WHAT IF NO BREXIT DEAL IS REACHED? UK AUTHORITIES CLARIFY / by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

As 29 March 2019 is approaching, the day by which Brexit will become official, the UK authorities are considering all potential scenario’s. One of which is the risk that no deal is reached with the European Union political counterparts. The UK authorities emphasize that all effort is being put in coming to an agreement. Although, the authorities found it necessary to inform UK citizens and businesses what the impact would be of a no deal-scenario on the supply and trade of goods. Essentially, no agreement would mean the immediate end of free movement of goods and accordingly customs procedures will apply as is the case for third country imports and exports at present.

Besides a general consideration, also specific topics, including the cultivation of genetically modified organisms and the production of organic food, are addressed in individual Guidances. Regarding the use of GMO’s, no significant changes are to be expected in a no deal-scenario as the national implementing acts will remain valid in the UK. The text would be amended to relate to a national context only. This means that prior authorization of GMO’s will remain applicable. Current authorizations will remain valid and only over time, due to a different territorial scope of authorizations, divergences in may occur. For organic food and feed, the authorities intend to keep a comparable framework in place. There is the notable change that the EU organic logo will have to be replaced by a UK specific logo. Additionally, Organic exports to the EU will be dependent on European recognition of local certifying bodies. Applications for recognition can only start when the UK becomes officially a third country and applications take up to 9 months. However, it is made clear that in such case a transition measure or equivalency arrangement would be negotiated. The organic production legislation will initially remain in place and amended to a UK context. There are no plans to make any substantial changes to the current requirements and procedures.

Guidance on how to prepare if the UK leaves the EU with no deal - link