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Business Bulletin: Issue Number 52

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Business Bulletin: Issue Number 52

Government seeks views from service sector to support seamless trade across the UK

The UK government has moved to ensure continued seamless trade across the UK by gathering information on services sectors which may benefit from exclusion from some rules in the United Kingdom Internal Market Act (UKIMA).

The UKIMA preserves the flow of goods and services across the country now that the UK has left the EU single market.

Under UKIMA, trade and business can continue as usual across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with no additional burdens or barriers for business.

The consultation launched today seeks information on which services sectors should be excluded from the Mutual Recognition and Non-Discrimination rules introduced in the Act.

The consultation also aims to gather further information on whether any changes should be made to the exclusions carried over by the UKIMA that could help enhance the services market across the UK, and on other ways to help strengthen the United Kingdom’s internal market for services.

This will allow businesses to continue operating as they have done, unless there is a good reason to change.

The UK government is asking businesses to provide information on how they operated under the services rules pre-2021, to ensure the current list of excluded services sectors under UKIMA remains well-targeted.

This will enable the flexible application of new rules and deliver certainty for businesses.

View the consultation in full

Step-by-step plan announced to ease restrictions in England

The Prime Minister, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, announced to Parliament on Monday 22 February, the government’s roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England.

  • It published a four-step roadmap to ease restrictions across England and provide a route back to a more normal way of life. Before taking each step, the Government will review the latest data on the impact of the previous step, against four tests on vaccines, infection rates and new coronavirus variants to be met at each stage:
  • Step 1— no earlier than 8 March* – return to face-to-face education in schools and colleges; the Stay-at-Home requirement will remain, but people can leave home for recreation outdoors such as a coffee or picnic with their household or support bubble, or with one person outside their household. Further limited changes from 29 March, the Stay-at-Home order will end, although many lockdown restrictions will remain, Rule of six or two households outdoors allowed; outdoor sport and leisure facilities open, organised outdoor sport allowed.
  • Step 2 – no earlier than 12 April* – Non-essential retail and personal care open; hospitality outdoors open; indoor leisure (gyms and swimming pools) open and self-contained holiday accommodation open. Event pilots begin.
  • Step 3 – no earlier than 17 May* – Gatherings of over 30 people remain illegal; outdoor performances such as outdoor cinemas, and outdoor theatres can reopen. Indoors, the rule of 6 or 2 households will apply; indoor hospitality, entertainment venues such as cinemas and soft play areas, the rest of the accommodation sector, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes will also reopen. International travel will be subject to review.
  • Step 4 – no earlier than 21 June* – No legal limits on social contact, reopening the remaining closed settings like Nightclubs, and larger events, no legal limit on all live events (all subject to review).

The roadmap can be found here