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Brexit round-up – 17/07/20

Welcome to this, our latest Brexit round-up. Each week we provide a succinct round-up of the latest news surrounding the Brexit process, so you can keep abreast of the issues which are likely to affect your organisation.

£705 million funding package in 20/21 for border infrastructure

The Government has announced a £705 million funding package for border infrastructure, jobs and technology at the GB-EU border to ensure GB border systems are fully operational when the UK takes back control of its border after the end of the transition period. The funding includes £470 million to build infrastructure such as border control posts and £235 million which be allocated for IT systems and staffing to include 500 more Border Force personnel to ensure our borders are safe and secure and that the UK is ready to take full advantage of its newly sovereign status. Michael Gove said “With or without further agreement with the EU, this £705 million will ensure that the necessary infrastructure, tech and border personnel are in place so that our traders and the border industry are able to manage the changes and seize the opportunities as we lay the foundations for the world’s most effective and secure border.”

For more information please click here.

New Trade and Agriculture Commission

The Government has announced the new Trade and Agriculture Commission which will be chaired by food safety expert Tim Smith, a former Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency and Tesco Group Technical Director. The commission will report directly to International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and will comprise members from retailers, farming unions, consumer, hospitality and environmental bodies from across the UK who will advise the Government on trade policies to adopt to secure opportunities for UK farmers, advancing and protecting British consumer interests and those of developing countries, how the UK engages the WTO to build a coalition that helps advance higher animal welfare standards across the world and developing a trade policy that identifies and opens up new export opportunities for the UK agricultural industry. George Eustice, Environment Secretary said “The Agriculture and Trade Commission will ensure that the UK’s agricultural industry, our support for farmers and our commitment to high welfare standards are maintained. This Government will work hard to ensure any future trade deals are in their best interests and will prioritise both food production and our world-leading environmental targets.”

For more information please click here.

Border Operating Model published

The Government has published the Border Operating Model which provides clarity and certainty for the border industry and businesses, including technical detail on how the border with the European Union will work after the transition period and the actions that traders, hauliers, ports and carriers need to take. This will include getting a customs intermediary which can help traders find the information needed to complete formalities and submit the required declarations, for example customs information to HMRC systems.  Businesses can also need to apply for a duty deferment account which will benefit those who import goods regularly as they will be able to charge customs duty, excise duty and import VAT to the accounts which will be paid once a month through Direct Debit instead of being paid on individual consignments. Businesses will also need to prepare to pay or account for VAT on imported goods and ensure they have International Driving Permits. All businesses will also be required to apply for and hold a GB Economic Operator Registration and Identification number. The Border Operating Model will lay the groundwork in support of the Government’s objective to have the world’s most effective border by 2025.

For more information please click here.

UK’s points-based immigration system

The Home Office has released further detail on the UK’s future immigration system which will come into effect from 1 January 2021. This will give employers the time to prepare and the new immigration system will be implemented in phases to ensure smooth delivery. The new system operates on a points basis for those applying via the skilled worker route, where they accrue points by meeting a number of relevant criteria, such as have a job offer at the appropriate skill level, the ability to speak English and meeting the salary threshold. The skills threshold for skilled workers has been expanded so that an applicant’s job must be at the minimum skill level of A-level or equivalent, rather than degree level under the current system. The new system also offers other simplified routes via a new Health and Care Visa for key health professionals which will make it easier and cheaper for health professionals to work in the UK and a new graduate route opening in Summer 2021 which will allow international students to stay in the UK once they have successfully completed their studies. Students who have completed undergraduate and master’s degrees will be able to stay for 2 years and those who have completed PhD can stay for 3 years. Home Secretary, Priti Patel said “Now we have left the EU, we are free to unleash this country’s full potential and implement the changes we need to restore trust in the immigration system and deliver a new fairer, firmer, skills-led system from 1 January 2021. Britain is open for business and ready to welcome the best and brightest global talent.”

For more information please click here.

We have recently launched a dedicated visa guidelines hub which is full of clear, useful guidance to help those wishing to live, work and recruit into the UK navigate the complex legal territory that is immigration law. You can visit the site by clicking here.

If you have any questions about any of the issues which are raised, or would like to discuss your own organisation’s options during the Brexit process, please do not hesitate to get in touch.


Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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