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7 rights British people will lose from 1st Jan 2023

After one EU referendum and four and a half years, the Brexit transition period is over and a new UK-EU agreement has come into force.

But what does this mean for the British public? And what are people going to now miss out on?

1. The right to live and work in European Union

Yep, the freedom of movement is over for UK citizens. This means people who want to settle elsewhere in the EU will have to follow immigration rules and may need to get work visas or face other red tape (with the exception of Ireland). For many, this opportunity will be the most missed and others are concerned about the implications for cross-border families. 

2. It won’t be so easy to travel to the EU either

Ok, so the process of moving to another country in the 27-country bloc won’t be as smooth but what about holidays? They are expected to remain visa-free but Brits will be limited to spending 90 days out of every 180 in the EU. British nationals will also no longer be issued with European Health Insurance Cards and coronavirus travel restrictions may be coming into place.

3. The ability to take part in Erasmus

British students will no longer be able to study - or work, volunteer, teach and train - abroad as part of the Erasmus+ programme, which some have cited as a formative life experience (as well as a lot of fun!). The EU scheme also provides grants to support learners and education providers. 

4. The right to not be charged loads for mobile roaming

The guarantee of free phone roaming as part of your contract has ended, which means Brits could face the dreaded horror of running up a crazy bill for making calls, sending texts or using internet data while in the EU. Despite this, EE, O2, Three and Vodafone have all said they have no plans to reintroduce charges although it is best to check before you travel.

5. Being able to set off on a spontaneous road-trip across the EU

British motorists can drive in the EU using their UK licenses but they will need to obtain and carry a physical copy of a “green card” from their insurer and put a GB sticker on their vehicle. Drivers from some territories, such as Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man, as well as those with a paper driving licence may need an international driving permit. 

6. The ability to vote and stand as a candidate in European Parliament elections

Wanted to have your voice heard or to go into politics? British citizens have fewer elections to take part in now. 

7. The right to free trade within the EU for your business

As the UK left the single market and customs union on December 31, businesses are expected to face new checks, extra paperwork and additional costs when trading with former EU partners. 

More: Why Brexit is making the future of fish look so bleak

source: 7 rights British people will lose from today (msn.com)

Stamp duty

Stamp duty to be cut from "today". Nothing will be paid for first £250,000 of property's value - double the current amount allowed. The threshold for first-time buyers is to be increased from £300,000 to £425,000. The value of the property on which first-time buyers can claim relief is to also go up from £500,000 to £625,000.

House prices drop for the first time this year, says Rightmove

Asking prices for homes have dropped for the first time this year, down £4,795, because of a summer lull in activity, says sales portal Rightmove.

Although interest rates are rising - which would increase the cost of a mortgage - it said seasonal factors were key to the drop in prices.

The typical asking price fell by 1.3% between July and August to £365,173.

The last two years had been "frenzied" in the UK housing market, said Rightmove.

Prices soared as the pandemic prompted many people to search for more space in which to live and work.

How big an impact the rising cost of living, and consistent increases in interest rates, will have on the housing market will be watched closely.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove's director of property science, said: "A drop in asking prices is to be expected this month, as the market returns towards normal seasonal patterns after a frenzied two years, and many would-be home movers become distracted by the summer holidays."

The 1.3% drop in August was in line with the average drop seen that month over the past 10 years, Rightmove said.

"We are still expecting price changes for the rest of the year to continue to follow the usual seasonal pattern, which means we'll end year at around 7% annual growth, even with the wider economic uncertainty," Mr Bannister added.

 

He said that data showed the rising interest rates were yet to have a significant impact on the number of people wanting to move home.

"For those looking to move who are concerned about interest rate rises, it's important that they get a mortgage in principle early on in their moving journey to understand what they could afford to borrow, and find out about the rates available to them to assess what they are able to repay each month," he said.

The average five-year fixed rate mortgage has now breached 4%, according to Moneyfacts.co.uk, but experts expect rates to climb further.

The biggest risk to making mortgage repayments is usually the loss of a job, but anyone in that position should get help, at least in the short-term, from their lender.

Debt advisors say anyone in financial trouble should talk to their mortgage provider as soon as possible.

 

source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-62549477

 

Cost of living: Can I be evicted and will it affect my credit score? What happens if you can't pay your energy bills

Britain is facing the biggest cost of living crisis in decades and for many, not being able to pay bills is the reality of the biggest squeeze on household spending in 60 years.

