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BREXIT, the 12 Point Plan revisited

Hotspots / Monday 9th of July 2018

The original 12 Point Plan for Brexit was published by the UK Government back in February 2017 and we wrote about it then, in an attempt to provide business with some idea of how the content might impact them, and any risks of opportunities it may present.

Since then, a huge amount of discussion has taken place at party political, national and EU level in attempting to move our exit from the EU forward. Unfortunately, not all of this discussion has been positive or worthwhile.

Businesses we talk to are still working and planning against a background of continued uncertainty on the detail. So much for providing certainty.

But in the last chance saloon last weekend, aka Chequers, the Prime Minister Teresa May and her cabinet, hammered out a statement designed as the basis for further negotiation with the EU.

I thought it might be interesting to compare the headlines of original 12 point plan with the statement of the 6th July 2018.

Of course, negotiations and changes in personnel may change things further.

I have put the content of our original blog in italics.

1.Controlling Immigration

It will “serve the national interest” and immigration will be controlled. This is likely to have an impact on human Resources and potentially Competency in the future. How much this will impact you directly will depend on your business.

This is unchanged with the statement last week re confirming an “end free movement, giving the UK back control over how many people enter the country”

2.Out of the Single Market

Simple to say but hugely complex to deliver. New trade deals await apparently, but a big question for those trading with the EU will be customs terms. Goes to the heart of your Context as an organisation as an External issue. You might need to implement Change, and manage it.

It is now proposed that “the UK and the EU would work together on the phased introduction of a new Facilitated Customs Arrangement that would remove the need for customs checks and controls between the UK and the EU as if a combined customs territory. The UK would apply the UK’s tariffs and trade policy for goods intended for the UK, and the EU’s tariffs and trade policy for goods intended for the EU.”

Additonally, it will mean “that the UK will leave the Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy – taking back control of UK waters as an independent coastal state and designing a domestic agricultural policy that works in the best interests of the UK;

Deliver an independent trade policy – the UK would have its own seat at the WTO, be able to set tariffs for our trade with the rest of the world, and have the ability to secure trade deals with other countries – including potentially seeking accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.”

3. Rights for British Expats

And by definition, reciprocation to EU citizens living “and working” in the UK. Needs to be agreed as soon as possible, to provide businesses with certainty. If you employ EU nationals in your business, you will want to keep close to this impact on Resources.

The phrase “mobility framework” has been introduced in “that UK and EU citizens can continue to travel to each other’s territories, and apply for study and work – similar to what the UK may offer other close trading partners in the future.” Commitments have already made on how this might work for EU residents working in the UK.

4.Smooth, orderly Brexit

Certain key rules around immigration, financial regulations and law and order would remain, but regulation per se will be looked at over a transition period post Article 50, as the UK takes back law making internally.

It will be worth looking to organisations like Trade Associations to help in a landscape of Change to ensure the best set of rules for your business. You should also Review who your Interested Parties are, including Regulatory Bodies and Legislators.

The new statement looks to “ensure that the UK and the EU have frictionless access to each other's markets for goods, including agricultural, food and fisheries products, protecting the uniquely integrated supply chains and just-in-time processes that have developed across the UK and the EU over the last 40 years, and the jobs and livelihoods dependent on them.

It will provide regulatory flexibility where it matters most for the UK’s services-based economy, and where the potential trading opportunities outside of the EU are the largest, recognising that the UK and the EU will not have current levels of access to each other’s markets – with 3 arrangements on financial services that preserve the mutual benefits of integrated markets and protect financial stability, noting that these could not replicate the EU’s passporting regimes.”

5.Protecting Workers Rights

EU employment law will become British law apparently. So, no changes planned currently.

Not directly addressed, but “in keeping with our commitments to uphold international standards, the UK and the EU would also agree to maintain high regulatory standards for the environment, climate change, social and employment, and consumer protection – meaning we would not let standards fall below their current levels.”

6.Strengthens the Union

The “guiding principle” will be that there will be “no new barriers to living and doing business” between Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Of interest to those doing business across these borders, any controls or costs associated with trade with Customers or Suppliers, could have been significant. Of course, in some political camps, Brexit is not the answer anyway.

This is consistent in enabling “the Government’s commitments to Northern Ireland to be met through the future relationship, avoiding the need for a border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, or within the UK.”

7.Co-operation on security

While this is predominately about the threats of terrorism, whether state or ideological; continued co-operation will also help businesses with the ever increasing growth of cybercrime. Any measures which help prevent loss of Organisational Knowledge or Documented Information should be welcomed.

The statement looks to “maintain operational capabilities on internal security, and ensure that the UK has an independent foreign policy, with suitable arrangements to work with the EU as required.”

8.Providing certainty

Nothing saps confidence, investment and growth in business more than uncertainty. Clear decisions and early clarity will help you make decisions for the future of your business.

Interesting what was said back in 2017, and it does not appear to be any clearer or certain at this point in time.

9.Controlling our own laws

Bringing back law to the UK Parliament will be applauded by those that believe in self-determination and a reduction in Red Tape. How much deregulation will actually take place will become apparent post enactment of Article 50, as the Civil Service start their review of some 60,000 regulations. Keeping an eye on developments in your specific sector will be important as will the impact on the wider business landscape.

We are now talking about “consistent interpretation and application of UK-EU agreements by both parties. This would be done in the UK by UK courts, and in the EU by EU courts.

Furthermore, restore the supremacy of UK courts, ending the jurisdiction of the CJEU in the UK, with no more preliminary references from UK courts, but committing that UK courts would pay due regard to the CJEU’s jurisprudence where the UK had chosen to apply a common rulebook to ensure consistent interpretation.”

10.New trade agreements

Depending very much on your Customer base, new trade arrangements are being hailed as the great opportunity of Brexit. If you currently depend on business with the EU, you might not be feeling the enthusiasm, but the wider notion of promoting free trade is being widely applauded by business leaders.

Of course, whoever your Customers are, they will only buy your Goods and Services if you provide Customer Satisfaction to them.

See above on the position regarding new trade agreements.

11.Travel across Irish border

There will be no passport control between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. That’s people, but for Goods and Services, there will need to be the same relationship as with other Member States. Potentially, complicated.

See above on statements about the border (or lack of a border) between the Republic of Ireland and the UK.

12.Science and Innovation

There is an expectation of continued collaboration with science and technology partners. Once again, degrees of certainty will boost confidence. Moving along the chain of New Product Development (NPD) from Science and Innovation, you may be working in Design and Development.

While the document suggests the end to vast annual payments to the EU budget, it does mention “appropriate contributions for joint action in specific areas, such as science and innovation”.

So, overall, the statement claims that “a substantial evolution in our proposals for the UK’s future relationship with the EU”

You decide.

References

Chequers Statement 06.07.18

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/723460/CHEQUERS_STATEMENT_-_FINAL.PDF

White Paper on Exit (with 12 Point Plan) Feb 2017

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/589191/The_United_Kingdoms_exit_from_and_partnership_with_the_EU_Web.pdf