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NFDA Comments: Queen’s SpeechBack

With the importance of securing a beneficial Brexit deal for the UK, and ensuring certainty and stability as soon as possible, we are pleased to see that Brexit was the top priority in the Queen’s Speech

In her Speech, the Queen set out the Government’s plans for the next two years, a crucial period when Brexit negotiations will be taking place. Of 27 Bills unveiled in the Speech, eight relate to Brexit.

Out of the eight Brexit bills, NFDA will pay close attention to the Repeal, Trade, Customs, and Immigration Bills, which will be of primary interest for the retail motor industry during the negotiations. Depending on the outcome of the negotiations, these four Bills could have a significant impact not only the cost of doing business, but also on the cost for consumers when purchasing a vehicle.


Repeal Bill

This Bill will allow for a smooth and orderly transition as the UK leaves the EU, ensuring that, wherever practical, the same rules and laws apply after exit and therefore maximising certainty for individuals and businesses.

The Bill will:

  • repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and convert EU law into UK law as we leave the EU;
  • create temporary powers for Parliament to make secondary legislation, enabling corrections to be made to the laws that do not operate appropriately once we have left the EU. It will also allow changes to be made to domestic law to reflect the content of any withdrawal agreement under Article 50;
  • replicate the common UK frameworks created by EU law in UK law, and maintain the scope of devolved decision-making powers immediately after exit. This will be a transitional arrangement to provide certainty after exit and allow intensive discussion and consultation with the devolved administrations on where lasting common frameworks are needed. The Bill does not put any constraints on the withdrawal agreement we will make with the EU and further legislation will be introduced to support such an agreement if and when required.

Customs Bill

As it stands, the EU customs code applies directly in the UK. The Bill will ensure:

  • that the UK has a standalone UK customs regime on exit;
  • flexibility to accommodate future trade agreements with the EU and others;
  • that changes can be made to the UK’s VAT and excise regimes to ensure that the UK has standalone regimes on EU-exit.

Trade Bill

The Bill will cement the United Kingdom’s status as a leading trading nation, driving positive global change through trade, whilst ensuring UK businesses are protected from unfair trading practices.

The Bill will:

  • put in place the essential and necessary legislative framework to allow the UK to operate its own independent trade policy upon exit from the European Union.

Immigration Bill

With the repeal of the European Communities Act, it will be necessary to establish new powers concerning the immigration status of EEA nationals. The Bill will allow the Government to control the number of people coming here from Europe while still allowing us to attract the brightest and the best.

The Bill will:

  • allow for the repeal of EU law on immigration, primarily free movement, that will otherwise be saved and converted into UK law by the Repeal Bill;
  • make the migration of EU nationals and their family members subject to relevant UK law once the UK has left the EU.

It is also encouraging to see that the Government has introduced a dedicated bill on automated and electric vehicles to help attract investments in infrastructures and support economic growth. However, it is vital that the Government itself also actively invests in the electric vehicle market, particularly on charging infrastructure, as this has the potential to become one of the key forces in the modernisation of the automotive industry.

Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill

The Bill will ensure the UK continues to be at the forefront of developing new technology in electric and automated road vehicles.

The Bill will:

  • allow the regulatory framework to keep pace with the fast evolving technology for electric cars, helping improve air quality;
  • provide for the installation of charging points for electric and hydrogen vehicles;
  • extend compulsory motor vehicle insurance to cover the use of automated vehicles, to ensure that compensation claims continue to be paid quickly, fairly, and easily, in line with longstanding insurance practice.

We will continue to engage with Government and members of Parliament, to ensure that the voice and concerns of automotive retailers are considered during the Brexit negotiations.

Posted by Sue Robinson on 23/06/2017