An anonymous campaign urging people not to pay their energy bills this winter is gathering pace - but is it safe to do so?

Plans by Don't Pay UK have been called "highly irresponsible" by the government, and charities have warned against rushing to cancel your direct debit.

 

However, Britain is facing the biggest cost of living crisis in decades, and Citizens Advice said it supported more people who had been unable to top up their prepayment energy meter in June than it had in January 2022.

Cost of living latest: Former PM warns of 'financial timebomb'

So for many, the inability to pay their energy bills is more than just strike action, but a reality of the biggest squeeze on household spending in 60 years.

What happens if you don't - or can't - pay your energy bills?If you miss a payment, the supplier will first send you a reminder. If they still don't hear from you, they may try and visit you at home to work out the best way to pay - but some, such as SSE, will add the cost of this visit to your account.

If you don't agree to a repayment plan, they may try and force you to have a prepayment meter installed. This means you would have to pay for your energy upfront, as well as a weekly amount to cover any debt.

If you haven't paid your bill after 28 days, you may be threatened with disconnection of your supply. While this is rare - with Don't Pay UK claiming as few as eight people were disconnected in 2018 - it could still happen.

Your supplier must first give you a chance to pay your debt through a plan first.

If you can't reach an agreement with them, they can apply for a court warrant to enter your home to disconnect you. Those with smart meters could be disconnected remotely, but the energy company must first visit your home to assess your personal situation.

Paying by direct debit is normally the cheapest way to pay for energy, so you could face higher bills if you cancel.

If you have reached State Pension age your supplier cannot disconnect you between 1 October and 31 March if either you live alone or live with other people who have reached State Pension age or are children under the age of 18.

How it affects your credit score

Energy bills aren't a loan, so missing payments aren't guaranteed to affect your credit score - but they still can, and this could make it harder to borrow money in the future (for example, applying for a mortgage).

Some suppliers report missed payments to credit agencies, so it is possible these could show up on your credit report.

Will it affect my rent or mortgage?

If you are renting, you are unlikely to be evicted if you don't pay your energy bills - unless they are included in your rent.

If they are included and you stop paying, your landlord could evict you for being in rent arrears.

Your mortgage and monthly repayments are agreed directly with your bank or building society - so if you stop paying your energy bills it should have no effect on your mortgage.

But not paying your bills could make it harder for you to get a mortgage, or remortgage, so it's not advisable in the long run.

What help is available?

Earlier this year the government announced a new energy bill support package, which means almost all households will get £400, starting in October. Some may get as much as £1,000 to help pay soaring costs.

Citizens Advice offers help for anyone who may be struggling to pay their energy bills. You may be eligible for help from your local council.

You can find out more information online.

source: https://news.sky.com/story/what-happens-if-i-dont-pay-my-energy-bills-can-i-be-evicted-and-will-it-affect-my-credit-score-12668373

 

Two indicators slowdown already under way after Bank of England warns of 15-month recession

The bank rate is now at its highest level since 2008 as the Bank of England warns of tough times ahead - but signs of slowdown are already there.

Just a day after the Bank of England warned of a 15-month recession, there are signs in housing and recruitment that the slowdown is already well under way.

Figures out on Friday showed that house prices fell in July (in monthly terms) for the first time in more than a year, with warnings that the market is likely to weaken further following the bank's hiking of interest rates from 1.25% to 1.75%.

 

The bank rate is now at its highest level since 2008, as the bank tries to fight inflation which is running at 9.4% - well above its 2% target - and is forecast to pass 13% later this year.

It comes as households face record-breaking increases in energy bills, and mortgage lender Halifax said that this rapidly-spiralling cost of living would have its effect on the market, as buyers look to rein in spending.

In July the average house price stood at £293,221 - down £365 or 0.1% from the previous month's record high. In annual terms, however, prices still rose by 11.8%, compared to the 12.5% seen in June.

Russell Galley, Halifax managing director, said: "House prices are likely to come under more pressure as those market tailwinds fade further and the headwinds of rising interest rates and increased living costs take a firmer hold.

"Therefore a slowing of annual house price inflation still seems the most likely scenario."

