With one month to go to B-Day, and still no agreement in place, much of February's Bulletin is concerned with the question of how we'll be affected by a no-deal Brexit. There'll be Brexit updates at Regional Board meetings taking place in the first weeks of March, and any major news or developments will be accompanied by information on the BPIF website. Of course, keep letting us know if you have particular questions or concerns we can investigate for you.
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Thanks again for all your input!
P.S - Feeling the need for a constant reminder of the laborious, inexorable march towards Brexit? Why not add a live Brexit Countdown to your bookmarks?
In this month's Bulletin:
1. Brexit update
2. CBI letter to Government
3. Important no-deal news for importers
4. No-deal changes to food labelling
5. Using chemicals if there's no-deal
6. Scottish Government's new Brexit website
7. Latest publications
The Prime Minister, Brexit Secretary and Attorney General met with Jean Claude Junker and Michel Barnier last week. May and Junker issued a joint statement after their talks on Wednesday, claiming they had been 'constructive' and promising to talk again this week. The PM is said to still be pursuing legally binding changes to the backstop, or stronger guarantees that the backstop would never come into force. If she can make that happen, she will have been successful in securing a revised deal. Whether it's a new deal or the old one, it will be presented to Parliament for a vote on 12 March.
Under pressure from both sides of the House, on Tuesday she announced a series of votes to take place in case Parliament doesn't agree the deal. If this happens there will be a vote on a no-deal Brexit the following day, likely 13 March. If leaving without a deal is rejected (which it most likely will be), there will be a further vote to extend Article 50 instead, thus delaying Brexit.
A delay is now perhaps the most likely option, with EC President Donald Tusk calling it a ‘rational solution.' However, while the PM has had to admit a delay is a possibility, she maintains that 30 June is the latest possible date for EU exit. This would enable the UK to skip the European Parliament elections due to be held in May, as the European Parliament won't convene until July 2nd. Any further delay would lead to a very difficult situation - Britain would be a member of the EU but without representation in its Parliament.
Back in the world of print, Brexit has become your second biggest business concern, with 58% of respondents selecting it as one of their top three business concerns (up from 44% last quarter). Within that, maintaining a reliable and secure supply chain now comes through as the top concern regarding the impact Brexit may have on members' businesses - further behind are general cost inflation and non-tariff barriers. Around a third of respondents are currently stockpiling some supplies.
Read more on Printing Outlook by clicking here.
CBI letter to Government
BPIF Chief Executive, Charles Jarrold has co-signed a letter to the Government from the Confederation of British Industry, calling on the Prime Minister to rule out no-deal as an option for Brexit.
The letter states:
"The threat of a no-deal Brexit is already costing businesses millions in expensive contingency measures. If the UK were to leave the EU without a deal, it would be an unparalleled act of self-harm. A no-deal Brexit cannot be managed. We therefore urge you to take it off the table now, end the huge cost of uncertainty, protect jobs and safeguard prosperity for the UK."
To read the full letter, please click here.
Important no-deal news for importers
a. Entry Summary Declarations
This month the Government has made some announcements designed to give businesses more time to make changes, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. If this happens, HMRC plans to phase in Entry Summary Declarations (pre-arrival forms for UK imports).
b. Customs/Import Declarations
Plans have also been made that, in the event of a no-deal, Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) can be used for at least 15 months for customs declarations. The TSPs are intended to make importing easier for an initial period of one year.
For more information please click here.
No-deal changes to food labelling
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the rules for what you must show on food labels will change for some food and drink products. Some of the new rules will come into effect from exit day (29 March). For others, you'll have longer to update your food labels.
The Government has published a new Technical Notice on food labelling, which we've summarised and published in the 'No-Deal Technical Notices' section on our website.
For more information, please click here.
Using chemicals if there's no-deal
We've been contacted by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs regarding the safe use of chemicals if there's no Brexit deal.
In a no-deal situation, UK businesses that manufacture or import chemicals from the EU will have to register those chemicals under a new UK regulatory system called UK REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals). This will replace EU REACH. If you already have EU REACH registration your registration will be legally recognised but you'll need to confirm it and supply some further information to the Health and Safety Executive.
For more information, please click here.
Scottish Government's new Brexit website
In Scotland? The Scottish Government's Brexit planning website is a helpful source of information.
To view the Scotland Brexit website, please click here.
We've trawled through the latest publications about Brexit of particular relevance to the printing industry.
To read our online publications please click here.
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