A Brexit deal has been agreed in principle with the EU but in order to pass the necessary legislation the EU27 and the UK Government have agreed to a Brexit extension which means the UK will leave the EU by 31 January 2020. Across the UK, prudent planning has been undertaken in addition to routine emergency planning work to ensure we are fully prepared for Brexit.
As a council, Surrey has been planning to minimise the impact of any disruption, including the delivery of our services, signposting residents, partners and businesses to any advice, guidance and information they may need. This involves working with multi-agency partners to help keep Surrey safe, moving, and preventing and minimising any impact of disruption to communities, traffic and the environment.
- How we are preparing for a 'Deal' or 'No Deal'
- EU residents and employees in the UK
- UK nationals visiting, studying or living in the EU
- Businesses and employers
How we are preparing for a 'Deal' or 'No Deal'
Regardless of the political events and developments, it is important that the council and its staff continue to provide services as usual, so we will continue to prepare for both a 'Deal' and 'No Deal' eventuality.
In regards to 'No Deal' specifically, we are following government advice around planning and are continuing to work with them and partners, including the Surrey Local Resilience Forum, to ensure the county and the council is prepared.
We have a designated Brexit Lead Officer, Joanna Killian, Surrey County Council's Chief Executive.
All local authorities have received funding from the government to support their preparations, we have received £87,500 for 2019/20 and plan to use this to support key service preparations.
We have also been awarded £30,000 from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government to spend on additional communications for Brexit preparedness.
Please note we do not have a central record of the funds or other resource spent by individual services in preparation for Brexit.
In addition, preparing for Brexit is part of the council's business continuity arrangements which are considered business as usual activity, the council has not been recording the amount of officer time spent on Brexit preparations.
Our Brexit planning has been centred around the national planning assumptions (or key risks) provided by the government and assessed Surrey specific risks.
We have a Brexit Working Group that mitigates identified internal risks and have been working closely with a range of partners (such as the Local Resilience Forum, health partners, business sector, district and borough councils) to develop robust plans for the county. More details can been found in the cabinet report, February 2019 (PDF) and the cabinet report, September 2019 (PDF).
Health, social care and schools
The council has been instructed by the government not to stockpile. The council also asks residents and other organisations to follow this advice.
In regards to any shortage of provisions we are following guidance and advice issued by the government. The NHS England website has information about medicine availability.
The council have been working with a range of partners to ensure that all key stakeholders are prepared for Brexit. This includes our suppliers, providers - particularly in health and social care - and schools within the county.
We have been liaising with these partners to provide guidance and support for contingency arrangements; share information and to align our plans. This has been conducted through communications (such as letters and bulletins) and workshops.
EU residents and employees in the UK
Some employees may be concerned about any implications regarding employment status. All of our employment legislation is UK law and therefore will continue as before. However we advise those of you who aren't UK citizens to apply for settled status, even though there are no proposed changes to the right to work arrangements for people who are currently living here until 2021.
Apply for settled or pre-settled status
If you are a European Union citizen, you and your family will be able to apply to get either settled or pre-settled status in the UK (GOV.UK). This will mean you can continue living in the UK after December 2020.
We truly value our staff and want our EU workforce to remain in the UK after we leave, so we would really appreciate your help in making this happen by sharing this link to the application process for the EU settlement scheme with as many of your EU team members and colleagues as you can.
Assisted Digital Support
You can get Assisted Digital support (GOV.UK) to use the EU Settlement Scheme online application form if you're in the UK and do not have the appropriate access, skills or confidence to complete the form.
There are a number of Assisted Digital support locations (GOV.UK) throughout the UK, including Caterham and Godalming in Surrey.
UK nationals visiting, studying or living in the EU
Until the UK leaves the EU, the UK remains a full member of the EU and UK nationals retain their legal status as EU citizens. As a UK national, there will be no change to your rights and status if you live in the EU while the UK remains in the EU.
Please see: UK national's living in the EU, but outside of the UK (GOV.UK), and you can search the goverment's country by country guidance (GOV.UK).
Please also see the following topics via the Gov.UK website:
- Visiting Europe - Including passports, driving and travel, EHIC cards, pets and mobile roaming fees
- Buying things from Europe - Including consumer rights, making payments and package holidays
- Studying in the EU- Including information for Erasmus+ students and other options for higher education study abroad
- Family law disputes in the EU - Including divorce and disputes about parental responsibility or child maintenance
- Environment - Includes environmental standards and food labels
- Detailed Brexit guidance - detailed information about Brexit changes if you live in the UK.
Businesses and employers
Businesses should check they have the correct documentation and procedures in place to continue trading without any hitches once the UK has left the EU. This will apply to companies involved in any import or export activity to and from the EU. The farming community and agricultural businesses will need to check whether any special measures will apply to them surrounding animal movements, for instance, or other regulatory procedures.
The government has published guidance for businesses in preparation for Brexit on the GOV.UK website. Topics include:
- Employing EU citizens - Changes to areas include movement of people, settled status and qualifications
- Energy and climate - Changes to areas include energy, renewables, the nuclear industry and regulated carbon emissions
- European and domestic funding - Changes to funding for areas include research and higher education, social and structural development and sector-specific funds
- Health and social care providers - Actions that providers and commissioners of health and social care services should take to prepare for, and manage, the risks of a no-deal exit scenario
- Importing, exporting and transporting - Changes to areas include importing or exporting goods, moving goods across borders, haulage permits, customs and tax
- Intellectual property - Changes to areas include copyrights, trademarks and patents
- Operating in the EU - Changes to areas if your business operates in the European Union
- Public sector procurement - Changes to areas include government contracts
- Regulation and standards for products and goods - Changes to areas if you sell physical products or goods in the UK
- The EU Settlement Scheme - Includes the Employer Toolkit
- Using personal data - Changes to exchanging personal data with another organisation in Europe