Preparing for No-Deal Brexit

This paper outlines key issues raised by a No-Deal Brexit. It describes, where possible, mitigation that is available to individuals and the University. There are many matters that are uncertain, not least, whether the UK will leave without a deal on 31st October 2019.

What is the impact on colleagues?

EU citizens from countries other than the UK

EU citizens who are resident in the UK before 11pm on 31st October 2019 will be able to remain in the UK but will need to apply for EU settled status. This process is live now and colleagues have until 31st December 2020 to do this. The application process is free. Colleagues are encouraged to apply for settled status, particularly if they may need to travel abroad after 31st October 2019.

After 31st October 2019, EU citizens wanting to visit the UK for longer than 3 months will need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain (ETLR).  According to the latest government information this can be applied for up to 3 months from entering the UK and lasts for 36 months from entry. Again, the application is free, and people will have until 31st December 2020 to apply. Time spent in the UK under ETLR will count towards any qualifying period of settlement in any future immigration system.

A new points-based immigration system is likely to be implemented by 1st January 2021 but those with ETLR will only be required to apply when their ETLR is due to expire. If a person chooses not to apply for ETLR, they must apply for the right to remain in the UK under the new immigration rules by 31st December 2020.

Families of EU nationals who come to work in the UK under these arrangements are subject to the same rules. This includes any non-EU family members.

Some colleagues are understandably anxious about the current situation, which is not helped by inconsistent and sometimes unhelpful rhetoric from politicians. The University takes this opportunity to unambiguously express our appreciation of colleagues from other parts of the EU, and reaffirm that we are grateful they are part of our community.

The University’s Brexit website has advice and guidance.

Eversheds Sutherland will be providing a number of sessions on campus on issues connected to residency and immigration. 

Brexit and Free movement (EU/EEA staff colleagues)

  • Date: Tuesday 22nd October 2019
  • Time and Venue: 9.15 am to 12.30 – Room BE.064, Business School
  • Time and Venue: 1.30 – 5pm – Room BE.064, Business School

Eversheds will be presenting an up to date picture for EU/EEA staff on Brexit and free movement.

The areas covered will be

· Pre Settled and Settled status and the application process
· What happens if there is a ‘no deal’
· European Temporary Leave
· Next Steps

If you would like to book a space on one of these session’s please email OD@lboro.ac.uk before 11 October 2019.

Travel outside of the UK on 31st October

EU colleagues who are outside of the UK on 31st October should be able to re-enter the UK without challenge. But given uncertainty about disruption at the border, there is a risk that re-entry may not be trouble free. Colleagues and students travelling around this time are asked to take a letter from their Head of Service or Dean confirming their employment/student status and residence with the University.

Travel at other times

There may be a delay and visa complications for UK citizens entering EU countries especially in the short term after leaving the EU.

European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) will become invalid and individuals will need to make sure that they carry a certificate from the University’s insurers when travelling on University business, in order to be covered.

Professional qualification recognition

The uncertainty around mutual recognition of professional qualifications (MRPQ) could potentially disincentivise individuals from around the world studying subjects covered by the current MRPQ Directive (e.g. architecture) from coming to the UK. More detail will follow.

Contact for more information: Anne Lamb, Deputy Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development.

What will be the impact on students?

Immigration considerations for students registered for an award from Loughborough University

As per the guidance for staff, EU citizens who are in the UK before 11pm on 31st October 2019 will be able to remain in the UK but will have to apply for EU settled status prior to 31 December 2020. That can lead to the granting of 5 years’ pre-settled status, and after 5 years’ residence in the UK ‘settled status’ (permanent residence) can be obtained.  Between 1st November 2019 and 31st December 2020 EU citizens will continue to have a legal right to remain in the UK and study, until Parliament passes an act to end freedom of movement.

As things stand, EU students entering the UK from 1st November 2019 would also be subject to the European Temporary Leave to Remain (ETLR) systemallowing them to stay in the UK for up to 3 years. Students wishing to study for longer than 3 years (undergraduates and postgraduate research students would be particularly affected) are expected to be able to start on the ELTR and then would have to apply for a Tier 4 visa.  As things stand, students entering the UK from 1st January 2021 would be required to apply for a Tier 4 visa.

Those coming post-Brexit to study for longer than 3 years could start with 3 years’ ELTR and then have to change to another visa, rather than have to start under a visa such as Tier 4.  ELTR is referred to as a ‘temporary bridge’ in the no deal policy paper – allowing people to ‘stay’ longer in the new UK under the ‘new’ points-based system for example. We presume that students would be able to switch status in the UK rather than have to return home.  The exact form of leave that students who start a course of longer than 3 years’ duration would required to complete their studies, and how it can be obtained. is unknown, but it can be assumed to be a relatively expensive visa application.

It is not yet known whether the University would be required to undertake ‘right to study’ checks on all EU students who began their studies before the UK left the EU.

