To help keep people informed about our work, we have compiled answers to the questions we get asked most about the UK's departure from the European Union.
Will there be a second referendum or an alternative to leaving the EU?
No. The country voted to leave the EU and it is the duty of the Government and Parliament to make sure we do just that.
How will you take into account the views of those who did not vote to leave the EU?
Our priority is to build a national consensus around our exit from the EU. We have already started a wide-ranging programme of engagement and are listening to organisations, institutions and companies in as many sectors as possible to establish their priorities, understand their concerns and to hear what they think the opportunities are.
We are going to make the most of the opportunities that leaving the EU presents - getting out into the world and doing business right across the globe, while at home building a Britain that works for everyone.
Exiting the European Union
What is Article 50 and why do we need to trigger it?
The rules for exiting the EU are set out in Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. This is the only lawful route for withdrawal from the EU under the Treaties.
When will Article 50 be triggered?
The Prime Minister has made clear the Government’s intention to trigger Article 50 no later than the end of March 2017.
What is the effect of the Supreme Court decision?
At every stage of this process, the Government has been clear that Article 50 will be triggered by the end of March 2017. The decision by the Supreme Court does not change that commitment.
We have now introduced the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, which is necessary to implement the referendum result and respect the judgment of the Supreme Court.
The British people voted to leave the EU and the Government will get on with the job of delivering on that mandate. As we do so, we will work with Parliament and stakeholders to ensure a smooth and successful exit.
What is the Government doing ahead of triggering article 50?
The Department for Exiting the European Union is responsible for overseeing negotiations to leave the EU and establishing the future relationship between the UK and EU. The Department now has over 300 staff in London and a further 120 people working in the UK Representation in Brussels.
We are currently undertaking two broad areas of work:
We are listening to as many organisations, companies and institutions as possible – from the large PLCs to small business, from the devolved administrations through to councils, local government and the major metropolitan bodies – to build a national consensus around our negotiating position. We are doing this through meetings, visits and a series of sector roundtables, led by the Secretary of State. You can read more about the work of each roundtable, as well as future roundtables and Ministerial visits here.
We are carrying out a programme of sectoral and regulatory analysis, which will identify the key factors for British businesses and the labour force that will affect our negotiations with the EU. This will help inform our negotiating position and build a detailed understanding of how withdrawing from the EU will affect our domestic policies, to seize the opportunities and ensure a smooth process of exit.
Will the Government publish its plan for exiting the EU?
The Government has published a White Paper on the United Kingdom’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union. This provides Parliament and the country with a comprehensive vision of what we are seeking to achieve. It also provides the information to allow debate and scrutiny of our approach.
The White Paper builds on the 12 negotiating objectives set out by the Prime Minister. It sets out a serious and ambitious vision of a new partnership between the UK and the EU that is positive and constructive, a partnership that will be good for the UK and good for the rest of Europe.
How involved will Parliament be in the process of exit?
We have always been committed to parliamentary scrutiny of our withdrawal from the EU, and we have always said that we will observe the constitutional and legal precedents that apply to the final deal agreed between the UK and the EU.
Indeed, the Prime Minister has confirmed that Parliament will have a say on the final deal we achieve with the European Union by putting that deal to a vote in both Houses of Parliament, before it comes into force. We will, of course, continue to support Parliament in its scrutiny role as we enter the negotiating stage.
We have now introduced the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, which is necessary to implement the referendum result and respect the judgment of the Supreme Court. We are committed to giving Parliament sufficient time to consider and debate this Bill.
What will happen after we leave the EU?
The European Communities Act will be repealed on the day we leave the EU – meaning that the authority of EU law in the UK will end. We will convert the body of existing EU law into domestic law and then Parliament will be free to amend, repeal and improve any law it chooses. More information on the Great Repeal Bill is below.
What will you be doing about immigration / freedom of movement?
DExEU is working closely with the Home Office and other Government departments to identify and develop options to shape our future immigration system, including considering the best way to control the number of people coming to the UK following our exit from the EU.
At every step of these negotiations we will work to ensure the best possible outcome for the British people. Rights and status of EU nationals and UK nationals
The rights and status of EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals in the EU is unchanged as we approach our exit.
We want to seek the earliest agreement to protect the status of EU nationals who are already living in the UK, and the status of UK nationals already living in other Member States, following our exit. The Prime Minister has made clear that we stand ready to reach a deal on this right now. It remains an important priority for the UK and many other Member States to provide certainty to these groups as soon as possible.
You can find more advice for EU nationals living in the UK here.
You can find more advice for UK nationals in the EU here.
What will our future immigration system for EU nationals look like?
We will remain an open and tolerant country, and one that recognises the valuable contribution migrants make to our society. However, the message from the public before and during the referendum campaign has been clear: leaving the EU must mean control of the number of people who come to the UK from Europe. We want to see net migration to the UK fall to sustainable levels.
