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Brexit round-up – 18/01/19

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 wins no-confidence vote

On 16 January 2018 Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote by 325 votes to 306. The motion was tabled by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn following the Government’s rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement. Speaking after the results were announced, Mrs May said she would immediately invite other parties to hold talks with her with a “constructive spirit” and added that she would: “continue to work to deliver on the solemn promise to the people of this country to deliver on the result of the referendum and leave the European Union.” She must now present a plan for EU withdrawal to Parliament by 21 January.

For more information, please click here and here.

House of Commons (HOC) rejects Withdrawal Agreement in ‘meaningful vote’

On 15 January 2019, in the “meaningful vote” the HOC rejected the Government’s approval motion concerning the draft Withdrawal Agreement and future relationship framework (political declaration) by 230 votes. Without ratifying the agreement, or another mechanism that would delay or annul the process, the UK is scheduled to withdraw from the EU on 29 March 2019 on a ‘no-deal’ basis, but the defeat changes the manner of that departure, and the timing of it, into further doubt. MPs who want either a second referendum, a softer version of the Brexit proposed by Mrs May, to stop Brexit altogether or to leave without a deal, will now ramp up their efforts to get their desired outcome.

For more information, please click here and here.

European Council President issues letter to Prime Minister

On 14 January 2019, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker sent a joint letter to Theresa May, on the draft Withdrawal Agreement and the political declaration setting out the future relationship framework (political declaration) between the UK and EU. The letter sought to clarify understanding of the agreement and framework between the EU and UK to facilitate ratification of the same by the Parliament of UK. The joint letter was issued in response to a letter by Mrs May to Mr Tusk and Mr Juncker of the same date.

For more information, please click here.

UK to confirm membership of Trade Facilitation Agreement post-Brexit

The Government has announced its intention to lodge an instrument of continued acceptance at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to confirm its membership of the WTO’s Agreement on Trade Facilitation, adopted by way of a Protocol amending the Marrakesh Agreement (establishing the WTO) after leaving the EU. The agreement has been in force since February 2017 and is intended to facilitate the cross-border movement of goods by improving transparency and streamlining customs procedures. However, the UK’s continued acceptance of the agreement is unlikely to have any immediate practical consequences for UK businesses. It will primarily benefit the importers and exporters of developing countries, as their Government’s come to implement it.

For more information, please click here.

Government publishes preparations for hauliers driving in the EU after Brexit

The Government has published preparations, expanding on the driving, road haulage and coach services technical notices published in September 2018, which outlines what private and commercial drivers from the UK may need to do when the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019. From 28 March 2019, drivers from the UK will need extra documentation to drive in the EU and EEA. This includes registering certain trailers with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and carrying a trailer registration certificate. In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK drivers may also need an international driving permit to drive in the EU and EEA.

For more information, please click here and here.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) publishes update

BEIS has published an update which informs businesses of the steps it is taking to prepare for the UK leaving the EU, and is working to ensure that businesses have the information they need to prepare. BEIS reminds businesses of the information they can access on a range of measures they may need to take in order to prepare, including the Government’s guidance available in the event of a ‘no-deal’ and its business readiness website, which includes tools to enable businesses to find out: (1) what their business will need to do for the UK leaving the EU; (2) what is changing in their industry and (3) information on specific rules and regulations.

For more information, please click here.

Exporting and the regional economy after Brexit (Newcastle) – last places remaining

We are delighted to host this event on Wednesday 23 January 2019 at our Quayside offices in Newcastle. The event will consider the implications for exporting, international trade and the regional economy of Parliament’s decision on Theresa May’s Brexit deal and the much anticipated plan B. The event will include contributions from the Confederation of British Industry, the North East England Chamber of Commerce, North East LEP, Barclays Bank, NOF Energy and of course, Ward Hadaway.

Please click here for more information and to register your place.

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

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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