Contact for more information: Richard Barber, Assistant Registrar (Student Office)

Financial considerations for students registered for an award from Loughborough University

EU students starting their studies in 2019/20 or 2020/21 will be charged the same tuition fees as UK students, and will be eligible to apply for the same funding as they do at present. The funding will cover the duration of the student’s course. It is not yet known what arrangements will be in place for 2021/22 and beyond. Once the UK leaves the EU it is expected that EU student fees will no longer be tied to UK student fees, and the University will need to make a policy decision on fee levels.

The current undergraduate admissions system does not provide clarification on whether an applicant is paying a UK fee or an EU fee. Postgraduate taught and research student applicants are already differentiated.

The funding bodies in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, have all given reassurances to EU nationals about continuing student finance eligibility for those already on courses.

There are therefore no guarantees for EU students starting their course after 2021 and there is the possibility they could be charged international rather than home fees from that point.  But the process has yet to be confirmed.

Checks by third parties who need to check if students have immigration permission in the UK:

Until 31st December 2020 employers, landlords or educational institutions will be able to carry out a right to work, rent or study check on the same basis as is currently the case – using their passport or national identity card, or by granting them access to their digital status under the EU settlement scheme or under the ETLR

Contact for more information: Richard Barber, Assistant Registrar (Student Office)

ERASMUS+

The University has received the first instalment (70%) of its ERASMUS+ funding for Key Action 103 Higher Education Mobility for Students and Staff for 2019/2020.  The full award has been registered on the Cabinet Office portal for the government guarantee which will underwrite the funding in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

If the UK leaves EU without a deal, the University will make a claim against the government guarantee thatwill cover the ERASMUS+ Key Action 103 funding for 2019/2020.  If there is a deal, the University will continue to participate until the end of 2020, when the current ERASMUS+ programme is due to end.  Participation beyond the end of 2020 is dependent on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

The University is communicating with its ERASMUS+ partner institutions in order to ensure their continued co-operation in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Contact for more information: Julie Hibbert, Institutional Exchange Co-ordinator

What will the impact on research be?

Research contracts

The government’s underwrite guarantee and Post EU Guarantee Extension remain in place if commitments made in the Joint Report are not met.

The University has provided details of all current Horizon 2020 (H2020) projects to UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and has continued to update this list as new funding is secured.

UKRI have advised that they will issue detailed guidance regarding the practical steps to be taken by institutions in order to move projects from the EU management system onto JeS. They have informally advised that EPSRC will manage the process. Iit is likely that UK institutions will no longer be able to act as Project Coordinator for EU bids post-Brexit, and will need to relinquish this role to an EU-based collaborator and continue involvement in the capacity of project partner for the remainder of the project lifespan.  They have also advised that all filings agreements and expenditure statements associated with each live project will be required to be up to date by 31st October 2019.

Research collaborations

Loughborough University will likely become ineligible to compete for the globally prestigious research funding from the European Research Council (ERC) and Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions (MSCA) post-Brexit.  Academic recruitment may become less competitive in attracting global research talent than other EU research establishments.

If the UK becomes a third country after exiting the EU without a deal, UK researchers will not be able to lead EU research projects.

The University will also face not being invited into EU research consortia at least in the short term, which risks exclusion from new EU research funding and collaborations with academic peers across the EU.

Research equipment

Loughborough University staff who are reliant on research facilities in Europe (eg CERN) need to consider how access may be affected post-Brexit.  Use of Loughborough-based facilities by EU organisations needs similar consideration.

Contact for more information: Catherine Allford, Head of Research Development

What are the changes to Data Protection and GDPR?

Transferring personal data from the UK to EU countries

In the event of a no-deal Brexit the flow of personal data from the UK to recipients in the EU will not be disrupted.  The UK government recognises the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as providing appropriate protection to the privacy of personal information. However, it cannot be assumed that data will automatically flow from the EU/EEA to the UK.

Transferring personal data from EU Countries to the UK

So that personal information relating to EEA citizens can continue to flow between the EU/EEA and the UK, the European Commission will need to accept the UK as an ‘Adequate’ Country.  A formal adequacy agreement with the UK cannot be agreed until after the UK has left the EU. It is unclear how long this adequacy process will take. In the meantime, the University will rely on establishing standard contractual clauses as a means of providing assurance that appropriate safeguards are in place to protect the privacy of any personal information transferred from the EU/EEA to the UK.  Standard contractual clauses will not be in place in all arrangements involving personal data by 31st October, however the obligation to determine whether to share information will rest with the organisation or individual in the EU, not the UK. Either party may put in place standard contractual clauses.

Direct transfer of personal information from EU citizens to the UK

Where EU citizens provide their personal information directly to the University, these arrangements will be unaffected by a No-Deal Brexit.  However, it may impact on EU students coming to the University to study where they are applying via their institution acting on their behalf.

Contact for more information: Claire Vallance, Information Governance Manager

What impact will it have on IT services?

