbia. While the Brexit transition/implementation period ended at 11 pm on 31 December 2020 (IP completion day), the government continues to issue new and updated Brexit webpages and guidance documents on the associated legal and practical changes. Further guidance may be issued post-IP completion day, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.

See: LNB News 19/01/2021 89.

International bus services—post-Brexit transition guidance from DVSA

Subjects covered in this guidance include information on applying for an operator’s licence, registering vehicle trailers, running regular and occasional services, getting the right vehicle documents, eligibility to drive abroad, local road rules and what to do in a road accident. While the Brexit transition/implementation period ended at 11 pm on 31 December 2020 (IP completion day), the government continues to issue new and updated Brexit webpages and guidance documents on the associated legal and practical changes. Further guidance may be issued post-IP completion day, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.

See: LNB News 20/01/2021 76.

Ozone-depleting substances and F-gas—post-Brexit transition guidance from EA

The Environment Agency (EA) has published two pieces of updated guidance for stakeholders. Subjects covered in the guidance include the closing of the window for applying for GB quotas on importing and producing ozone-depleting substances or F-gas and the opening of the window later on in 2021 for 2022 quota applications. While the Brexit transition/implementation period ended at 11 pm on 31 December 2020 (IP completion day), the government continues to issue new and updated Brexit webpages and guidance documents on the associated legal and practical changes. Further guidance may be issued post-IP completion day, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.

See: LNB News 15/01/2021 41.

Report goods exported to the EU using inward or outward processing—post-Brexit transition guidance from HMRC

HMRC has published updated guidance for stakeholders. Subjects covered include clarification that only Northern Ireland traders will need to submit information sheets (INF’s) from 1 January 2021. Further guidance may be issued post-IP completion day, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.

See: LNB News 21/01/2021 53.

Claiming a waiver on goods coming into Northern Ireland from Great Britain—post-Brexit transition guidance from HMRC

Subjects covered include changes resulting from the end of the Brexit transition period. While the Brexit transition/implementation period ended at 11 pm on 31 December 2020 (IP completion day), the government continues to issue new and updated Brexit webpages and guidance documents on the associated legal and practical changes. Further guidance may be issued post-IP completion day, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.

See: LNB News 20/01/2021 53.

Customs Declaration Completion Requirements for GB—post-Brexit transition guidance from HMRC

Subjects covered in this guidance include information about indirect export procedures for NI-EU-ROW, information on form INF3 for goods temporarily exported prior to the end of the transition period which will still be required to be presented at re-importation, location code for importing goods through Cairnryan into the UK through RoRo locations, and the EU airport International Air Transport Association codes and percentages for Zone Q. While the Brexit transition/implementation period ended at 11pm on 31 December 2020 (IP completion day), the government continues to issue new and updated Brexit webpages and guidance documents on the associated legal and practical changes. Further guidance may be issued post-IP completion day, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.

See: LNB News 18/01/2021 54.

Excise Notices—post-Brexit transition guidance from HMRC

HMRC has published an updated series of excise notices. While the Brexit transition/implementation period ended at 11 pm on 31 December 2020 (IP completion day), the government continues to issue new and updated Brexit webpages and guidance documents on the associated legal and practical changes. Further guidance may continue to be issued post-IP completion day, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.

See: LNB News 19/01/2021 53.

Waiver for duty on goods—post-Brexit transition guidance from HMRC

Subjects covered in this guidance include what to do if your claims exceed your allowance for the sector in which your business is. While the Brexit transition/implementation period ended at 11 pm on 31 December 2020 (IP completion day), the government continues to issue new and updated Brexit webpages and guidance documents on the associated legal and practical changes. Further guidance may be issued post-IP completion day, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates. 

See: LNB News 19/01/2021 63.

