Brexit is likely to affect some day-to-day consumer issues, particularly in a no deal scenario. In such a no deal scenario, the departure of the UK from the EU is likely to create some confusion, and on occasion difficulty, around your consumer rights and options.
Here we outline some information on how services like finances, online shopping, food prices and Consumer rights may be affected.
Making or receiving financial payments
The UK Government committed to keep its payment rules in line with SEPA in order to continue its access post Brexit. Continued access has now been approved and Brexit should not affect transfers in euro moving between accounts in the UK and accounts in the EU.
The majority of insurance firms selling policies from the UK and Gibraltar into Ireland are implementing plans to ensure service continuity post-Brexit, including in the event of a no deal Brexit. The Government has also planned legislation to ensure continuity of service for existing contracts for a period of three years.
Currently when you purchase something from outside the EU, you pay VAT when the value is over €22 and you pay import charges on items over €150. When the UK leaves the EU, these costs will apply to items from the UK. Therefore:
· Know where the company you are buying from is based.
· Always read the retailer’s terms and conditions carefully before buying, particularly around your rights to cancel the order, exchange or return the goods. If the website is not based in the EU, this becomes even more important.
· Before ordering from outside the EU, find out what VAT and import charges you may have to pay.
EU consumer law will not apply to the UK after its departure from the EU. Current redress mechanisms, as provided for under EU consumer law, will therefore not be available. E.g. if you are in a dispute with a UK-based trader, you may not be able to avail of the European Consumer Centre network or the European Small Claims Procedure.
However, consumers in Ireland can take individual action through the Irish Courts if they have purchased online from UK traders who do business in the EU.
Mobile phones & roaming
In the event of no deal, mobile operators would no longer be legally required to offer roaming at no additional charge to customers travelling to the UK when they exit the EU. That is a commercial decision for mobile operators.
When the UK leaves the EU, Irish audiences will still have access to those channels which are currently available in Ireland but broadcasting from the UK. The UK has also undertaken to ensure that RTÉ and TG4 continue to be available in Northern Ireland post-Brexit.
It is important to note that Ireland exports more food than it imports. We will have food in the event of a no deal Brexit. If however there is no deal, recent commentary points out that currency fluctuation coupled with trade tariffs might mean an impact on the costs of imports.
Access to health services
Irish citizens and British citizens who live in, work in, or visit the other State will continue to have the right to access healthcare there. The Government has introduced legislation to ensure these access arrangements can be maintained post-Brexit, even in the event of no deal.
Cross border access to health services
Cross border health services (like the cardiology and cancer treatments in Altnagelvin, Derry and paediatric cardiology and maternity services in Dublin) are managed by service level agreements. Even in a no deal Brexit scenario, services like these can be expected to continue.
For more information on this and other topics, check out our blog or get in touch with one of our experts today.
All the best,
The Team at Gallivan Financial