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Brexit round-up – 20/03/20

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.

Coronavirus puts Brexit talks on hold

Brexit talks, which were due to resume on Wednesday, have now been put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak. A UK Government spokesman said “Both sides remain fully committed to the negotiations and we remain in regular contact with the European Commission to consider alternative ways to continue discussions, including looking at the possibility of video conferencing or conference calls, and exploring flexibility in the structure in the coming weeks. We expect to share a draft FTA (Free Trade Agreement) alongside the draft legal texts of a number of the standalone agreements in the near future still, as planned.” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told MPs that he did not expect that the Brexit transition period would need to be extended because of the virus.

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EU drafts post-Brexit trade deal proposal

Last week the EU sent its post-Brexit trade deal proposal to the 27 EU states. The draft legal text, called the “New Partnership between the European Union and the United Kingdom”, was drawn up by the European Commission. It was expected that it would then be presented to the UK this week but due to talks being put on hold this has not been possible. The document consists of 441 pages and covers areas such as security, foreign policy and fisheries. Proposals include a joint partnership council with 16 subcommittees, including one dedicated to the so-called “level playing field,” level playing field proposals on competition, taxation, labour and social protection, and the environment, long term agreements over access to British waters for EU boats, with annual negotiations and co-operation on data exchange and extradition, if the UK continues to implement the European Convention on Human Rights. It is expected that most of the proposals will be rejected by the UK as they reference EU law and the UK Government has already said it would not accept any alignment with EU laws as they are updated.

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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 during the Brexit process, 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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