DExEU is working closely with the Home Office and other Government departments to identify and develop options to shape our future immigration system.
Has the decision to leave the EU increased intolerance in the UK?
The Government will not tolerate hate crime or any kind of attacks against people in our country because of their ethnic origin. We are a proud multi-faith, multi-ethnic society and we will stay that way.
The Government is committed to tackling hate crime, which is why we have published a Hate Crime Action Plan which focuses on reducing hate crime, increasing reporting and improving support for victims. We have also launched a new funding scheme to help protect places of worship.
Trade and the Single Market
Now we have a Department for International Trade and for Exiting the EU, who is responsible for what?
The Department for International Trade leads on boosting UK trade: promoting the UK as a place to do business and trade with; driving inward investment; and, in time, negotiating trade deals and free trade agreements.
How will exiting the EU affect trade?
Leaving the EU offers us an opportunity to forge a new role for ourselves in the world: to negotiate our own trade agreements and to be a positive and powerful force for free trade.
The UK has always been a leading voice for free trade in the EU and globally. Outside the EU, we will have the complete freedom to pursue this approach and to push for more open, global trade, supported by strong global institutions like the WTO.
Will the UK remain a member of the Single Market?
The Government will prioritise securing the freest and most frictionless trade as possible in goods and services between the UK and the EU. We will not be seeking membership of the Single Market. Instead, we will pursue a new strategic partnership with the EU, including an ambitious and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement and a new customs agreement.
Will the UK remain a member of the Customs Union?
Negotiating new comprehensive UK trade agreements is a priority for the Government as we leave the EU. We want to have a new, mutually beneficial customs agreement with the EU that supports these objectives, but we have an open mind about the form of that agreement.
What will happen to the future of EU funding for UK projects?
The Treasury will guarantee EU structural and investment projects which are signed before the UK leaves the EU, even if they continue beyond our EU departure – provided they represent good value for money and are in line with the UK’s strategic objectives.
For bids made directly to the Commission by UK organisations: institutions, universities and businesses should continue to apply for funding.
The Treasury will underwrite the payment of such award, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU.
Over the next few months, the Government will engage closely with stakeholders to review all EU funding schemes in the round, to ensure any ongoing funding commitments best serve the UK’s national interests.
What is the European Union (Negotiation of Withdrawal) Bill?
The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill is a piece of legislation necessary to implement the referendum result, and respect the judgment of the Supreme Court. It is not a vehicle for determining the terms of the broader negotiations that will follow.
What is the Great Repeal Bill?
It is a piece of legislation which will repeal the European Communities Act 1972 on the day we leave the EU. This ‘Great Repeal Bill’ will end the authority of EU law and return power to the UK.
This Bill does not prejudge the negotiation. It will not affect when the Prime Minister triggers Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which is what starts the process of our negotiation for leaving the EU.
This is about ensuring that our exit is smooth and orderly, which is in the best interests of the UK and our EU partners. There are decades of EU law to consider, and we must ensure our laws work when we leave and that we provide the maximum possible stability.
How will we assess what EU laws we need?
All Government departments are currently reviewing the EU laws that apply in their policy areas and how our withdrawal from the EU will affect the operation of those laws. Where laws need to be fixed, that is what the Government will do.
How will the Government ensure the views of the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive are heard?
The UK voted to leave the EU, and the UK Government has a responsibility to deliver on that mandate and secure the right deal for the whole of the UK.
We are working closely with the devolved administrations to get the best possible deal for all parts of the UK as we leave the EU. We will give the devolved administrations every opportunity to have their say as we form our negotiating strategy.
That is why the Government has set up a Joint Ministerial Committee on EU Negotiations, so Ministers from each of the UK’s devolved administrations can contribute to the process of planning for our departure from the EU.
MESSAGE FROM THE BRITISH HIGH COME COMMISSION - NICOSIA
Your passport is an important legal document. Identity theft, passport fraud and related crime are on the increase so you need to take good care of it.
Make sure that it is kept in a safe place, is valid and in good condition. At the back of your passport, fill in the contact details of two relatives or friends who can be contacted in case of an emergency.
The British High Commission in Nicosia no longer processes passport applications. Overseas residents can renew their passports here: https://www.gov.uk/overseas-passports
Don't book any travel until you have a valid passport.
For more information about the British High Commission, visit us at: https://www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations/british-high-commission-nicosia
Or visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ukincyprus or Twitter: https://twitter.com/UKinCyprus
For travel advice and information visit: https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/
Fire is a constant and frightening risk in the summer months, and even during other months if the undergrowth is very dry. Members will want to be particularly careful about any discarded glass or shiny metals near their properties. Lighting fires is forbidden.
There also a requirement in Cyprus that land owners should cut any dry grass on their property. If you experience any difficulty over this with your neighbours, the Village Office is very ready to help. It is important safety rule for the whole village.
In any case plan your fire defences: fire extinguishers (and how to use them), other items for dousing fires, hoses and how to use swimming pool water in an emergency.
