The Government has published a series of technical Brexit notices about what would happen in the event of no Brexit deal being agreed. For businesses, these are likely to be the most useful pieces of information published to date regarding preparation for Brexit. Whilst the Brexit notices consider the worst possible outcome, if they are used by businesses as a back-stop position, then anything other than a no-deal outcome should be largely catered for.
The EU has already published their own versions and they make for interesting reading.
The 68 notices published by the EU cover a vast range of industries and situations and are deliberately brief. Whether this is because the outcome is very simple, or they intend to create a heightened sense of fear, no one knows, but they do provide clear guidance and a sense of finality.
Two key examples covered in the EU notices help to demonstrate the nature of a no-deal Brexit.
- .EU domains
Many businesses typically buy up several suffix variants when choosing their domain name (web address), such as.uk, .com, .co.uk and .eu. However, the EU is very clear that to own a .eu domain, you need to be part of the EU, as the following notice demonstrates:
As of the withdrawal date, undertakings and organisations that are established in the United Kingdom but not in the EU and natural persons who reside in the United Kingdom will no longer be eligible to register .eu domain names or, if they are .eu registrants, to renew .eu domain names registered before the withdrawal date.
Accredited .eu Registrars will not be entitled to process any request for the registration of or for renewing registrations of .eu domain names by those undertakings, organisations and persons.
Quite where this leaves the pro Brexit campaign group ‘Leave.eu’ is a mystery and quite ironic, if, as may be necessary, they must register in the EU to keep their domain!
- Air Safety
Whilst international air travel safety rules are relatively similar, each region of the world has its own certification authority e.g. The CAA in the UK, FAA for America etc. The notice regarding EU air safety is clear. All UK registered aircraft, where their owner does not have a base and registered business with in the EU, will no longer have valid EU air safety certificates from the date of withdrawal. This effectively means that UK aircraft without a foothold in the EU will be unable to fly through EU airspace from midnight on 30th March 2019.
The UK Government’s Brexit notices can be viewed as scaremongering or valuable planning documents. We would urge all clients to review both the EU and UK notices that relate to them from a commercial perspective and consider how these may impact their ongoing business. Where necessary, it may be pertinent to begin contingency planning and/or applying to the EU for any licences/permits required post withdrawal.