Cloud services

Cloud services (for example Microsoft) should be unaffected as suppliers now include standard contractual clauses in their master services agreements as a matter of course.

The Research Data repository and the Institutional Repository, which are hosted on Amazon cloud infrastructure in the EU, should also be covered by standard contractual clauses.  Smaller suppliers will be using cloud providers such as Amazon behind the scenes who may locate our data anywhere across the EEA and the UK, but again these should be covered by the contractual clauses.  IT have requested clarification and are awaiting responses from other important cloud-based system suppliers including Lecture Capture and the Library Management System.

Infrastructure

The majority of replacement hardware parts for key suppliers - Cisco, NetApp, HP and Dell - come from the Netherlands, therefore there is the possibility of customs clearance delays.  IT have developed key infrastructure to be fault tolerant and resilient.  IT Services hold a small cache of critical spare parts in stores but this is not exhaustive.

All major support and maintenance contracts are with large multinational companies and so less likely to suffer.  A moderate risk has been identified for On365, which is a Loughborough-based company providing the University with UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) support for the smaller units not managed by Facilities Management.

Jisc/Janet Network Support

Jisc, who provide the Janet network (the Internet Service Provider for the UK academic section), have stated that no immediate residual risks have been identified following Jisc’s stated mitigations.

Contact for more information: Vipin Ahlawat, Director of IT Services

What impact will a no deal Brexit have on finance and procurement?

Finance

The University’s treasury policy is prudent, both in terms of who we hold our funds with and the returns we seek to achieve. The focus is on safeguarding University assets as opposed to maximising potential returns and therefore risks due to Brexit are fewer than they may otherwise be.

We do not seek to manage exchange rate risk via hedging as our exposure is relatively low. Depreciation of sterling continues to make the UK a more attractive place (financially) to come but it does continue to drive inflation through imported products (directly or indirectly). Any decisions around Tariffs could also potentially drive inflation, but this will be reviewed at a University level.

We are in dialogue with the University’s primary bank to ensure that we are aware of any risks from their perspective too.

From an external banking sector perspective, commentary is suggesting that the UK banking sector will withstand any shocks and that changes implemented post the banking crisis a decade has helped negate this issue.

Contact for more information: James Henry, Deputy Director of Finance

Buying goods and services

At the end of 2018 the procurement team wrote to all key suppliers, asking them for any anticipated adverse no-deal Brexit impacts, and their mitigation plans.  Of the 50+ that we contacted we received replies from approximately 50%.

The primary response was that suppliers are increasing inventories or had limited supply chain exposure to the EU. Therefore, instances where we need to stockpile products ourselves should be few.

The HE sector framework agreements (against which goods contracts are called off) include clauses surrounding Brexit that might avoid some of the price fluctuations.

The current procurement regulations, as set out in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 will continue to apply, with only minor amendments.

Contact for more information: James Trotter, Head of Procurement

Will there be any impact on catering?

Food

Suppliers of food may be affected by higher prices/tariffs and import delays and therefore shortages of fresh food may occur. Catering for Halls and catering outlets across campus usually carry fresh food to last for 3 days.

Contingency arrangements are in place including additional dry goods, alternative menus and some additional refrigeration subjected to availability. We are also looking specifically at the products affected by Brexit and placing advance orders with our suppliers.

Suppliers of services to imago have also been contacted including laundry, specialised contractors to ascertain the likelihood of Brexit impacts on them or their secondary suppliers.

Contact for more information: Gagan Kapoor, Head of Food and Drink

Will there be any impact on building projects?

The design phase of ongoing and future projects should be substantially unaffected by any Brexit decisions at this point.  There are however concerns around:

  • Higher tariffs/import charges on imported construction material
  • Delays in availability of material
  • Building contractors and sub-contracted companies’ financial viability
  • Availability of labour

Suppliers have cited availability of labour as their key concern.

Contact for more information: Graham Howard, Director of Estates and Facilities Management

Will purchase and delivery of technical consumables be impacted?

Chemicals

The UK will not be part of the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) and will lose the ability to import/export chemicals as it will not comply with REACH regulations and CLP regulations. This would have very significant implications for the University.  In the event of a no deal Brexit the EU REACH regulation will be brought into law by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, thus creating UK REACH Regulation.However, it would take several weeks for this to process and so supply delays are inevitable.

There may be possible delays to obtaining helium. A lack of supply would affect lots ofequipment across campus including the MRI and NMRs.

Nuclear

Medical Isotopes – there may be a shortage of supply due to the issues outlined above and border issues. This may temporarily stop research/trials being done in collaboration with UK hospitals.

Biological

Biological issues – Access to human tissue, cell lines, growth media and antibodies may be temporarily restricted due to the loss of exemptions in export/import regulations.

Contact for more information: Julie Turner, Strategic Scientific Development Officer and Radioactive Waste Advisor