Domestic licensing of chemicals—updated post-Brexit transition guidance from Home Office

The Home Office has updated its guidance about domestic licensing of chemicals for domestic operators, exporters and importers of chemical substances in categories 1, 2A, 2B and 3 of the UN (Vienna) 1998 Convention. Subjects covered include the requirements for registration in these three categories of chemical substances. While the Brexit transition/implementation period ended at 11 pm on 31 December 2020 (IP completion day), the government continues to issue new and updated Brexit webpages and guidance documents on the associated legal and practical changes. Further guidance may be issued post-IP completion day, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.

See: LNB News 21/01/2021 17.

Intellectual property―post-Brexit transition guidance from IPO

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has published updated guidance on international intellectual property rights. Subjects covered in this guidance include the comparable trade mark (IR) in relation to each international (EU) trade mark designation, how comparable UK trade marks will be codified and pending applications to transform an international registration. While the Brexit transition/implementation period ended at 11 pm on 31 December 2020 (IP completion day), the government continues to issue new and updated Brexit webpages and guidance documents on the associated legal and practical changes. Further guidance may be issued post-IP completion day, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.

See: LNB News 21/01/2021 105.

Intellectual property—post-Brexit transition guidance from IPO

Subjects covered in this guidance include the update to the paragraph on ‘Parallel trade between the UK and the EEA’, a new paragraph and link for the bulk change of address service, announcement that the Search UK trade mark classes service and the orphan works licence service will be unavailable from midnight to 5.00 pm on 16 January 2021, information on the duration of copyright, an addition of duration of term to copyright notices. While the Brexit transition/implementation period ended at 11pm on 31 December 2020 (IP completion day), the government continues to issue new and updated Brexit webpages and guidance documents on the associated legal and practical changes. Further guidance may be issued post-IP completion day, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.

See: LNB News 15/01/2021 48.

UK product safety and metrology—post-Brexit transition guidance from OPSS

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has published updated guidance on UK product safety and metrology. The guidance includes a link to a document highlighting key changes to UK product safety and metrology guidance for the market of Great Britain after IP completion day. While the Brexit transition/implementation period ended at 11 pm on 31 December 2020 (IP completion day), the government continues to issue new and updated Brexit webpages and guidance documents on the associated legal and practical changes. Further guidance may be issued post-IP completion day, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.

See: LNB News 15/01/2021 85.

Beyond Brexit

Beyond Brexit—MEPs adopt new rules to strengthen EU powers in trade disputes

The European Parliament has formally adopted measures strengthening the Enforcement Regulation, endorsing a political agreement reached with the European Council in October 2020, during a first-reading plenary vote on 19 June 2020. The agreed text enables the EU to impose countermeasures against a party found to violate trade rules by a dispute settlement panel of the World Trade Organization (WTO), or in bilateral and regional agreements, while failing to cooperate on the adjudication of the dispute. The European Parliament also extended the regulation’s scope from disputes on goods to those involving services and certain intellectual property rights, including European trade marks, designs and geographical indications, appreciating ‘these account for a large and growing share of world trade and are covered by international trade agreements’. Additionally, MEPs agreed that breaches adversely impacting workers or the environment in a commercial context should be treated with the ‘same attention’ as breaches of market access, with relevant enforcement measures to apply subject to trade agreements’ permission. Following the European Parliament, the European Council will formally adopt the agreed text, which will then be published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and enter into force 20 days after. Meanwhile, responding to MEPs’ calls for an anti-coercion instrument, the European Commission has agreed to put forward a legislative proposal by the end of 2021 and Member States have pledged to engage.

See: LNB News 20/01/2021 94.

Beyond Brexit—EUC reports on North Macedonia partnership agreement and Mexico mutual recognition agreement

The House of Lords European Union Committee (EUC) has published its latest report outlining its scrutiny of international agreements including an agreement between the UK and United Mexican States on the mutual recognition and protection of designations for spirit drinks and the Partnership, Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the UK and Republic of North Macedonia. This is the EUC’s 30th report on treaties, or international agreements, laid before Parliament in accordance with section 20 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, and the eighth report prepared by the International Agreements Sub-Committee under the EUC’s revised Terms of Reference ‘to consider matters relating to the negotiation and conclusion of international agreements’.

