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Brexit round-up – 08/11/19

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.

Election campaign officially begins

The Prime Minister met with the Queen on the 6 November 2019 marking the official start of the election period ahead of the 12 December election. Their meeting was for the Queen to sign a royal proclamation confirming the end of the last Parliament. Parliament was formally shut down just after midnight meaning all MPs revert to being members of the public whilst Government ministers keep their post. The parties will now begin their five week campaign to win the election. Boris Johnson said he did not want the election, but that “we simply have no choice. There is only one way to get Brexit done, and I am afraid the answer is to ask the people to change this blockading Parliament.”

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Parties continue to clash over Brexit

Conservatives and Labour are already clashing over Brexit promises. If they win the election Labour promise to fulfil Brexit within six months by getting a better deal and then putting it to the public in another referendum, with a deadline of holding the vote next summer. Labour would look to negotiate a deal which maintains a close trading relationship with the EU, staying in a customs union and keeping close alignment to the single market so the UK would be able to continue trading with the EU without tariffs. Labour believes it would take no longer than three months the renegotiate the current Brexit deal. The Conservatives meanwhile have committed to negotiate a new free trade deal with the EU in just over a year but this has also faced scrutiny given the time it took for the EU to conclude a free trade deal with Canada.

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“The Brexit process has gone on too long already” says Juncker

Speaking in relation to the current election process and the details of the Brexit plans being put forward by the parties, Jean Claude Juncker has said that thought Brexit would happen by the end of January however he raised issue with Boris Johnson’s claims that a new post Brexit trade deal could be negotiated in less than a year saying “Just look at the free trade deal the EU negotiated with Canada. That took seven years.” In response to the promise by the Labour Party to renegotiate the Brexit deal with the EU once again if it won the election, Mr Juncker said he didn’t think Labour’s pledge was a realistic prospect, although he pointed out it was for the next European Commission chief to decide if there was any flexibility to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement once again.

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UK and Switzerland agree transitional agreement

The UK and Switzerland have agreed a transitional agreement for social security after the UK leaves the EU which will protect existing social security coordination arrangements meaning the UK and Swiss citizens are safeguarded regardless of the outcome of Brexit. It will apply from the day that the United Kingdom exits the EU. This agreement will not suspend or supersede the UK-Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement but it will mean that social security rights will be protected for a transitional period between exit day and the end of December 2020 in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Brexit Minister James Duddridge said “This agreement ensures that UK nationals moving or travelling to Switzerland after we leave, and Swiss nationals moving or travelling to the UK, will have the same social security protections they currently do for a transitional period after exit.”

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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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