It comes after a report from rival lender Nationwide which showed house prices rose in July, but at the slowest monthly pace seen in a year.

source: https://news.sky.com/story/two-indicators-slowdown-already-under-way-after-bank-of-england-warns-of-15-month-recession-12665852

Sweeping changes to rental market proposed - affecting pets, rent rises and 'no-fault' evictions

The government says the new blueprint for renters reform will "redress the balance" between landlords and the estimated 4.4million private tenants in England.

Plans to ban "no-fault" evictions and to make it easier for tenants to keep pets will be unveiled as part of the government's new deal for private renters.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is set to publish its fairer private rented sector white paper, which it describes as "the biggest shake-up of the private rented sector in 30 years".

 

Among the proposals to be unveiled on Thursday are a pledge to outlaw section 21 "no-fault" evictions that allow landlords to terminate tenancies without giving a reason.

More than a fifth of private renters who moved in 2019 and 2020 did not end their tenancy by choice, figures suggest, including 8% who were asked to leave by their landlord.

These types of eviction notices are contentious and the government promised to ban them three years ago.

The department has also promised to change the rules to make it easier to own a pet in rented accommodation, with the white paper stating that landlords "must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse" requests by all tenants to keep an animal in their home.

 

The new deal will also extend the decent homes standard to the private sector for the first time, meaning homes must be free from serious health and safety hazards, and landlords must keep homes in a good state of repair so renters have clean, appropriate and usable facilities.

source: https://news.sky.com/story/plan-to-ban-no-fault-evictions-unveiled-by-govt-and-it-could-get-easier-to-own-a-pet-if-youre-renting-12634583

Commercial Property Law

Commercial Property law:

*Property purchases and sales

*Leases acting for landlord and or tenant

*Forfeiture

*Licences for assignment/alteration

*Tenancies/Licences at will

'A long time coming': No-fault divorce law introduced in England and Wales

Previously, unless adultery, unreasonable behaviour or desertion could be proven, the only way to get divorced without the agreement of a spouse was to live separately for five years.

Divorce laws have been overhauled for the first time in 50 years, putting an end to the "blame game" for couples wishing to split amicably.

 

Married couples will be able to start divorce proceedings without having to appropriate the blame for the breakdown of their marriage as no-fault divorce legislation comes into force in England and Wales.

   

The change has been welcomed by experts who said it will aid couples to move forward and secure the best outcomes, eliminating unnecessary conflict and tension.

Previously, unless adultery, unreasonable behaviour or desertion could be proven, the only way to get divorced without the agreement of a spouse was to live separately for five years.

 

Sarah Gregory and her ex-husband, who she said was her "best friend and soul mate", went through the divorce system after 13 years of marriage

     

Ms Gregory told Sky News that what should have been a straightforward divorce ended up being complicated by the old legislation.

     

She said: "You were given five options and only one really was suitable for us which was the unreasonable behaviour and again it didn't really suit our needs because we simply fell out of love.

"It made things worse, knowing that one of us was going to have unreasonable behaviour on our divorce certificate. It delayed the process because it brought up some mixed feelings between us.

"We didn't have many bad things in our marriage so you're almost trying to exaggerate some of the not so nasty things that happened between us.

 

"I guess it just kind of created some kind of animosity between us both."

She thinks the no-fault divorce legalisation is "great" and would have made her divorce proceedings a much quicker process.

 

Kate Daly, the co-founder of legal services company Amicable, told Sky News: "We are delighted that the law has finally changed and that the blame game is ending.

 

"It's been a long time coming."

 

Ms Daly said that she founded Amicable after her divorce, which she described as a "train wreck" and left her financially and emotionally exhausted.

 

She added: "You hear so many stories of people coming out of divorce being utterly bereft with huge mental health issues, that can lead to debts and it can lead to the further breakdown of relationships within the family - whether that's extended family or whether it's the relationship between a parent and a child.

 

"If you have a more amicable way of approaching divorce you avoid all of those problems."

 

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act (2020) also allows couples to jointly file for divorce.

Under the new legislation, one spouse contesting a divorce does not stand in the way of the other filing for divorce.

 

However, there are calls on the government to implement further reforms.

 

Former justice secretary Sir Robert Buckland told Sky News: "I very much hope that today's changes will be a milestone along the road to removing the confrontational aspect of divorce, there's still too much uncertainty about the financial arrangements that couples need to make when they separate and part, and I think more reform is needed there and generally across family courts."

source: https://news.sky.com/story/a-long-time-coming-no-fault-divorce-law-introduced-in-england-and-wales-12583282

Probate experts warn against online wills

The growing popularity of online will writing could lead to a ‘surge’ in contested probate cases down the line, probate experts have warned.

