12.These draft Regulations amend EU-derived regulations which protect consumers buying package holidays or linked travel arrangements (LTAs) to ensure that these protections can continue to operate effectively after the UK’s departure from the EU. Under the current arrangements, businesses are required to provide information to travellers about their package holiday or LTA, including about their statutory rights. Businesses also need to have adequate insolvency protection to cover refunds and the repatriation of passengers, with EU Member States mutually recognising their insolvency protection arrangements. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) explains that the draft Regulations revoke this mutual recognition as it would be inappropriate for the UK to recognise unilaterally the insolvency protection of EU businesses when it is unlikely that UK businesses will continue to benefit from that recognition in the remaining EU Member States. Under the new rules, EU businesses will be required to comply with UK insolvency protection rules if they sell package holidays or LTAs in the UK. The draft Regulations also propose a new obligation on UK businesses that sell package holidays that have been put together by an EU business: they will be required to comply with UK insolvency protection requirements unless they can demonstrate that the EU business has taken out appropriate insolvency protection. BEIS says that while this could cause extra cost to UK businesses, in practice the impact is expected to be insignificant because of the requirement for EU businesses to hold insolvency protection if they direct business into the UK.
13.In the Explanatory Memorandum to these Regulations, HM Treasury (HMT) says that the Government have decided to legislate to ban pensions cold calling because it was becoming increasingly clear that direct intervention was necessary to curb the threat of pension scams in the UK. These Regulations propose therefore to restrict firms from making unsolicited direct marketing calls to individuals regarding their pensions schemes. They also propose two exemptions to this restriction: either where the individual being called has given consent to the caller to receive direct marketing calls in relation to pensions; or where the recipient of the call has an existing client relationship with the caller such that they would reasonably envisage receiving direct marketing calls in relation to pensions. The Regulations enable the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to take enforcement action against those who contravene the Regulations: they may be liable to pay compensation to the victim and may be subject to enforcement action by the ICO under the Data Protection Act 1998.
14.HMT has undertaken two consultations in relation to this ban, in December 2016 and in July 2018. Respondents to both consultations overwhelmingly supported the ban.
15.These draft Regulations amend Part 28 of the Companies Act 2006 to enable the UK takeovers regime to operate effectively on a freestanding basis once the UK has left the EU. While the draft Regulations are part of the contingency preparations of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for a ‘no deal’ scenario, BEIS says that the provisions are likely to also apply if a deal is concluded, as the UK’s takeover regime will still need to become freestanding. The draft Regulations ensure that the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers (“the Panel”) will continue to be the UK’s statutory supervisory authority. BEIS explains that while a specific duty of the Panel to cooperate with supervisory authorities in the European Economic Area (EEA) is revoked, a comparable general duty to cooperate with counterpart authorities in countries outside the UK, including in the EEA, is maintained. The draft Regulations also enable the continued disclosure of confidential information by the Panel to EEA public authorities, but onward disclosure of such information by EEA authorities will no longer be permitted, as current reciprocal protections will no longer apply after exit. The draft Regulations also end the current EU shared jurisdiction regime for companies that are headquartered in one EEA country and trade securities exclusively in another. At present, a takeover of such a company is usually supervised by two regulatory authorities, one in the country where the target company is registered and the other in the country where that company is listed on a regulated market. BEIS explains that under the new rules, any takeover bid involving a company registered in the UK but trading securities exclusively in a EEA country will be supervised only by the Panel, while takeovers of companies registered in an EEA country but trading securities exclusively on a regulated UK market will not be supervised automatically by the Panel but may be supervised by another authority. BEIS expects that the end of the shared jurisdiction regime will affect around 25 EEA companies and ten UK companies.
16.These four instruments bring UK law in line with the International Labour Organisation Work in Fishing Convention 2007. Amongst other things, these instruments impose duties and requirements on fishing vessels to ensure the protection of fishermen in relation to the minimum age for working, night work, work agreements, payments, repatriation, accommodation, food, catering, medical care and fishing vessel owner’s liability towards fishermen. There is currently no statutory requirement for the regular inspection of the living and working conditions on fishing vessels; however, provisions under these Regulations require every UK fishing vessel to be subject to a survey every five years. The Regulations also introduce a requirement for fishermen to hold a medical certificate to show they are medically fit, so they can work safely and that their condition will not be worsened by their work. Each instrument sets out the offences and penalties for failure to comply with the Regulations. Some of the measures are progressively implemented to give fishing vessel owners and fishermen time to comply, and some requirements are phased in so that they apply to larger vessels and those which operate for longer periods first.
2 The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 () implement the EU Package Travel Directive (2015/2302).
3 An LTA is a holiday that includes two or more travel services, such as a flight and hotel booking, where the customer makes a single visit to a shop or website but selects and pays for each service separately.
4 Such consent must be given within the framework of the General Data Protection Regulation, requiring (among other things) a very clear and specific statement of consent.
5 See: HM Treasury, Department for Work & Pensions, Pension scams: consultation response, August 2017: [accessed 13 November 2018].
6 Four years for vessels over 24m in length.