Across a number of sectors and regulatory areas, the UK Government has expressed its intention to maintain status quo arrangements for obtaining licences to trade with the EU, and for domestic compliance and enforcement. In the event that a Brexit withdrawal deal is agreed, it remains unclear whether UK regulators would be able to provide licences for the EU market after the transition period; it is also unclear if notified bodies in the UK will be able to conduct conformity assessment checks destined for the EU market. In the event of a ‘no deal Brexit’, firms may need to comply with new licence requirements and changes to their competent regulatory authority.
Which regulatory agencies do you work with? What steps might you need to take to comply with separate UK and EU regulators in the future?
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy have published guidance across the following areas:
Regulations and standards after Brexit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/regulations-and-standards-after-brexit
Regulatory requirements for manufactured goods after Brexit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/manufactured-goods-regulatory-requirements-after-brexit
Using personal data after Brexit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/using-personal-data-after-brexit
For Data Protection:
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published a checklist of six steps that businesses can take now to start preparing for data protection compliance if the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal.
More detailed information on this can be found here: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-and-brexit/data-protection-if-there-s-no-brexit-deal/
UK Government Brexit technical notices on regulation have been published for these sectors:
Farming and fishing
Medicines and medical equipment
Satellites and space
And for these cross-cutting regulatory issues:
Meeting business regulations
Labelling products and making them safe
Personal data and consumer rights
Protecting the environment
You can find these technical notices here.
After leaving the EU the role of policing and ensuring fair competition in UK markets (including state aid) will fully transfer to British regulators and agencies. This could result in differences to the current approach – for instance on approvals for mergers and acquisitions.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published a notice on its role after Brexit.
CMA's role after Brexit
And another for the specific case of a ‘no-deal’ exit from the EU.
Effects of a 'no deal' EU Exit on the functions of the CMA
If there is no Brexit withdrawal agreement before March 2019, the government has developed a ‘no deal’ competition Statutory Instrument (SI):
Mergers: if the European Commission has issued a decision on or before 29 March 2019 (unless the decision is annulled, in full or in part, following an appeal), the UK has no jurisdiction.
State aid: the government is expected to pass secondary legislation which will transpose EU state aid rules into UK law and provide for the CMA to take on its new state aid role, following which they will publish further details on how this function will operate.
Antitrust: After the UK’s exit from the EU, the CMA will no longer have jurisdiction to apply anti-competitive agreements including cartels or on abuse of dominance.
UK companies retailing to consumers or trading ‘information and data services’ (e.g. video sharing, social media platforms and internet service providers) across the EU would face changes to their regulatory environment in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.
Do you know if the EU’s eCommerce Directive is relevant to your business?
Does your business operate any websites with a ‘.eu’ domain name registration?
The Department for Culture Media and Sport has produced official guidance for businesses engaged in contingency planning for Brexit.
This guidance provides businesses with information about the eCommerce Directive and sets out the government's approach to contingency planning for a ‘no-deal’ scenario. In this case, although there would be continuity in some areas there would be also be changes – such as the Directive's country of origin principle, which UK companies would cease to benefit from.
eCommerce EU Exit Guidance
DCMS has produced official guidance for companies with existing domain name registrations under ‘.eu’ or an interest in registering a domain name under ‘.eu’ in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.
Guidance on '.eu' top domain names