RIBA president Ben Derbyshire has said the government’s back-up plans for a ‘no deal’ Brexit only fuel fears about the risks to UK business and the profession
Derbyshire was responding to a series of technical notices announced yesterday by Dominic Raab, secretary of state for exiting the EU, in the event that terms could not be agreed over the UK’s departure.
Without an agreement, the UK will be treated as a ‘third country’ from the end of March next year, with trade instead determined by World Trade Organisation rules and the UK immediately withdrawn from the rights and responsibilities of the Union. A ‘no deal’ would impact on everything from the rights of citizens not currently resident in their home countries, to the provision of goods and services across borders.
The guidance notes, which will be released gradually during the coming weeks, cover subjects ranging from new rules for exports to the licensing of medicines.
According to Raab, the notices are ’practical and proportionate’; will ’prioritise stability for our people, our businesses, and for our country’; and are ‘part of a common-sense approach to planning for a no deal Brexit’.
However, the RIBA president was quick to sound the alarm bells. He said: ’The publication of the UK Government’s technical notices confirm what we all feared: a ‘no deal’ Brexit will be devasting for the UK and needs to be avoided at all costs.
A ‘no deal’ Brexit will be devasting for the UK and needs to be avoided at all costs
’We are now looking to the UK Government and the European Commission to provide real leadership and produce a deal that will provide the clarity and certainty that the UK and Europe needs.’
So far eight key notices affecting the profession have been published namely: UK Government’s preparation for a no deal scenario; Trading with the EU; VAT for business; Banking, insurance and other financial services; Government’s guarantee for EU-funded programmes; Horizon 2020 funding; Workplace rights; and Erasmus+ if there’s no Brexit deal
Derbyshire added: ’The technical notices yet to be published must directly address the issues that businesses and in particular the UK’s globally successful architects, need confirmation of.
’Both the UK government and the EU Commission have recognised the importance of maintaining mutual recognition of professional qualifications following intense campaigning by the RIBA, but we now need absolute commitment on this issue.’
The RIBA has set up a dedicated webpage outlining all the announcements as they emerge.
Speaking yesterday (23 August) Raab insisted that the ’vast majority, roughly 80 per cent, of the withdrawal agreement [had] now been agreed, and we are making further progress on those outstanding separation issues’.
Among the already agreed ’settled issues’, Raab said, was an agreement on citizens rights ’so that 3.5 million EU citizens living in the UK and the one million Brits living in the EU have their rights assured, and can carry on living as they do now.’