On 28 March 2018, the FCA published a statement on Brexit issues following the political agreement on a transition (or implementation) period. A related speech by the FCA's Chief Executive, Andrew Bailey, has also been published.
The FCA welcomes the agreement on the transition period, which is intended to operate from 29 March 2019 until the end of December 2020, during which time EU law would remain applicable in the UK, in accordance with the withdrawal agreement. The FCA says that firms and funds would continue to benefit from passporting between the UK and EEA during the transition period. Obligations derived from EU law would continue to apply and firms must continue with implementation plans for EU legislation that is still to come into effect before the end of December 2020. Consumer rights and protections derived from EU law would also continue to apply.
The FCA says that in light of the agreement on the terms of a transition period and the UK Government’s commitment to providing for a temporary permission regime as a backstop, firms and funds currently benefiting from an EU passport need not apply for authorisation at this stage. UK firms and funds passporting into the EEA should discuss with their relevant EU regulator the implications of a transitional period for their contingency planning.
On 9 March 2018, the FCA announced the launch of a survey of EEA inbound firms that passport into the UK. The survey is intended to help inform the FCA and to identify firms for which a temporary permission may be relevant. It includes questions covering contact details, the directives under which firms are passporting in to the UK and firms’ intentions around accessing the UK market following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.