The UK has voted to leave the European Union. As a result of this vote the Prime Minister has resigned. What does all this mean and what are the implications with regard to the Tobacco and Related Product Regulations and the wider independent vape industry?
This is what we do know – The current government is still the government and the UK is still a member of the European Union and bound by all obligations of membership. Therefore, at this moment in time, the Tobacco and Related Product Regulations (TPD) are still binding and the industry still needs to comply with them.
As a trade association IBVTA will be meeting with government officials as a matter or priority to discuss the full implications of yesterday’s vote and will keep members fully informed, but for now nothing has changed.
What is likely to happen over the coming weeks?
Firstly, the deal that Prime Minister negotiated with the EU in February, giving the UK a special status as an EU member, will now be scrapped.
The Prime Minister has now said he will stand down by October and pass on to his successor the role of invoking the EU's Article 50 procedure to negotiate the terms of the UK withdrawal.
Article 50 sets a two-year time limit for reaching a deal. It can be extended only if all member states agree.
The process requires the UK to unpick some 80,000 pages of laws binding the UK to the EU. Some will be kept, because some areas of EU policy are shared with non-EU countries, like Norway and Switzerland.
As part of this process, the UK and EU must agree how to divide assets, resolve EU budget issues and set out the future rights of EU nationals in the UK and vice versa.
The settlement requires approval by a majority of EU members, plus the European Parliament, and UK Parliament.
Recently, IBVTA joined forces with FIVAPE to form the European Coalition for Independent Vape. IBVTA will continue to be an active member of ECIV as it is now more important than ever for the stability of our members’ trade with the EU and for wider political engagement.
At all stages of the withdrawal process IBVTA will be working hard to ensure that our members interests are listened to.