Leaving the European Union with a deal remains a United Kingdom Government (UKG) priority and an agreement has been reached with the EU on an extension until 31 October 2019 at the latest, and crucially with the option to leave earlier as soon as a deal has been ratified.
No Deal remains the legal default at the end of the extension period. As a responsible government, UKG have been preparing to minimise any disruption in the event of no deal for more than two years.
During the course of the extension, the UK will continue cooperation as a full EU Member State with all the relevant rights and obligations.
In his ‘Catch up’ with the media on Thursday, June 23rd, His Excellency the Governor explained to the media that given the delays, the BVI is being reassured that UKG is working hard for its best interests.
He said, “I can confirm that the UKG will continue to ensure that the interests of BVI are represented and reflected in negotiations with the EU.”
- In a no-deal scenario, BVI goods will continue to enjoy UK market access on current terms by virtue of an arrangement between UKG and all the OTs. The arrangement is implemented under the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Act and is published on gov.uk. In the event of a deal UK and EU market access will continue throughout any implementation under current arrangements. UKG will be negotiating the best possible access to the EU market for OT goods as part of the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
- UKG will guarantee EU-funded projects under the European Development Fund (eg 2m Euros for shelters in BVI), BEST (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories), Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ that have been agreed before exit day for the lifetime of those projects if the EU ceases payments. This guarantee provides more certainty for project participants over the course of EU exit.
- UK degrees are recognised in many countries around the world, and there are a number of agreements between different countries that support this. Some of these are not related to the EU, which means that after the UK leaves the EU, most academic qualifications will still be recognised. Recognition of some professional qualifications is more complicated, but UK universities are hoping that the mutual recognition of professional qualifications will continue. You can find out if your chosen subject is academic or professional by speaking to your university. UK universities are working with their partner universities across the EU to make sure that student exchanges can still take place even with a no deal.
- British Overseas Territory Citizen passport holders’ rights are not predicated on the UK’s membership of the EU and will not change as a direct result of EU exit. This includes 90-day visa-free access to the Schengen area in any 180 days. Eligibility criteria for British passports (of all types) will not change as a result of EU exit. The “European Union” branding on British Citizen passports will not affect their validity after EU exit. UKG has committed to ensure the future relationship with the EU delivers for the whole of the UK family. This includes ensuring our future mobility arrangements consider the specific needs and requirements of the Overseas Territories.
- Please be aware that rules for travel for British Citizen passport holders to most countries in Europe change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. If your adult passport was issued over nine years ago, you may be affected. Please visit the relevant travel advice page on gov.uk. You can use this online tool to check whether your passport is still valid for your trip before you book. If you or your family live overseas, for up-to-date information for the country in which you live please find out about your British Embassy’s outreach events by signing up to email alerts, and please visit the relevant ‘Living in’ page on gov.uk.