The Village Office has acquired a small fire engine which is located near the police station. Call them (25222611) or the Village office (25221388). The number of the Limassol fire station is 25805400.
We live in an earthquake zone. Pissouri, in particular is in the highest risk area in Cyprus, being on the major fault that has in the past destroyed Kouklia, Paphos and Curium. Be warned!
There are some 40 to 50 earthquakes around Cyprus every month measuring between 1.5 and 5 on the Richter Scale. The strongest recent earthquake, in 1996, measured 6.5. It was felt all over the island, caused extensive damage to buildings, and two people in Paphos died of heart attacks.
It is not a question of if earthquakes will hit, just a question of where, when, and how powerful. And that is not predictable. Fortunately, building regulations are well abreast of international technology and Cyprus Civil Defence is constantly honing its responses.
The following information has been provided via the Cyprus Civil Defence.
Prepare in advance for an earthquake – it is important to avoid panic. Stock your homes with essential emergency equipment (and store them somewhere easily accessible) such as the following
A first aid kit.
Cash and other valuable objects or documents
A portable radio
A flash light
Dry food and concentrated or powdered milk
Underwear and towels
Install fire extinguishers and learn how to use them. Keep in mind other items for dousing fires (apart from extinguishers) eg water or blankets. Store flammable items in storage rooms and in parts of the house where fires are less likely to arise. Talk to your children’s school about how they will deal with an earthquake. At work assign emergency duties. Appoint people to be responsible for safety, extinction of fires, removal of important objects, orderly evacuation of buildings, circulation of information, rescue etc. Periodically carry out emergency exercises.
Have specialists inspect and repair buildings that are faulty, old or unsteady.
Locate the safest areas in your homes or workplace for protection in the case of an earthquake. Temporary shelters can be under strong tables or desks, next to pillars or under doors. In such places you have a certain amount of protection from falling objects and collapsing walls until you are able to safely evacuate the building or are rescued by a rescue team. You should have always in mind where the electrical switches are located and how they are switched off, to avoid the possibility of an outbreak of a fire. Fires following earthquakes are due to short-circuit and gas leakages, or in an effort to light matches and candles etc, causing casualties and damages.
Place large heavy items which can easily fall and break on lower places. Firmly secure shelves and heavy or high furniture. Do not hang heavy items on ceilings, walls and around beds. Do not place refrigerators, ovens, washing machines, wardrobes etc in areas where they could block exits.
Make sure that the members of your family know how to offer first aid and supply yourselves with necessary provisions (medicines for wounds and eyes, cotton, bandages, antiseptics etc). It is possible that after a strong earthquake medical teams may be overburdened and therefore unable to offer help at once. Start now and periodically repeat self-protection exercises for earthquakes with members of your family at home. This will guarantee self-confidence and limit fear in case of an earthquake.
Remain calm and don’t panic. Panic causes victims. Think of the consequences of your actions in order to react calmly and efficiently. If outdoors, stay there but don’t stand next to buildings, walls, rocks, electricity poles or pylons or other objects that are likely to fall and injure you. Move to the nearest open area and check the situation around you. If you are within a building remain there. In earthquakes many casualties are caused when panic-stricken people try to rush outdoors. Seek refuge under a steady table or desk or under a door. Do not stand next to open windows, balconies or terrace edges. Do not stand next to windows, wardrobes, shelves or objects that may break or fall and injure you. Never use a lift for escape.
If you are in a moving car stop as quickly as safety permits in the best available space (away from high buildings, pillars or rocks). Your car provides sufficient protection. Stay away from the seashore. Do not light matches, candles or other fires. Help children, disabled or sick people to protect themselves.
The hours following an earthquake are critical. Remain calm and try to calm down others who have panicked. Check for casualties. Do not try to move seriously injured people, unless their lives are at stake. Give first aid on the spot.
Extinguish any fires before they spread. Check electrical installations and electrical appliances to see if they have been damaged. If you find any damage, switch off the main switch. If you can smell gas, open doors and windows and switch off the valves of the gas cylinders. Do not remain in or enter buildings that have suffered damage until the appropriate authorities establish that they are safe. Check chimneys for cracks. Unseen damage could cause a fire in the future. Inform the appropriate authorities briefly and clearly when it is necessary, but do not use the telephone unnecessarily. Jamming the lines hinders the services who have to deal with the emergency. Respond to appeals for voluntary help but otherwise keep off the roads, especially in areas in which buildings have collapsed. Do not impede rescue traffic. If you have been trapped and cannot escape, try by all means, but remain calm and give signs of life so that rescue teams can locate you. Don’t touch live cables on the ground or objects touching the cables. After-shocks can be strong and may cause damage. So stay away from damaged buildings. If it is absolutely necessary to enter them do not stay long. After-shocks can cause even greater damage and collapse.
Co-operate with your neighbours to put out fires and help the injured, elderly, disabled and children.