Funeral Solution Expert, a research and consultancy firm, analysed 26 online will writers and found that consumers are often mistaken as to whether their affairs are 'simple' or 'complex', and that the companies themselves ‘offer very little liability for something going wrong’.

‘There is no doubt that an online will can be a good solution if affairs are genuinely simple and can save money versus a more traditional solicitor route,' said Simon Cox, co-founder of Funeral Expert Solution. ‘But our research shows that 65% of consumers who rate their own affairs as “simple” subsequently reveal through questioning that their affairs are in fact “complex”.’

He added that the sector is storing up an ‘ever-increasing bank of wills’ that will be contested once those who made them have died.

The concerns were echoed by Michael Culver, chairman of Solicitors for the Elderly, who said: ‘It’s shocking that whilst solicitor are required to have professional indemnity insurance covering claims potentially as high as £2m or £3m (and many firms go for optional additional cover that can take this as high as £10m per claim), other professionals offering wills limit their liability to the cost of the will.’

The pandemic is believed to have fuelled a rise in will making, with Farewill reporting a 267% increase in the number of wills written at home between 2019 and 2020.

Farewill’s head of legal, Lorraine Robinson, said the business had long recognised, and campaigned for closing gaps in the protection of customers of unregulated firms. However she questioned whether the risk is posed only by the unregulated sector. 'As a solicitor myself, unfortunately qualification as a solicitor is not a guarantee of an individual solicitor or a regulated firm’s depth of understanding of a specialist area of law. For that, as an industry, we often look instead to qualifications such as those offered by STEP, which are open to regulated and unregulated professionals alike.'

She added that many businesses in the unregulated sector are members of voluntary organisations which prescribe minimum levels of indemnity cover. 'To suggest all unregulated will writers are uninsured undermines the diligence and responsibility of many in the sector.'

source: https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/probate-experts-warn-against-online-wills/5110251.article

Code of practice for the international recruitment of health and social care personnel in England

We are pleased to introduce the revised code of practice for health and social care organisations in England, that are recruiting personnel internationally.

Internationally trained staff have been part of the National Health Service (NHS) since its inception in 1948 and continue to play a vital role. 16% of nurses and 36% of doctors in England trained outside of the United Kingdom (UK). Similarly, the social care sector employs 35% of nurses and 16% of all social care workers from beyond the UK. Our gratitude to all those who come from abroad to train, learn and work in our fantastic NHS and social care sector has never been greater, as we face the global COVID-19 pandemic together. Thank you.

Yet this government knows we need to do more so that our health and social care services continue to deliver world-class care. That is why we have committed to 50,000 more nurses and 50,000,000 more GP appointments. We are working hard to increase our homegrown supply of health and social care staff. We are training more, retaining more and encouraging staff who have left to return. But we know that ethical international recruitment is also crucial for achieving our commitments.

We are determined to be a force for good in the world, which includes supporting better health and care beyond our shores. This code of practice is part of the UK’s contribution to international health worker mobility that offers benefits to migrants, their country of origin and to the UK. With a projected 18 million more health workers needed to achieve universal health coverage in low and lower-middle income countries – we need to work on a global basis to support healthier and more resilient populations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the reality that diseases know no borders. It is absolutely right that we work with the countries that have the most vulnerable health systems to protect their health and social care systems. It is also right that, alongside these safeguards, we draw on our strengths to help develop health workforces and health systems in other countries – and in doing so, help the world progress towards delivering universal health coverage and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. Forming international partnerships is a great way to foster collective efforts across the world, and by working with international governments we can make sure everyone benefits.

We are committed to upholding the highest ethical standards in international recruitment and this new code implements the World Health Organisation (WHO) global code of practice. Through this we are ensuring the fundamental principles of transparency, fairness and promotion of health systems sustainability are fully embedded in all international recruitment activity undertaken in the UK.

Helen Whately MP Minister of State for Care

Wendy Morton MP Minister for the European Neighbourhood and the Americas, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

read more - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/code-of-practice-for-the-international-recruitment-of-health-and-social-care-personnel/code-of-practice-for-the-international-recruitment-of-health-and-social-care-personnel-in-england

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