International rail transport

Eurostar travel between London, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam could be disrupted in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to one of the 76 notices that have been published about potential issues arising if the UK crashes out of the EU.

The government said it would have to negotiate new arrangements with individual countries to keep trains heading to the continent.

It will also be up to passengers to ensure their insurance and ticket terms cover them in the event of a claim over delays to Eurostar and other cross-border services.

“Passengers using cross-border services are responsible for ensuring that their insurance and ticket terms and conditions are sufficient to cover possible disruption,” the technical notice on rail transport said.

Consumer rights

UK consumers may be in legal limbo if they buy faulty products from EU countries in the event of a no-deal Brexit, even if they take court action.

The technical notice on consumer rights warned there may be no legal protections when buying products and services from EU countries in the future.

“There may be an impact on the extent to which UK consumers are protected when buying goods and services in the remaining member states,” it said.

UK consumers will also no longer be able to use British courts to seek redress from EU-based traders.

“There will no longer be reciprocal obligations on the UK or EU member states to investigate breaches of consumer laws or take forward enforcement actions,” the notice said.

Rail safety

The notice indicated that if there is no deal, UK-based operators running domestic services in an EU country who hold a safety certificate issued by the Office of Rail and Road would need to reapply for a part A safety certificate in an EU country. This also applies to UK-based operators seeking to run new domestic services in an EU country.

The government said operators should begin the process as soon as possible in the event of no deal.

Animal breeding

Bodies involved in the breeding and cross-border sale of thoroughbred dogs, horses and bulls would no longer be recognised in the event of no deal.

In the absence of an agreement, UK breeding operations would no longer be automatically entitled to transport their animals for breeding in stud or other farms. This could have an impact on cattle and horse breeding, where live animals are routinely exported for stud purposes.

“A recognised UK breed society or breeding operation would no longer be automatically entitled to enter their pedigree breeding animals into an equivalent breeding book in the EU, and would have no right to extend a breeding programme into the EU,” said the notice.


Britain’s fishing boats would lose automatic access to EU waters in the event of a no-deal Brexit, and would not automatically be allowed to land their catch at EU ports.

UK fisheries administrations inform quota holders of their allocations in January each year and will seek to do so in 2019 to minimise disruption to fishing and allow the industry to plan for the year.

“There will be no automatic access to exchanging fishing opportunities with EU member states, and no automatic access for EU member states to exchange fishing opportunities with the UK,” the notice said.

Plant breeding

Horticulturalists developing new varieties of everything from roses and apples to wheat currently register them in an official EU plant catalogue.

Variety registration in the UK is led by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), which coordinates almost all testing. In the event of no deal, breeders who sell their seeds or saplings across the EU will have to make two applications for approval to achieve the same geographic coverage, as separate protection would be required in the UK and the EU.

Exporters of animal feed, or genetically modified food, are told they “will need to be established in the EU or EEA, or have a representative that is established in the EU or EEA if they wish to trade in the EU”.

Endangered species trading

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, species that are currently freely moved and traded between the UK and the EU would require a permit or import/export notification.

The UK will remain party to the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora, so traders will need to follow the same processes for approved import and export.

Electricity supplies in Northern Ireland

In the event of no deal, there is “a risk that the single electricity market will be unable to continue” and Northern Ireland’s supply from the Republic of Ireland will be cut off.

The government is looking at contingencies including fallback arrangements to ensure power is able to flow from Great Britain across the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland in the absence of rules for cross-border trading.

It said: “Government or the Northern Ireland utility regulator will act to seek to ensure adequate generation capacity is in place, as far as possible through a competitive procurement process involving existing generation and new generation investment.”|

High-risk food and animal feed

The notice confirmed there will be no checks on high-risk food or animal feed from the EU for a limited period after 29 March if there is no deal.

However, the government will require all importers to pre-notify it of trade as the UK will automatically lose access to the exchange of intelligence on food incidents within the EU, which could relate to anything from an outbreak of salmonella to horsemeat found in beef burgers.

All food of animal origin is classified as high risk under EU legislation, as is some specific food not of animal origin that is used in feed. There are no routine checks at the moment and in the event of no deal, “no new controls” are planned for imports of food or feed currently categorised as high risk.

Importers who transit high-risk food from outside the EU to the UK would need to do so under seal and land at a port where there are border inspection posts, so necessary checks can take place. This would mean importers would have to ensure their products landed in places such as Felixstowe, which has inspection posts, rather than Dover.

Waste disposal

New licences to export waste to EU countries would be needed and exporters “would need to familiarise themselves with the customs guidelines the EU has laid down for imports of waste from outside the EU”.

Exporting cultural objects

A statutory instrument will be drawn up that would revoke the relevant EU regulations in relation to the cultural objects export licensing system on exit day.

From that date, if there is no deal, only a UK licence will be needed to export cultural objects from Britain to any destination, and EU licences will no longer be issued.

EU professionals working in the UK

Lawyers who have qualifications from a European Economic Area country but have not already been approved to use the title of solicitor or barrister in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, will have to take steps to ensure they can still work by transferring into the profession of the relevant UK jurisdiction or working under the supervision of a lawyer qualified to operate.

Health marks on meat, fish and dairy

New marks required for exports of all meat, fish and dairy products will not be available immediately for exporters, an issue already raised by the National Farmers Union, which has been told it could take six months after 29 March for every producer to be audited and approved by EU authorities.

All meat, fish and dairy products produced in the EU currently have to carry a unique identification number. This mark can no longer be carried in the event of no deal and the Food Standards Agency will launch a consultation on alternatives.

Control on persistent organic pollutants (POPs)

These are a group of chemicals including pesticides and banned chemicals such as PCBs that are very toxic and can cause cancer, among other illnesses including birth defects and brain damage.

The UK’s commitment to the ban will not change in the event of no deal, as it is party to the Stockholm convention on POPs in its own right.

Control on mercury

The UK would seek to replicate the current ban on exporting mercury or mercury waste to countries outside the EU. The existing requirement to obtain written consent to import the heavy metal would continue in the event of no deal, as would the strict requirements for storage.


There would not be any policy change on pesticides, and the current processes carried out at EU level by the European Food Safety Authority would be converted into national processes.

All current active substance approvals, plant protection product authorisations, and maximum residue levels in place on 29 March would remain valid in the UK, so businesses could continue to trade and products would continue to be available.

Spotify and Netflix

It also emerged on Friday that consumers may not be able to access online services such as Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime when travelling to the EU on holiday in the event of no deal.

Regarding the “portability of online content service”, a notice published on 24 September but previously unreported said: “The portability regulation will cease to apply to UK nationals when they travel to the EU.”


Jessica Elgot, Heather Stewart and Lisa O'Carroll

The GuardianTramp

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