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26 September 2018

Brexit notices on ‘no deal’

This article was first published by New Law Journal.

The Government has released a second batch of technical notices on a ‘no deal’ scenario, including notes on civil judicial co-operation.

The 28 notices, published on 13 September, reveal that free mobile phone roaming may no longer be guaranteed, that a UK driving licence may not be valid in the EU and that transferring personal data from the UK to a EU Member State may breach data protection laws after the UK leaves in March 2019.

On civil justice, the notices reiterate that the Government will apply to re-join the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements 2005, which would come into force by 1 April 2019.

David Mundy, partner, said:

‘The reality of the impact of a “no deal” Brexit on the most basic free movement rights we take for granted is brought home by one of the Government’s “no deal” guidance notes – UK driving licences would be invalid and drivers will require an International Driving Permit. Without one you could be fined or even turned away at the border.

In another area crucial for business-free movement of data, the Government has indicated the UK would at the point of exit continue to allow the free flow of personal data from the UK to the EU. This is based on the idea that the EU has adequate safeguards for its proper treatment of data. By contrast, however, the European Commission has indicated that a decision on adequacy of the UK’s arrangements cannot be taken until the UK is a third country outside the EU. The guidance therefore advises businesses looking to receive personal data from organisations in the EU need to establish the legal basis of those transfers.

Neither of these scenarios seems remotely satisfactory. In short the Government is challenging the EU and its rebel hard Brexiteers – highlighting that the only way to avoid “this shambles” is to back the Chequers compromise.’

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