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Brexit round-up – 01/02/19

Welcome to this, our latest Brexit round-up. Each week we provide a succinct round-up of the latest news surrounding the Brexit process, so you can keep abreast of the issues which are likely to affect your organisation.

Prime Minister to continue negotiations with EU leaders

On 29 January 2019, Theresa May confirmed the Government will resume Brexit negotiations with the EU, and seek to obtain legally binding changes to the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) which deal with concerns on the backstop, while guaranteeing no return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. Various EU leaders have suggested there will be no revisions to the deal, with European Council Donald Tusk saying: “the backstop is part of the WA, and the WA is not open for negotiation” while French President Emmanuel Macron said the agreement was “not renegotiable.” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has since urged Mrs May to rule out a ‘no-deal’ Brexit and to ditch her “red lines” in any upcoming talks in Brussels.

For more information, please click here and here.

Confederation of British Industry (CBI) responds to Brexit parliamentary votes

Responding to the votes in Parliament on 29 January 2019, CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn, said: “this is another deeply frustrating day for British business. The never-ending parliamentary process limps on while economic impact of no deal planning accelerates.” In relation to Sir Graham Brady’s proposal, Mrs Fairbairn added: “the Brady amendment feels like a throw-of-the-dice. It won’t be worth the paper it is written on if it cannot be negotiated with the EU.” She also highlighted that “firms will welcome confirmation that a majority of MPs oppose a no-deal outcome. But rejecting a no deal doesn’t get a deal.”

For more information, please click here and here.

MPs vote on amendments to the Withdrawal Agreement

On 29 January 2019, MPs voted 317 to 301 in favour of Sir Graham Brady’s amendment seeking “alternative arrangements” to replace the Irish backstop. Another amendment, rejecting a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, also won the support of the MPs by 318 to 310, although the vote is not binding on the Government, meaning the date for exit remains 29 March 2019.  Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said as a result of the message from MPs rejecting a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, he would now meet with Mrs May to discuss the next steps. Other amendments from Labour, the SNP, Yvette Cooper MP and Dominic Grieve MP were rejected.

For more information, please click here.

Competition Markets Authority (CMA) publishes ‘no-deal’ Brexit consultation

On 28 January 2019, the CMA published a consultation on the effects of a ‘no-deal’ EU exit on the functions of the CMA. The draft guidance explains the legal changes expected to result from EU exit and sets out how it will affect the CMA’s powers and processes for antitrust and cartel enforcement, merger control and consumer law enforcement after exit day. The draft guidance also explains the treatment of ‘live’ cases in such a ‘no-deal’ scenario, that is, those cases that are being reviewed by the European Commission or the CMA on exit day. The CMA invites comments on the draft guidance by 25 February 2019.

For more information, please click here.

Government publishes guidance on data protection law compliance post-Brexit

The Government has published guidance to help businesses and charities continue to comply with data protection law after 29 March 2019. After this date, transfers of personal data from the EEA to the UK will become restricted after exit day. The guidance therefore advises that if organisations receive personal data from other organisations in the EU, they should consider what changes they need to make to ensure that personal data can continue to flow post-Brexit. To assist this exercise, the guidance recommends that organisations use the Information Commissioner’s Office 6 steps checklist.

For more information, please click here.

We have created a Brexit checklist to assist businesses with the various challenges and opportunities presented by Brexit. Please click here to view.

Click here to view a video from Colin Hewitt, Head of the Brexit Taskforce at Ward Hadaway, discussing the importance of preparing your business for Brexit from a legal perspective.

If you have any questions about any of the issues which are raised, or would like to discuss your own organisation’s options in the lead-up to Brexit, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

This page may contain links that direct you to third party websites. We have no control over and are not responsible for the content, use by you or availability of those third party websites, for any products or services you buy through those sites or for the treatment of any personal information you provide to the third party.

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