26 November 2020 Business and economy

Remember Brexit?

New rules from 1 January 2021

Trade and security arrangements are still to be decided but regardless of a deal or no deal scenario, free movement of people, goods and services is ending on 31 December. 

From 1 January 2021 there will be new rules for citizens, businesses and travel to the EU and anyone wanting to live or work in the UK will be subject to a new points-based immigration system.

Brexit resilience and planning

A round-up of how the council has been preparing for the UK’s departure from the EU is documented in a Brexit Resilience & Planning report, to be reviewed by its Policy & Resources committee on 3 December.

Details include plans to mitigate potential impacts on the council and city as citizens and businesses get used to being outside the Single Market and Customs Union. 

Planning priorities include getting Newhaven Port ready for any potential disruption due to new border requirements, limiting the impact of any food supply chain disruption and rising costs, particularly on vulnerable and low-income households, and exploring longer-term opportunities around food resilience. 

EU Settlement Scheme

A particular focus for the council’s work has been to encourage EU residents to remain in Brighton & Hove and protect their rights by applying to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

EU nationals living in the UK before 31 December have until 30 June 2021 to apply to the scheme but anyone arriving in the UK next year, will not be eligible.

Home Office figures released in August 2020, show that 20,280 EU citizens in Brighton & Hove have applied to the EUSS so far.

Support for businesses

From 1 January 2021, there will be guaranteed changes for businesses including new rules for importing and exporting goods, labelling food, transferring data and hiring staff from outside the UK. Businesses can get a personalised summary of the actions they need to take by using the tool on gov.uk/transition.

The council has provided funding for Brighton Chamber to run a programme of events to support local businesses through the transition and beyond.

A series of six online events, ‘From Brighton with Love’, includes free webinars, online resources & access to peer support groups with knowledge in key areas of change such as import/export, VAT and recruitment.

As well as providing advice on the changes of the EU Transition, the programme will highlight opportunities for businesses to explore access to international markets and understand new trading agreements.  

Working together

Chair of Brighton & Hove City Council's Brexit working group, Councillor Marianna Ebel, said: “Lives lost, and global lockdowns have seen Brexit news disappear from the front pages but the timetable for securing trade deals and agreeing a future relationship with our European neighbours is set, and time is running out. 

“We have worked with partners in the city to prepare for different scenarios, share the information available and ensure we’re as ready as we can be for the challenges and opportunities up ahead.  

“I am concerned about the impacts on local businesses, especially as Brexit preparations have coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic. Only today, the Chair of the Office for Budget Responsibility has said the damage of Brexit to the UK economy will be much greater than the damage of the pandemic and twice as bad if no trade deal is agreed.

“Brighton & Hove has always marketed itself as an open, welcoming European city and this won’t change.  We will continue to build positive relationships with our EU neighbours, strengthen our shared values and goals and seek opportunities to trade our products and services.”

More information about Brexit in Brighton & Hove.

To join the conversation #WeAreBrightonAndHove

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