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Preparing for Brexit

Brexit and Bracknell Forest

On 29 March 2017, following the public vote to leave the European Union (EU), the UK triggered Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon commencing the process of withdrawal from the EU, commonly referred to as Brexit.

Leaving the EU will mean there are a number of changes that will affect business and individuals. Information has been produced by the government to help prepare for Brexit.

Council preparations

The council is continuing to evaluate and understand the potential local implications of Brexit. Steps are being taken to reduce any negative impact and to take advantage of emerging opportunities.

The council is working closely internally as well as externally with suppliers and contractors. This will make sure of the continuity of services for businesses and residents. We are in regular communication with wider networks to make sure of efficient planning and response mechanisms.

Cllr Paul Bettison, OBE, Leader of the Council, provided the following update at full council on 11 September 2019:

“To prepare our services and community for Brexit, a comprehensive action plan has been developed building upon that which we developed – and I reported to council – in the spring.

“A dedicated working group has been established to collate information from across the organisation and to complete scenario planning for potential no deal situations and worse case scenarios. This also provides effective communication channels directly from services to the joint emergency planning team, corporate management team and onwards to national bodies.

“We are planning for Brexit scenarios in line with guidance and information provided through the connections with the local resilience forum, regional chief executives’ network and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

“The council has been allocated an additional £105,000 of funding to support preparations for exiting the EU, this is in addition to the previously allocated £210,000. This money will be used to support our continued and timely planning for Brexit, providing additional staffing resources, expertise and resilience, where needed.

“Internally, all services have been considering areas of business continuity such as disruption to IT, workforce and supply. Risks specific to Brexit have also been captured in a specific risk register, which is reviewed and updated regularly. Work is on ongoing within services to liaise with partners and contractors to make sure that Brexit plans are in place with defined communication channels."

Response to requests for information on our preparations

We hold a number of documents relating to the potential impact of the EU exit on Bracknell Forest which, given the fluidity of the situation, are subject to frequent change.

Information recorded by us for the purposes of planning for the EU exit is exempt from disclosure at this stage, under Section 36 (2)(b)(i)(ii) and 36 (2)(c) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This is because disclosure would be likely to inhibit the free and frank provision of advice and exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation and prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs.

Information for residents

The government has issued information on how to prepare for Brexit if you live in the UK. It includes:

EU settlement scheme

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply now to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021.

The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021 if a deal is agreed. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal you must apply to the scheme before 31 December 2020.

You can apply using any device, for example, a laptop or smartphone.

Full information on how and where to apply and what documentation you will need can be found on apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

If you are an Irish citizen or have indefinite leave to remain you do not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

UK nationals living in the EU

If you are a UK national living in the EU there will be no change to your rights and status until after Brexit. You can still work, access healthcare and collect your pension as you do now.

After Brexit, your rights may change. Keep up-to-date via Living in the UK: prepare for Brexit or check specific guidance for the country you live in.

Healthcare and medication

The government is working closely with the NHS and suppliers to help make sure that medicines and medical products continue to be available for patients if there is a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

Please keep ordering your repeat prescriptions and taking your medicines as normal. It is unnecessary to change how you order and take your medicines.

It's important you don't ask for more medicines than you normally need, doing so risks pressure on availability of medicines for other people.

More information can be found on the NHS website.

Information for businesses

The government has prepared advice for businesses and self-employed people in readiness for the UK’s departure from the EU.

If you trade any goods or services with the EU you’ll need to get ready for Brexit.

For example, you need to take action if you:

In particular, your contracts may need updating to continue lawfully transferring personal and customer data between the EU and UK.

You’re also advised to check new guidance if you manufacture or distribute goods to the EU.

Anyone practicing and serving clients in the EU may need to have their professional qualifications accredited. Check and apply by 31 October 2019.

More advice

The Thames Valley Business Growth Hub has information available for local businesses on how to prepare.

The Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce has a Brexit checklist available for businesses.