Delivering the deal negotiated with the EU remains the government’s top priority. This has not changed. However, as a responsible government we are preparing for all scenarios and in December 2018 Cabinet agreed to accelerate the next phase of no deal planning.
What is BEIS doing to prepare businesses?
The government is taking the steps to prepare for the UK leaving the European Union and is working to ensure that businesses have the information they need to prepare. As well as regular and ongoing engagement with research institutes, businesses, and business and trade representative groups to discuss their priorities and concerns, we have taken forward significant preparations including:
- recruitment of 700 new staff to work on EU Exit policy using additional funding allocated by HM Treasury for Brexit preparedness
- passing of new legislation to lay the groundwork for our future outside the EU with 57 out of 63 required statutory instruments required by Exit day, including new laws for a nuclear safeguards regime that will maintain the UK industry’s ability to trade in the nuclear sector while ensuring the UK remains on track to meet its international obligations on day one of exit
- laying of legislation and the putting in place of new measures to ensure a robust and effective product safety and metrology regime post-Exit by the Office for Product Safety and Standards
- the publication of 28 technical notices, including oil and gas, climate change, company law and state aid. These will continue to be updated. These notices also include guidance about what actions businesses need to take in order to carry on exporting and importing a range of goods and services
- continuing to work closely with the UK research community to maintain collaboration with the EU while laying legislation to ensure laws governing areas like employment rights and renewable energy remain world-leading after we leave
- retaining a general system for recognition where UK regulators will be required to recognise EEA and Swiss qualifications which are of an equivalent standard to UK qualifications in scope, content and level
- working with Ofgem, the Northern Ireland Utility Regulator and interconnector operators to put in place arrangements that aim to ensure that electricity and gas continue to flow across borders through interconnectors
- signing Nuclear Cooperation Agreements (NCA) with Australia, Canada and the United States. The NCAs allow the UK to continue civil nuclear cooperation when current European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) arrangements cease to apply in the UK
- protecting our climate ambition by taking steps to ensure that, if we leave the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, on day one companies will still have to report their carbon emissions and there will be a carbon tax of equivalent impact – to make sure that these important emissions don’t increase as a result of a no deal scenario
- publishing a package of secondary legislation in December to ensure our energy laws function effectively after exit day, including: European Network Codes, Electricity and Gas Acts, and EU regulations under the Third Energy Package
- £92 million of funding work on the development of options for a UK Global Navigation Satellite System; and
- working with Cabinet Office, DExEU and other departments to ensure all business sectors are appropriately informed on all major issues
What do businesses need to do now?
If you run a business you can access information on a range of measures you may need to take in order to prepare, including the guidance available in the event of no deal. These notices will be regularly updated with the latest information.
Government has launched the business readiness website which includes a tool to enable you to find out:
- what your business will need to do to prepare for the UK leaving the EU
- what’s changing in your industry
- information on specific rules and regulations
Other sources of information are available for businesses including from business representative organisations and trade bodies.