Brexit Bulletin – January 2019
Welcome to the first monthly Brexit Bulletin of 2019. It's been a busy start to the year for Government and Parliament, with this week's series of votes on the future of the Brexit deal. We delve into this more in our Brexit update. This month we also bring you information about settlement fees for those of you with EU staff, and how to get funding for customs declaration training.
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Thanks again for all your input!
In this month's Bulletin:
1. Brexit update
2. Impact of a no-deal Brexit across the UK
3. U-turn on settlement fees
4. Business readiness website
5. No-deal Brexit - Day One
6. Funding for customs declaration training
7. Latest publications
As the Brexit date draws nearer, decisions seem to be being made on a fortnightly basis!
This Tuesday saw MPs voting to:
- avoid leaving the EU without a deal in place
- reopen the Withdrawal Agreement and replacing the existing Irish backstop with ‘alternative arrangements.'
Neither amendment is legally binding, but could be considered ‘morally binding' - they do send a strong signal to the Government that Parliament is firmly against a no-deal exit.
The Prime Minister will now go to Brussels to attempt to reopen negotiations with the EU. Assuming she makes progress on a new arrangement, the PM has then pledged a new series of votes in Parliament on 13/14 February. If the EU won't make adjustments, the PM will need to return to Parliament and ask for Tuesday's vote to take place again - will Parliament be willing to reconsider its opposition to the backstop?
While Labour MP Yvette Cooper's amendment to extend Article 50 to the end of 2019 failed, a number of Conservative MPs have indicated that they will vote in favour of a similar amendment, should they be unhappy with the deal that returns to Parliament next month.
If Parliament can't agree to a deal, and nothing else subsequently happens, the default position would be a no-deal Brexit on 29 March.
Impact of a no-deal Brexit across the UK
The BPIF is a member of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), and we've been contributing our views on Brexit to their dedicated Brexit policy teams. They've published an extensive analysis of how a no-deal Brexit would impact companies in all regions of the country. Information about the state of the economy, and company case studies, is available by region.
"From the South West of England, to the North East of Scotland, businesses are telling us a no-deal would be a disaster for the UK economy, for businesses and for individual livelihoods." - CBI
For more information on CBI - Extensive Analysis please click here.
U-turn on settlement fees
Last week the Government scrapped its plan to charge EU citizens a fee of £65 to secure the right to continue living in the UK. The EU Settlement Scheme is currently in a test phase and the charge of £65 applies - however this will be scrapped when the Scheme is rolled out in full. Any early birds who have already paid the fee will be able to claim a refund.
For more information on the EU Settlement Scheme please click here.
Business readiness website
A new ‘business readiness' website has been launched by the Government. Run by the Department for Business, it includes a short survey about your business and brings together the guidance relevant to you (most of which we've featured in previous Bulletins and is on our website).
For more information on the new business readiness website please click here.
No-deal Brexit - Day One
The Government has published a new document Preparing for Changes at the UK Border after a 'No Deal' EU Exit. It includes fact sheets covering what to expect at the border on Day One of a no-deal Brexit. For businesses importing from the EU, trade will broadly follow the customs controls that apply for the rest of the world - you'll need to adapt to comply with these new systems, processes and controls. This means that you will need to make an import declaration for goods entering the UK from the EU.
For more information on No-deal Brexit - Day One please click here.
Funding for customs declaration training
Importers/exporters who will need to complete customs declarations can apply for funding for training. It's called the Customs Intermediaries Grant Scheme and £2m of this is available to upskill staff to complete their own declarations. If you use, or plan to use, an intermediary they can also apply for some of a pot of £3m available for IT investment. Applications are open now until 5 April 2019 or when the funding runs out - whichever is sooner - so apply ASAP! You can register and apply online.
For more information on customs declaration training 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.
The BPIF has updated its one-page document summarising the latest developments regarding pulp, paper and board demand and prices.
For International Women's Day, the BPIF did some research to see exactly where the industry stands in terms of gender split and pay.