There can’t be many people reading this who will be surprised by Brexit. If you have been living under a stone for the last few months, then we have to tell you that the UK is exiting from the EU at 11pm today (31/1/2020).
Finally, after months of negotiation and debate the exit terms have been agreed. The politicians appear to be happy, and both the EU and the UK Government are in agreement over the way forward.
With a transition period agreed, and a plan in place, the UK is now setting off on the path to becoming a country independent of the EU umbrella. Whether you agree or disagree with Brexit, the wheels are in motion, and the journey has begun.
As an independent Internet Telephony Service Provider, the impact on telecoms is our prime focus.
Up to this point, under EU law, telecoms in the UK have been governed by the European Electronic Communications Code, and the BEREC Regulation (Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications).
These lay out the expectations and requirements placed on companies supplying and/ or facilitating electronic communications. This includes, amongst other things, landline and internet-based telephony, mobiles and internet provision.
As we neared the end of our membership within the EU, there has been a great deal of uncertainty. What laws will apply? Will they be from the UK or the EU? If they are coming from the UK, have the laws been drafted yet? Just where are we in the process of creating underpinning legislation?
The process as we understand just now is in place to transit the UK from the EU framework, to a UK framework. So we can all breathe just a little bit easier! At least we have a direction, and businesses can start to plan ahead. This process has been termed the EU Withdrawal Act.
Basically, the Withdrawal Act lays out a transition period, within which current EU legislation will become UK law. This period will last until 31 December 2020. During this time, the EU legislation that is in place at the time of Brexit will become UK law.
The upshot is that the telecoms legislative framework currently in place will last up until the end of this year. The UK has till this date to draft and ratify its own version.
So, no doubt there will be many more negotiations to come, which those of us in the Telecoms Industry will have to keep up to date with. But for consumers and business customers just now, we can announce that the panic is over. At least for now!
More info on the current EU Electronic Communications Laws
More info on the European Electronic Communications Code
More info on the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)
More info on the UK Withdrawal Agreement
If you are still hyper-ventilating in a panic, get in touch and we’ll try and help.