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+44 (0)1309 696900
+44 (0)1309 696900

Brexit FAQ

In the short term

One thing that can be said with certainty is that at present the UK is as much a member of the EU as it has been with all the rights and obligations that entails. No domestic law has been repealed and no international obligation has been revoked. At present nothing in constitutional terms has changed.

Whilst the UK remains a part of the EU we still have to comply in full with the European Cosmetic Regulations, so for now and for the immediate foreseeable future, nothing will change in that respect.

What about the medium to longer term?

As most people will be aware there will be a negotiation period required for the UK to leave the EU. It hasn't started yet and could take up to two years, possibly even longer.

How will Brexit actually happen?

The main route being discussed is that in order to to start the formal legal process the UK will need to notify the European Council of the UK's intention to withdraw from the EU, this formal notice will trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union which sets out the mechanism by which an EU member state is able to withdraw from the EU. Nobody can say for certain when this will be and some countries are pushing for it to happen soon. Prime Minister Theresa May has stated her intention to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017.

After notice is given Article 50 provides for a two year period for the withdrawal to take effect. There will be negotiations between the UK and the European Commission based on guidelines issued by the European Council. The negotiating period can be extended by agreement of all EU member states. If no extension is agreed, the UK would automatically cease to be a member of the EU at the end of two years. It is very possible that even if there is a formal exit after two years a lot of the detail of the negotiations will continue over a longer period.

What will be the impact on existing European Union Regulations such as Regulation 1223/2009 on cosmetic products?

EU Regulations rely on the principle of direct applicability. This means that, in contrast with EU Directives, they are directly implemented into UK law without the need for additional legislation from the UK Government and Parliament. Essentially they have immediate effect.
The Government has announced that they will enact legislation currently being referred to as the 'Great Repeal Act' which will repeal the European Communities Act (1972) and encorporate (transpose) European law into domestic law. The goverment has indicated that these legal changes within the bill would take effect on 'Brexit Day': the day the UK officially leaves the European Union.

What will be the legal and regulatory impact on my business post Brexit?

When and if the UK does leave the EU, it will still be necessary to comply with EU law in order to continue to sell to the EU member states so the current regulations will still remain relevant to businesses doing so.

However, if at the point of exit there are any additional or different requirements placed on us here in the UK then we are confident that we will be able to provide you with all the necessary information and advice to help you make the transition through Brexit as seamless as possible.