On Thursday 13 September, the Government released a further batch of technical notices on preparations for a no deal Brexit, covering issues ranging from farming to tax to state aid and rights at the workplace. The notes show the enormous negative impact that leaving the EU will have for British consumers (which nobody was told about during the referendum campaign). Where the first batch of notes on ‘no deal’ released in July showed the chaos that Brexit will cause to businesses and the country’s economy, today’s documents demonstrate the grave consequences which Brexit will have for ordinary people across the country.
Specifically, the technical notes make clear that:
- UK driving licenses would become invalid across the EU
- Expensive and annoying mobile roaming charges could return for holidaymakers
- Today’s paper tries to paper over the cracks of the emerging hard-border situation in Ireland
- Irish TV channels RTÉ and TG4 could disappear from terrestrial TV in Northern Ireland and International Broadcasters could have to relocate
- Future funding worth billions to create jobs and support communities is at risk
- Users could find themselves shut out of social networks and websites
- While the Brexit elite shift their funds offshore and watch from Westminster, people up and down this country are left to bear the brunt of Brexit.
- The Brexit Secretary has to start coming clean with the British people and has to stop pulling the wool over their eyes, for example by suggesting that mobile roaming fees won’t return only for the Government to then issue a technical note saying that no such guarantees can be made.
- With the Brexit Cheerleaders having failed to warn about the negative consequences would happen because of Brexit - it is becoming clearer every day that what we were promised is not what is being delivered.
- The Brexit elite can’t sort out this mess, only the British people can. It’s time to give the country a People’s Vote on the final deal with the EU.
UK driving licenses would no longer be valid in the EU.
- The Government impact assessment states that “you may need to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in the EU” (Department for Transport, 13 September 2018, link).
- This is currently not necessary and means that in the case of a no-deal Brexit every driver in the UK would have to pay a £5.50 application fee and obtain a new document simply to be able to drive in EU as they can do today.
Contrary to Government spin, the technical papers say that roaming charges could return.
- Despite briefings to the press by Government aides to deny this, the technical papers are clear that “surcharge-free roaming when you travel to the EU could no longer be guaranteed” (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, 13 September 2018, link).
- This means people could face up to £61 in extra charges per trip, according to a survey conducted by uSwitch (uSwitch, May 2015, link).
Today’s paper merely papers over the cracks of the emerging hard border situation in Northern Ireland
- In the technical notes, the Government simply states that “There would be no practical changes to the UK’s approach to immigration on journeys within the CTA: as now there would be no routine immigration controls on journeys from within the CTA to the UK.” (Home Office, 13 September 2018, link).
- However, they also state “if you are not an Irish or British citizen you will be required to continue to meet relevant domestic entry clearance requirements as set out in the Immigration (Control of Entry through the Republic of Ireland) Order 1972 (as amended). The UK will continue to work with Ireland and the Crown Dependencies on the movement of people between these islands, ensuring the effective functioning of the CTA and its external border.” (Home Office, 13 September 2018, link)
- The reality is that the Government have no idea as to how they can maintain a common travel area with an Ireland inside the EU’s single market and even the language in today’s document of, “within the CTA to the UK”, suggests that the Government could well be considering immigration checks on journeys between the island of Ireland and Great Britain post-Brexit.
Irish TV channels RTÉ and TG4 could disappear from terrestrial TV in Northern Ireland and International Broadcasters could be forced to relocate
- The Government technical papers make clear that “If there’s no deal, the AVMSD and the country of origin principle will no longer apply to services under UK jurisdiction that are broadcast into the EU, as the UK would be classified as a third country” & “In turn, the UK would be required to permit freedom of reception for services which originate from EU” (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, 13 September 2018, link).
- In line with the Chequers deal (link), in the event of no deal, where the Government notes that “As a result, the “country of origin” principle, in which a company based in one Member State can be licenced by a national regulator and broadcast into any other Member State, will no longer apply” this means that there is no guarantee that channels such as RTÉ or TG4, despite Government reassurances to the contrary in today’s document, could continue to be watched on terrestrial TV in any part of the UK.
- The current agreement to broadcast Irish language television station TG4 in Northern Ireland would thus be threatened, something which could further destabilise a peace process under strain over issues about a putative Irish language act.
- No deal would also mean that any UK-based broadcaster, broadcasting into the EU would lose the automatic right to do so, meaning a shifting of jobs and tax revenue for the UK economy.
Future funding worth billions to create jobs and support communities across the UK is at risk.
- The Government makes clear that “UK organisations would be unable to access EU funding for European Regional Development Fund projects after exit day” (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, 13 September 2018, link).
- The same is true for European Social Fund. This funding is currently worth over £3 billion, and supports job creation programmes, community and housing projects, as well as infrastructure developments that would otherwise struggle to obtain funding.
- The Government will only guarantee funding for another two years, after which thousands of projects across the UK will be at risk.
Users of social networks or websites with servers in the EU could find themselves shut out from services.
- The technical papers state that, on data protection, “If the European Commission does not make an adequacy decision regarding the UK at the point of exit and you want to receive personal data from organisations established in the EU (including data centres) then you should consider assisting your EU partners in identifying a legal basis for those transfers” (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, 13 September 2018, link).
- In reality, this means that the Government is shifting responsibility for data protection to the consumer, and in cases where a legal basis cannot be established users would be unable to access services based in the EU.
… and worryingly: Britain may be less likely to get warned about space junk or asteroids heading for us.
- Extraordinarily, the technical notes state that Britain would lose access to the EU Space Surveillance and Tracking (EUSST) programme, which among other things provides re-entry warnings for space debris coming back to earth on a scheduled or unscheduled basis.
- Loss of access to this programme would make it harder for Britain to track space junk or asteroids heading for us.