See: LNB News 15/01/2021 40.

Beyond Brexit—trading with Turkey from 1 January 2021

The Department for International Trade has published an update on imports and exports to Turkey as of 1 January 2021. The updated guidance provides an overview of the latest business advice for trading with Turkey, outlined in the UK trade agreement with Turkey.

See: LNB News 21/01/2021 24.

Beyond Brexit—trading with Vietnam from 1 January 2021

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has updated guidance on imports and exports to Vietnam from the UK from 1 January 2021. The updated guidance provides an overview of the latest business advice for trading with Vietnam, outlined in the UK trade agreement with Vietnam.

See: LNB News 15/01/2021 90.

Editor's picks—the practice area/sector view

This section contains key Brexit news hand-picked by Lexis®PSL lawyers from their own practice areas.

Arbitration

Dispute settlement under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement

Laura Rees-Evans, counsel, and Rhys Carvosso, intern, of Fietta LLP, discuss dispute settlement under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), outlining the TCA’s scope and structure and reviewing its dispute resolution provisions.

See News Analysis: Dispute settlement under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

Investment protection under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement—is it a Canada-style deal?

Dr Paschalis Paschalidis, senior associate at Shearman & Sterling, considers investment protection under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) and draws comparisons between the TCA and the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

See News Analysis: Investment protection under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement—is it a Canada-style deal?

For further updates from Arbitration, see: Arbitration weekly highlights—overview.

Construction

RICS publishes new report on the impact of Brexit on construction industry

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has published an analysis of the impact of Brexit on the UK construction industry. The report shows that, despite the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) not making any direct changes, it imposes ‘administrative burdens’ which will impact on the costs and smooth operation of the industry. Such burdens include employers registering as sponsors to recruit internationally, complying with relevant ‘Rules of Origin’ for goods, and the need for three different product marks for manufacturers.

See: LNB News 19/01/2021 31.

For further updates from Construction, see: Construction weekly highlights—overview.

Energy

Energy markets in the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) establishes objectives regarding the energy market by providing that the TCA facilitates trade and investment between the EU and the UK (the parties) in the areas of energy and raw materials, and supports security of supply and environmental sustainability, notably in contributing to the fight against climate change in those areas. Silke Goldberg, partner at Herbert Smith Freehills, considers the TCA’s impact on regulatory and transmission system operators’ co-operation, power trading, interconnectors and renewable energy.

See News Analysis: Energy markets in the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

Brexit deal doesn’t force UK to follow EU’s carbon market expansion, official says

The UK won’t be required to expand its Emissions Trading System (ETS) to other sectors under the Brexit trade deal, even if the EU does so, a European Commission official has said.

See News Analysis: Brexit deal doesn’t force UK to follow EU’s carbon market expansion, official says.

For further updates from Energy, see: Energy weekly highlights—overview.

Environment

New and updated post-Brexit transition guidance published

The following new and updated post-Brexit transition guidance has been published by government departments this week: ozone-depleting substances and F-gas—post-Brexit transition guidance from EA.

See: LNB News 15/01/2021 41.

For further updates from Environment, see: Environment weekly highlights—overview.

Financial Services

HMT amends policy paper with guidance on UK’s equivalence frameworks

HM Treasury (HMT) published an amendment to its guidance document for the UK’s equivalence framework for financial services. The amendment has been made to the table of UK equivalence decisions to reflect the expiry of the Brexit implementation period.

See: LNB News 14/01/2021 78.

JMLSG signposts areas of its AML/CTF guidance affected by end of Brexit transition period

The Joint Money-Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG) set out the implications of the end of the Brexit transition period on its anti-money laundering (AML) and countering terrorist financing (CTF) guidance, signposting the affected sections. Certain provisions of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017, SI 2017/692 are derived from the UK’s membership of the EU and will be amended accordingly in due course.

