Expert View: A Legal Perspective
Thomson Hayton Winkley support a range of tourism businesses across the south of the county. As well as offices in Kendal, Windermere, Grange and Kirkby Lonsdale, they have a specialist rural team, The Rural Law Practice at J36 Rural Auction Centre.
From a legal point of view, Commercial Solicitor Stuart Bailey says there are two main legal areas tourism operators should consider when it comes to Brexit:
Currently data can flow freely across the EU as long as companies comply with the UK’s tough new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) introduced in May 2018. If there is a ‘no deal’ the UK will be treated as an external country and there will be what’s called an ‘adequacy ruling’ in the longer term, to show that our data protection standards are up to scratch. (The European Commission has indicated that this won’t happen in a hurry).
In the meantime, there is no issue sending data to EU countries. However, tourism businesses that receive lists and contact details for organisations in the EU may need to take action.
For instance, if you receive data from a European tour company you will need to consider whether you have to comply with the new rules. Ideally you should review your contracts and where absent, include standard contractual clauses to ensure that you can continue to legally receive personal data from the EU and EEA (European Economic Area).
Employment of EU citizens:
The ongoing right of EU citizens in the UK and the reciprocal rights of British citizens in the EU has been one of the key issues during the withdrawal negotiations. The EU Settlement Scheme will provide European workers and their families with a route to living and working in Cumbria beyond 31 December 2020.
Signing up to EU Settlement Scheme is the responsibility of the individual and not the employer. However, companies may want to help advise staff on how to sign up.
Theresa May’s Government also set out plans for a future skills-based immigration system from 1 January 2021. The White Paper proposals included modifying tier 2 of the points-based system by:
- Simplifying the sponsorship regime
- Reducing the skills threshold
- Abolishing the resident labour market test
- Removing the annual cap on the number of skilled workers.
It is not clear how much of those proposals will be adopted by the new Johnson government, but full details of the new immigration system are expected to be announced during the course of 2020.
In the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, there would be a transitional period until the new immigration system comes into force.