EU Exit – Trade Agreement Continuity and Data Protection

Two updates provided by BEIS on guidance that will impact members and one request from colleagues at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on an issue that will also have wide-ranging impacts. See below the information provided to ALFED.

Trade Continuity

Liam Fox has made a Written Ministerial Statement today on the UK’s progress in securing agreements with the EU’s existing Free Trade Agreement partners- you can find that here.

There is accompanying guidance on GOV.UK here which includes a table showing the agreements and where the UK has gotten to with negotiations for each. In a deal scenario, the EU has agreed that the UK should continue to be treated as a Member State in international agreements during the implementation period. However, if a deal is not in place when the UK leaves the EU on the 29th March the UK’s preferential access to some of these markets will end. BEIS are happy for our members to approach them directly with their concerns have and are encouraging ALFED to share the guidance to all.

Business readiness tool on GOV.UK

The tool which asks companies questions to narrow down the technical information they have to read now includes pages for companies in particular sectors:

The one for metals manufacturing is here and the one for chemicals is here. For non-metallic materials, the page is still being cleared for publication but should be up soon. BEIS have asked us to encourage members to use the tool if they have not done so already.

Data Protection

As preparations in the case of a no-deal EU Exit gather pace, the Government has established a Task Force to assess and support business readiness in respect of data protection if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.  Colleagues would particularly appreciate your help in understanding:

  • The extent to which your members are reliant on data transfers to and from the EU and EEA;
  • Current GDPR compliance;
  • Awareness of no-deal Brexit risks and management strategies in place; and
  • The right organisations to approach for more detailed conversations.

DCMS is keen to hear any questions our members might have regarding data protection post EU-Exit.  This will help focus government communications and highlight if any bespoke solutions are required. In the meantime, you may find the guidance in the event of no deal Brexit and this helpful information from the ICO useful.

If you are happy to help DCMS, please get in touch with John Beaufoy (; Tel: 0207 211 2138; Mobile: 07517995686).

BEIS will send their next general update next week.

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