See: LNB News 15/01/2021 46.

FCA updates information for retail investments firms in the UK post-Brexit

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) updated its webpage on the actions it expects firms in the UK retail investments sector to take with regard to customers in the European Economic Area (EEA) now that the Brexit transition period is over. The FCA has amended the information to clarify the impact of the end of the transition period on Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) cover.

See: LNB News 20/01/2021 92.

FCA, BoE and PRA enter into MoUs with European authorities in the areas of banking, insurance and occupational pensions

The FCA published two memoranda of understanding (MoUs) entered into between the FCA, the Bank of England (BoE), the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs). One MoU has been entered into with the European Banking Authority (EBA) (the banking MoU) and one MoU has been made with the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) (the insurance and pensions MoU). Both MoUs relate to regulatory and supervisory assistance, co-operation and information exchange and apply from the end of the Brexit implementation period (31 December 2020).

See: LNB News 14/01/2021 91.

UK Finance blog discusses implications of the EU-UK TCA for financial services

UK Finance published a blog post on the implications for financial services of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), in which it notes that there is no detailed content on financial services regulatory co-operation included within the TCA (beyond the provision on international standards). Both sides are, however, committed to establishing by March 2021 a memorandum of understanding (MoU) or co-operation framework covering exchanges of views on regulation and ‘transparency and appropriate dialogue’ on equivalence-related processes.

See: LNB News 19/01/2021 86.

For further updates from Financial Services, see: Financial Services weekly highlights—overview.

Immigration

Almost five million applications for EU Settlement Scheme as of 31 December 2020

UK Visas and Immigration and the Home Office have urged EU citizens to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, with only six months to go before the EU Settlement Scheme’s application deadline of 30 June 2021. There have been 4.88 million applications to the scheme as of 31 December 2020, since its launch on 30 March 2019.

See: LNB News 21/01/2021 78.

For further updates from Immigration, see: Immigration monthly highlights—overview.

EU Settlement Scheme caseworker guidance updated

The Home Office has updated its main EU Settlement Scheme caseworker guidance covering EU, other EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members, in order to deal with significant amendments made to the Immigration Rules, Appendix EU in Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules HC 813.​ These amendments were made to deal with the end of the transition period, and incorporate for example provisions on joining family members.

See: LNB News 20/01/2021 17.

For further updates from Immigration, see: Immigration monthly highlights—overview.

Information Law

EU to start UK data adequacy decision-making process in ‘weeks’, top official says

The European Commission is set to finalise its assessment of the UK’s data-protection framework and will trigger the data-adequacy process ‘in the coming weeks’, a senior EU official said on 14 January 2021. The decision comes amid speculation about a possible legal challenge against any final decision as lawmakers and privacy activists are concerned about the UK’s future regulatory divergence, onward transfers to the US, and surveillance laws.

See News Analysis: EU to start UK data adequacy decision-making process in ‘weeks’, top official says.

EDPB issues updated information following end of Brexit transition period

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has issued an updated statement on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU and a separate updated information note on data transfers under the EU GDPR to the UK after the Brexit transition period.

See: LNB News 14/01/2021 95.

For further updates from Information Law, see: Information Law weekly highlights—overview.

Local Government

Update to NHS overseas visitors charging regulations—post-Brexit transition guidance from the DHSC

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has updated its guidance for non-NHS bodies implementing the NHS overseas visitors charging regulations. Subjects covered in this guidance include an update contained within paragraph two of Annex A and relates to the immigration health surcharge. While the Brexit transition/implementation period ended at 11 pm on 31 December 2020 (IP completion day), the government continues to issue new and updated Brexit webpages and guidance documents on the associated legal and practical changes. Further guidance may be issued post-IP completion day, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.

See: LNB News 19/01/2021 16.

For further updates from Local Government, see: Local Government weekly highlights—overview.

