Brexit – What happened?
On June 23rd 2016, 52% of UK citizens voted in favour of the ‘Brexit’: Britain-Exit of the European Union. This vote comes following much political disagreement, primarily surrounding the open borders policy (free movement) of the EU. The legal process for the UK to leave the EU will be initiated only once the Prime Minister of the UK informs the Council of the European Union of this decision, which will initiate the negotiations between the EU & the UK based on Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon.
Export to the UK – What to expect?
Article 50 requires the ‘exit’ negotiations to be concluded within a time period of two years with a possibility of extension if both sides agree to such an extension (in case of unfulfilled negotiations).
As such, till negotiations evolve into a new treaty and the UK actually exits the European Union, it is very important to stress that for the coming years (possibly until 2020), the UK will remain part of the European Market and selling to the UK will require compliance with EU regulations (!)
However, there are different forces in play which are likely to have an impact on the ‘Brexit’ process:
- UK PM resigning – the new UK government will need time to study the new situation;
- UK Parliament to ratify the referendum – if the UK Parliament does not vote to ratify the referendum, the UK might need to initiate a full scale election;
- Scotland and Northern Ireland vote to remain in the EU – this might mean that they will break out of the UK and join the EU (leaving only England to negotiate with the EU);
- Over 80,000 laws passed in the UK under EU legislation over the past 45 years – these will need to go through ratification;
- The UK wish to remain within the Single (EU) Economic Market – in spite of exiting the EU;
- The EU hard position towards the UK – there is a thought that the UK will be made an example of;
Authorized Representative/ EU Responsible Person is based in the UK?
All of the above will most likely create a long period of uncertainty for manufacturers selling to Europe. Businesses should take preventive actions to ensure stability and continuity of their CE Marking and sales to the European Union.
One of the available solutions which will allow manufacturers to remain in control of their EU market is to initiate the process to replace their Authorized Representative/Responsible Person in the UK with a new provider based in the European Union (one of the remaining 27 EU member states).
For more details on the legal process to replace your legal representative in the European Union, see our videos on the Authorized Representative / Responsible Person.
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