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Information on the extension to the Article 50 negotiating period

The following covers information about Brexit following last week's agreement by EU leaders to accede to to the Prime Minister's request to extend the Article 50 deadline.

Key elements

The UK:

• must ratify the Withdrawal Agreement by 31 October 2019. It may leave the EU earlier if agreement is reached. A further extension is not precluded but would require the unanimous agreement of the 27 other Member States;
• retains the right to unilaterally revoke Article 50; 
• must take part in EU elections [due to take place between 23 – 26 May] if it has not ratified the Withdrawal Agreement by 22 May 2019. If the UK does hold EU elections it will leave the EU on 1 June;
• must fulfil its Treaty obligations as a Member State, this means it cannot obstruct the decision-making processes of the European Union.

The EU has said:

• the withdrawal agreement will not be reopened;
• there will be no negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and the EU while the UK remains a Member State. However, if the UK seeks alternatives to that which led to the Political Declaration, discussions could be held; and
• it will review the situation at its next meeting in June. 

No Deal and the Construction Sector

Recognising Architects

The Government has issued guidance on the system for recognising EU architects if there is no BREXIT deal.

Find the guidance at:  www.gov.uk/guidance/the-system-for-recognising-eu-qualified-architects-i...

Exit and Trade Update
 
The BEIS Infrastructure and Materials team has produced an Exit and Trade update covering:

• Further guidance for importing into Northern Ireland from Ireland, including on import VAT;
• Guidance from specific EU Member States for UK businesses in the event of a no-deal Brexit;
• Details of more webinars from HMRC and BEIS;
• Update to REACH Legislation;
• Additional guidance on when ‘placing on the market’ is considered to have taken place;
• Details for a new Home Office contact centre for enquiries on its Settlement Scheme for current EU27 workers in the UK; and
• New information added about the exhaustion of Intellectual Property rights.

Northern Ireland

HMRC has published new guidance for businesses that move goods from Ireland to Northern Ireland . Most goods crossing between Ireland and Northern Ireland will not be subject to Customs Duty or require a customs declaration. However, in a no deal scenario, import VAT at the relevant rate will become due on goods that move from Ireland to Northern Ireland. UK businesses will be able to account for import VAT in two different ways, depending if they are VAT registered or not.   

Further information is available at:

- www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-on-goods-you-move-from-ireland-to-northern-irela...
- www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-on-goods-you-move-from-ireland-to-northern-irela...

Guidance from EU Member States for UK businesses in the event of a no deal Brexit

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, customs processes and documentation for importing and exporting goods will change. EU countries may impose different requirements on their side of the border. In practical terms, this means border controls will resume and the free movement of capital, goods, services and people (workers, students and travellers) will cease. Previously, we shared no deal preparations for France, and have now included links to no deal advice for Belgium, Netherlands and Spain. You may want to familiarise yourself with any processes that you may need to comply with if the UK becomes a third country to the EU.

Update to REACH Legislation

DEFRA has laid a short amending Statutory Instrument (SI) that will address two specific concerns raised by industry, regarding ensuring continuity of registrations of imported chemicals at the point of no-deal exit.  Since laying the REACH SI on 9 January, a number of stakeholders have raised two technical points regarding the scope of the ‘notification’ transitional provisions for existing UK Downstream Users. In response to industry’s concerns and suggestions, DEFRA has laid an amending SI to clarify that:

- UK-based Only Representatives (ORs) will be able to make notifications for imports sourced by existing UK Downstream Users (DUs) and distributors. If the notification is completed by an OR within 180 days of the UK leaving the EU, the DU or distributor is exempted from the duty to notify. DUs and distributors sourcing from the EU/EEA are advised to liaise with their suppliers, to ensure that a notification is completed by one or other party within 180 days; and
- Notification provisions apply to imports from 3rd countries coming to the UK directly, if covered by a registration held by an OR based in another EU/EEA country. 

Further information: www.gov.uk/eu-withdrawal-act-2018-statutory-instruments/the-reach-etc-am...

More information

There are more links to relevant information in the boxes on the right-hand side of this page

Home Office guidance

Information about the Home Office contact centre for enquiries on its Settlement Scheme for current EU27 workers in the UK

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Intellectual property

New information about the exhaustion of rights

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