As we approach the end of March with little idea of how the UK’s relationship with the EU will develop in the long-term, out of curiosity BALI's Technical Officer Owen Baker checked the odds placed on various Brexit scenarios by bookmakers. As of this week, the odds of the UK leaving the EU without a Brexit deal before 1st April 2019 were 5/1. Interestingly, the odds of another EU referendum before the end of 2019 were 2/1. Whilst the former did not surprise him, the latter certainly did.
As reported by BALI late last year, government websites have issued guidance highlighting the implications of the UK leaving the EU without a deal – with the caveat that leaving with a deal remains a top priority. Leaving with a deal would mean changes to legislation are implemented over a longer time frame as part of a transition period. The details of the transition period have not been finalised, but it is likely to last approximately 2 years post-Brexit. A transition period will mean most aspects of legislation will remain after March 29th 2019 and, whilst the UK will no longer be a member state, ‘market access’ or EU/UK trade will continue on the same terms until the transition period ends.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, changes are inevitable and some of these will affect the landscape industry. For example, plant material imported from the EU will be managed under a UK import control scheme highlighted in detail by Defra and the APHA: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/importing-and-exporting-plants-and-plant-products-if-theres-no-withdrawal-deal . Similarly, the HSE have issued clarification for importers of biocides likely to be imported by the industry: http://www.hse.gov.uk/brexit/biocides-no-deal.htm