From 1 January 2021, the UK will no longer be a part of the EU. Since the referendum result in 2016, the Council has been working hard to make sure North East Lincolnshire is as prepared as possible for this point.
There are a number of key areas that the Council has been working on:
In October this year, a new Border Operating Model was published by government, detailing what additional border infrastructure will be required at ports to handle increased transit and customs controls. The Council is working closely with partners to agree the customs arrangements for 2021 and beyond.
Import and Export controls
There are a range of changes coming in the next six months around export and import health checks for fish, animal and food products. – North East Lincolnshire Council currently contains the Port Health Authority function for Grimsby and Immingham Port. This makes the Council responsible for both port health checks on imported goods and inland food control including export controls. We are currently one of the only Councils in England that handle all disciplines in any larger quantities. Our port health team has significantly increased in size to be able to manage the new arrangements.
Through the last four years, traffic management plans have been drawn up based on key working scenarios as the discussions around how the ports will operate have evolved. These will be kept under review as the new operating procedures around our ports, particularly Immingham, develop in the coming months.
EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
The EU Settlement Scheme enables European Economic Area (EEA) citizens to apply for settled or pre settled status. The deadline for EEA citizens to apply to the EUSS is 30 June 2021. We have been promoting the scheme regularly, and have a duty to make sure all eligible looked after children and care leavers within our care are supported to secure settled status.
Points based immigration system
Free movement between the UK and the EU ends on 31 December 2020 and the UK is introducing a points-based immigration system. Employers will need to become sponsors to hire workers from outside the UK. This is particularly important for our food processing industry here in North East Lincolnshire.
Cllr Philip Jackson, Leader of the Council, said: “Regular engagement with a range of local, regional and national organisations has put the area in the best position possible for the end of the transition period. We know that many people and businesses are worried about the changes, but we have done everything we can to this point to help to make sure the transition from 1 January is as smooth as possible.”