Ireland: Brexit: Irish Legislative Update

With 7 weeks to go until Brexit (unless an extension is agreed by the EU and UK to the Article 50 notice), a no-deal Brexit remains a possibility. The Irish Government is moving ahead with the legislation necessary to mitigate the immediate effects of a no-deal Brexit in the areas of insurance, settlement, healthcare, enterprise, energy, education, tax, transport, employment, social protection, extradition and immigration.

Context – European Commission Contingency Action Plan

This follows on from the implementation by the European Commission, in December 2018, of various legislative proposals signposted in its Brexit Contingency Action Plan. At the same time, the Commission signalled to the EU 27 Member States that they should be taking action in the areas of citizens' rights, and social security.

From a financial services perspective, the Commission felt that a limited number of measures required adoption to cater for a potential 'no deal' Brexit as follows:

  • a temporary equivalence decision whereby ESMA can recognise UK-based central counterparties, allowing them to continue providing services in the EU for 12 months following a no-deal Brexit;
  • a temporary equivalence decision whereby UK central securities depositaries (CSDs) will be allowed to provide certain services to operators in the EU for 24 months following a no-deal Brexit;
  • a delegated regulation extending the date of deferred application of the clearing obligation for certain over-the-counter derivative contracts for 12 months in relation to contracts that are novated for the sole purpose of replacing a UK counterparty with an EU27 counterparty; and
  • a delegated regulation allowing contracts with a UK counterparty currently subject to risk management procedures under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation to be novated for a fixed period of 12 months, if the sole purpose of the novation is to replace the UK counterparty with an EU27 counterparty to ensure that those novations are not now subject to margining requirements that would not have applied when they were originally entered into.

Temporary measures were also adopted by the Commission in respect of UK nationals residing in the EU, air transport, road haulage, customs/exports, climate policy, and the PEACE IV and United Kingdom-Ireland programmes.

Irish Government's Contingency Action Plan

The Irish Government published its Contingency Action Plan for a no-deal Brexit in December 2018, confirming that all Government departments had prepared sector-specific plans identifying the key challenges faced by them in the context of a no-deal Brexit, and had identified approximately 45 key issues that would need to be addressed by way of legislation.

General Scheme of Irish Brexit Bill

The General Scheme of the Miscellaneous Provisions (Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on 29 March 2019) Bill was then published by the Government on 24 January 2019. While the Spring Legislative Programme has also been published by the Government, should a no-deal Brexit seem likely, it is expected that all available time in the Houses of the Oireachtas will be dedicated to progressing and enacting the Bill.

Structure of the Bill

The General Scheme summarises what will be in the Bill itself when it is published towards the end of February. The Bill will be an 'Omnibus Bill' i.e. it will cover a number of different economic sectors and pieces of legislation. It is divided into 17 parts, prepared by 9 Government Ministers. Once the Bill becomes law, the relevant Ministers will make the required commencement orders at the appropriate time. The Government's introductory statement to the General Scheme confirms the importance of protecting the Common Travel Area, and the need for a number of measures across the healthcare, transport, energy and education sectors to support cross-border cooperation between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Key elements of the General Scheme are set out below. The Bill itself, when published towards the end of this month, will contain much more detailed provisions:

Part Department Provisions
Part 2 Department of Health Arrangements to facilitate continued access to healthcare in Ireland and the UK.
Part 3 Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation Measures to enable Enterprise Ireland to continue to support businesses through investment, loans, and RD&I grants.
Part 4 Department for Climate, Energy and Communications Modification of Single Electricity Market licences to ensure that the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities has the power to ensure Ireland's compliance with the EU energy regulation framework, and to amend licences as necessary.
Part 5 Department of Education and Skills Measures to ensure grant access for higher and further education students who are studying in the UK, and higher and further education UK-national students studying in Ireland.
Part 6 Department of Finance Amendments across the areas of income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax and stamp duty to ensure continuity for businesses and citizens in respect of current access to taxation measures such as reliefs and allowances.
Part 7 Department of Finance If there is a no-deal Brexit, Euronext Dublin would no longer be able to use CREST (a UK-based CSD) to settle trades in Irish equities and exchange-traded funds. It is proposed that the Minister for Finance be allowed to designate a third-country system, such as CREST, for the purposes of the Irish Settlement Finality Regulations. This means that Irish participants in a UK-based CSD such as CREST would benefit from the protections of the Settlement Finality Directive should that CSD become insolvent. As mentioned at the start of this briefing, the Commission has also adopted a temporary equivalence decision for UK-based CSDs to facilitate the transition by participants to EU-based CSDs.
Part 8 Department of Finance Measures to ensure that Irish policyholders who hold existing life and non-life insurance policies with insurance undertakings (or through insurance intermediaries) who operate in Ireland from the UK or Gibraltar will be unaffected if those undertakings no longer have the right to carry on business in EU Member States on a no-deal Brexit. There will be a run-off period which will allow those undertakings/intermediaries to meet their contractual obligations to their Irish customers for 3 years, but they will not be able to write new business without the appropriate EU authorisation.
Part 9 Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport Measures to facilitate cross-border rail services between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Part 10 Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport Measures to facilitate cross-border bus and coach services between Ireland and Northern Ireland. The National Transport Authority's remit would be extended to cover the regulation of bus services between Ireland and third countries.
Part 11 Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Provision for the continued payment of 21 social protection benefits in line with the Government's commitment to the Common Travel Area.
Part 12 Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Measures to ensure that employees that are employed, or habitually employed, in Ireland will continue to be covered by the Insolvency Payments Scheme where their employer goes into insolvency under UK law.
Parts 14-17 Department of Justice and Equality A number of measures designed to maintain effective extradition arrangements between Ireland and the UK, and to enable ongoing cooperation on immigration.

What happens next?

In parallel with the development of the Omnibus Bill, work is also continuing on 28 Statutory Instruments that the Government has identified as being necessary should a no-deal Brexit materialise.

The full text of the Omnibus Bill is expected to be presented to the Dáil towards the end of February by Simon Coveney TD, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs. As the Bill covers 9 Government Departments, Committee Stage will be taken on the floor of the Dáil, with a view to all TDs having an opportunity to participate in the debate, rather than in multiple individual committees. This should enable the Bill to move through the legislative process more quickly.

As mentioned above, the General Scheme of the Omnibus Bill is predicated on a no-deal Brexit occurring. If the EU Brexit negotiators do not accept Theresa May's proposals for changes to the draft EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, the Bill will need to proceed quickly, in particular if no extension to the Article 50 notice period is sought by the UK.

We will publish further sector-specific updates once the Bill is published towards the end of this month.

This article contains a general summary of developments and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific legal advice should be obtained where appropriate.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions