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UK government published ‘no deal’ Brexit guidance

Last week the UK government published 25 guidance notes for a variety of sectors including tax, financial services, importing and exporting and labelling products in an attempt to prepare people and businesses for the impact of Brexit and minimise short-term disruption.

If the government does not manage to negotiate a deal with the European Union the UK will effectively become a “third country” for the purposes of EU regulated activities.

Taking the example of financial services in the EU, any provider of financial services must be regulated and operate in accordance with rules and regulations set by the EU. If a person or business is regulated in one member state they will automatically be regulated in all other member states by a process called ‘passporting’.

For example, after Brexit if an UK insurance company is paying an annuity to a customer who lives in France, although the insurance company will be regulated in the UK, they will not automatically be regulated in other member states. This means that the insurance provider will no longer be able to pay the annuity and would be faced with the choice of breaching their contractual obligations to the customer or breaching French and EU rules and regulations.

Top tip If you live in the EU and receive a financial service from a provider in the UK start planning now and get advice on what options are available to you.

For Commercial Law advice, please contact our Head of Company Commercial, David Anderson.