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Brexit round-up – 07/01/19

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 urges UK to “turn a corner” in 2019

In her new year message, Theresa May said that the UK can “turn a corner” and start to “put its differences aside” if Parliament supports the proposed Brexit deal. Should MPs approve the exit terms later this month, Mrs May said the UK could “move forward together” and concentrate on other issues such as housing and health. MPs are to vote in the House of Commons in mid-January on the proposals reached with the EU. The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, but it is unclear what will happen if MPs reject the Withdrawal Agreement and the framework for future relations.

For more information, please click here.

US ambassador issues trade deal warning

US Ambassador to London, Robert Wood Johnson, has warned that Donald Trump’s offer of a “quick, massive, bilateral trade deal” will not be possible if Theresa May’s EU Withdrawal Agreement is approved. Mr Johnson added that ministers, and the Prime Minister, had to “measure the impact of all the other trade-offs” and how different trade agreements would benefit the UK” but did not give more details about what such a deal would entail. Reacting to Mr Johnson’s comments, the Downing Street spokeswoman said both the UK and US “want an ambitious trade agreement and [the UK] stands ready to conclude such an agreement as a priority after [it] leaves the European Union.”

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Contingency plans to ease “severe congestion” at Dover

The UK Government has awarded French company Brittany Ferries, Danish shipping firm DFDS and British firm Seaborne Freight with contracts valued at a total of £102.9 million to charter extra ferries to ease “severe congestion” at Dover in the case of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. In documents outlining the agreements, the Department for Transport states that an “unforeseeable” situation of “extreme urgency” meant there was no time for the contracts to be put out to tender. Concerns have since been raised over the readiness of Seaborne Freight to run a freight service between Ramsgate and Ostend. However, the Government said it has awarded the contract in “the full knowledge that Seaborne is a new shipping provider.”

For more information, please click here and here.

UK agrees texts of a separation agreement with the EEA EFTA states

On 20 December 2018, the Department for Exiting the European Union announced that the UK Government has agreed the texts of the following agreements: (1) Separation agreement with the EEA EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), which protects the rights of UK and EEA EFTA citizens living in each other’s countries. It also covers separation issues including arrangements on goods placed on the UK or EEA EFTA market, intellectual property, data protection, public procurement, and ongoing judicial procedures; and (2) Citizens’ rights agreement with Switzerland, which protects the rights of Swiss nationals in the UK and UK nationals in Switzerland after Brexit.

For more information, please click here.

Exporting after Brexit seminar (Newcastle)

We are delighted to host this event on Wednesday 23 January 2019 at our Quayside offices in Newcastle. The event will consider exporting, international trade and the regional economy following Parliament’s decision on Theresa May’s Brexit deal. The event will include contributions from the Confederation of British Industry, Department for International Trade, North East LEP, NOF Energy and of course, Ward Hadaway.

Please click here to register your place.

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

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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