Lifting and shifting our way to "on" shore?

An orderly exit from the EU inevitably involves adapting the UK legal and regulatory regime for life outside the EU. With four decades of EU law and rule-making deeply embedded in every part of UK law and practice, how this is managed is integral to planning for an orderly exit for the UK from the EU.

In that context, the EU (Withdrawal) Act seeks to domesticate - or ?onshore? - EU law in order to promote continuity and avoid sudden and unpredictable legal changes in the UK in the event of a ?no-deal? outcome. The UK government's approach is to continue to apply (or retain) the overwhelming bulk of the EU legal and regulatory framework at the point of the UK's exit from the EU, without seeking to change its policy intent unless necessary - in other words ?lift and shift?. The emphasis has been on continuity in the day-to-day regulatory framework, over discretionary policy change. This pragmatic approach is the right one for banking and capital markets services, and for the UK economy as a whole.

However, the sifting, sorting and analytical exercise is on a scale that has no precedent in recent UK law-making. This work is also being conducted under considerable time pressure which can - even with best efforts and intentions - lead to unintended consequences, overlaps and at best, a need for additional guidance. The collaboration between government and industry during this project has been of critical importance, and of great value to UK Finance and its members.

We continue to work closely with our partners, and to date we have assessed close to 40 legal instruments relating directly to financial services which have been published and/or laid in parliament, with a handful more to come. We have also responded to a number of onshoring related consultations issued by the FCA and Bank of England - you can view our responses here. It's important to reiterate this new framework, which only comes into force on exit day should there be no ratified withdrawal agreement and subsequent transition period, is not designed to make substantive policy amendments but rather to reflect the UK's new status as a 'third country? outside of the EU. Furthermore, in relation to financial services, this ?onshoring? process, effectively aims to establish an operational legal and regulatory safety net for the UK in the event of ?no-deal? and therefore minimises cliff-edge disruptions to the industry and, by implication, the wider economy. The process is cross-cutting in nature, addressing a wide range of interlinked financial regulation and policy that spans from mortgages and payments to derivatives and clearing houses.

For more information on the ?no-deal? preparations UK Finance is undertaking with its members, please email:

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