Public Law

Think Tank expresses thoughts on EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement

The European Parliament Think Tank has commented on the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), indicating that there is potential for further negotiations in the future, as several politicians and experts have stated that the agreement does not cover all areas of potential partnership and leaves some issues ambiguous. The Think Tank briefing provides links to commentaries, studies and reports from international think tanks on Brexit and related issues.

See: LNB News 20/01/2021 34.

Brexit Bulletin—government responds to report on future UK international strategy

The government has responded to a report by the Foreign Affairs Committee: ‘A brave Britain? The future of the UK’s international policy’. The government has adopted the recommendations made in the report.

See: LNB News 15/01/2021 38.

For further updates from Public Law, see: Public Law weekly highlights—overview.

Transport Committee urges UK and French governments to support Eurostar

The Transport Committee has called on the UK and French governments to set out their commitment to supporting Eurostar following ‘plunging passenger numbers due to the impact of the pandemic and Brexit’. Chair of the Transport Committee, Huw Merriman MP, reported that Eurostar’s traffic has fallen by over 95 per cent, with services being stripped back to ‘a bare minimum’ and noted that unlike airlines, Eurostar has been ‘shut out from government loans that have offered a lifeline’. Merriman explained: ‘We simply cannot afford to lose Eurostar to this pandemic. The company contributes £800 million each year to the UK economy. It is unique in offering an environmentally friendly, direct, connection to mainland Europe.’ He stressed that ‘a joint, bespoke UK-French solution’ is needed to help Eurostar through this ‘crisis’.

See: LNB News 21/01/2021 82.

Brexit Q&As

● What is the concept of origin in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the UK and the EU?

● What are commodity codes and procedure codes from 1 January 2021 and where do I find them?

● What factors impact the choice of English law as the governing law for a new agreement which will directly impact upon the operation of existing agreements subject to other governing law choices?

LexTalk®Brexit: a Lexis®PSL community

Collaborate and network with a community of expert lawyers

LexTalk® is an online community forum which gives Lexis®PSL subscribers the opportunity to post questions, hold conversations, participate in discussions and share best practice. It has been designed to provide a secure place for legal professionals to discuss legal developments, offer and receive peer support, and gain a sense of up-to-date market practice and advances in real-time. You can access and post questions on all of the dedicated practice area forums, including a dedicated community for Lexis®PSL Brexit.

Click here to sign up and meet like-minded community members, create a profile, connect, share, and start participating today! Alternatively, you can access LexTalk® on the key resources tab on your Practice Area home page.

Useful information

Please feel free to contact the Lexis®PSL team with your comments, queries or suggestions: Contact us.

● Brexit got done (Pt 2): In this article, Michael Zander comments on whether Brexit was the subject of parliamentary scrutiny worthy of the name. See New Law Journal: 171 NLJ 7916, p13

● Analysis—The TCA rules of origin: In this article, Jonathan Main comments on the rules of origin underpinning the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). See: Tax Journal, Issue 1515, 19

● A sting in the tail? In this article, Frank Maher provides expert analysis on the legal risk and compliance challenges ahead in a Brexit and ‘virus-ridden world—not just coronavirus, but the electronic sort too’. See New Law Journal: 171 NLJ 7917, p7

We are also on Twitter—you can follow us: @LexisNexisUK.

Related Articles:
Latest Articles:
About the author:
Holly joined LexisNexis in July 2014 and works primarily on the PSL Public Law module. Holly read law at university and qualified as a solicitor in private practice. Before starting her legal career, she gained experience working in local government and spent a year studying politics. Prior to joining LexisNexis, Holly worked in the Global Technology and Sourcing team at BP, supporting a variety of global procurement and compliance projects. Upon joining LexisPSL, she worked in the Commercial and LexisAsk teams before assisting with the development and launch of the PSL Public Law module. Holly looks after a number of core public law subject areas, including Brexit.