Online only

Brexit: Family Permits, empty shelves, copyright...

BREXIT IS far from done. Apart from the continued random non-availability of some items on supermarket shelves, there are other less-high-profile Brexity things to worry about.

Euro Café and Restaurant, West Sheen, London SW14

Euro Café and Restaurant, West Sheen, London SW14

UK nationals who have lived in the EU for a while and who plan to return to settle in the UK with their EU national spouses and dependents now need a Family Permit for their family members to settle permanently in the UK. The Permits allow longer visa-free stays in UK, while holders are allowed to work in the UK too. The covid pandemic has delayed the processing of Family Permits for many months. These delays have split up families - EU nationals have had to return to the UK to start jobs there, leaving their spouses and children waiting in their EU Member State for a permit to join them and settle in the UK. The Home Office has admitted that it has declined to put extra resources into expediting Family Permit applications.

If you leave a customs union, then...

New border checks for goods entering the UK from the EU and vice versa have come into effect as of 1 January 2022. Export Health Certificates are now needed for some foodstuffs.

Importers of goods into the UK from the EU need to "pre-notify" customs authorities of any plant or animal products and also prove in advance that the goods they're bringing in are tariff-free. Previously importers could do this on arrival, not any more - the paperwork now has to be submitted in advance. Offices that issue the documents needed are strictly Monday-to-Friday operations in some EU countries. Expect further disruption to the supply chain.

Even copyright is drawn in...

And the NUJ has made a submission to a post-Brexit consultation on changes to copyright law and specifically to "copyright exhaustion". If the UK government takes the wrong decision - which is the more "Brexity" one - it will allow cheap editions of books from other countries to be sold in the UK, which would represent a considerable threat to authors' royalties.