When she stood on the steps of Downing Street, prime minister Theresa May could not have been clearer that “Brexit means Brexit” and at the Tory Party Conference she reinforced this with a vengeance.
We now have a date – 31 March 2017 – by which Article 50 will have been invoked and our two-year European Union exit process started. So, a bit like Monty Python’s ‘dead parrot’ sketch, by 31 March 2019, our membership of the EU will be finished, dead, kaput, expired.
However, in addition to working out what investment strategy to advise clients to adopt, many advisers are asking what impact leaving the EU will have on the countless rules and regulations we face in our everyday business lives.
The answer at this stage is “very little”. There are three key reasons for this; firstly the government’s initial strategy on Brexit is to basically transfer all EU law verbatim to UK law and frankly, given the timescale, it is hard to see how it could do otherwise.
Secondly, after more than 40 years of European law, it would be counterproductive just to ditch everything. Much of the current regulation has been strongly influenced by our own regulators, who would definitely not want to see it discarded.
Lastly, as a result of MiFID II, we are on the cusp of a whole raft of changes to regulation, which are likely to come into force when MiFID II takes effect on 3 January 2018.
This particular consultation paper is likely to be the most relevant to the delivery of financial advice in all its various forms. Comments on most of the paper are required by 4 January. However, in the case of Chapter 16, which concerns supervision, authorisation and approved persons, comments must be in by 31 October. This is an unusually short period. So, if you want to comment, you need to get onto the FCA website as soon as you can to read chapter 16 of CP16/29.
Ken Davy is chairman of SimplyBiz Group