Skip to content

Brexit round-up – 21/12/18

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.

MPs debate ‘no-deal’ Brexit preparations

On 19 December 2018 leaders of the devolved administrations discussed the UK’s impending exit from the European Union at a Downing Street summit. Mrs May and a team of her ministers were joined by Scottish politician Nicola Sturgeon and the newly appointed Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford.  Mrs May said her plan “delivers for the whole of the UK”, urging others to “pull together” behind it. However, following the meeting, Ms Sturgeon said SNP MPs would not be voting for Mrs May’s deal, and called on the Prime Minister to extend the current Brexit deadline of 29 March 2019.

For more information, please click here.

White Paper sets out post-Brexit rules for migrants

On 19 December 2018 the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Sajid Javid, presented the Government’s White Paper ‘The UK’s future skills-based immigration system’ which sets out proposed new post-Brexit immigration rules before they are formalised into a Government bill. In particular, the White Paper includes the following: (1) scrapping the current cap on the number of skilled workers such as doctors or engineers from the UK and elsewhere; (2) a consultation on a minimum salary requirement for £30,000 for skilled migrants seeking five-year visas; (3) visitors from the EU will not need visas and (4) plans to phase in the new system from 2021.

For more information, please click here.

EU implements ‘no-deal’ plans

The European Commission has announced 14 temporary measures designed to limit disruption in a ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario. The measures address 8 sectors, taking in issues such as transport and customs, data protection, animal health and plants, climate policy and key financial products. Amongst other things, the measures would temporarily allow flights from the UK into and overflying the EU to be allowed for 12 months to ensure “basic connectivity” and hauliers to carry freight by road into the EU for a 9 month period without having to apply for permits.

For more information, please click here.

British business groups criticise politicians in joint Brexit statement

With 100 days to go before the UK leaves the EU, the British Chambers of Commerce, the Confederation of British Industry, manufacturers’ organisation the EEF, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Institute of Directors have issued a joint statement on Brexit. In particular, they said: “Businesses have been watching in horror as politicians have focused on factional disputes rather than practical steps that business needs to move forward. The lack of progress in Westminster means that risk of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit is rising.”

For more information, please click here.

Prime Minister sets date for ‘meaningful vote’

Following the deferral of the vote on the UK’s Brexit deal last week, on 17 December Theresa May announced in a statement to the House of Commons (HOC) that MPs will now vote on the deal in the week beginning 14 January 2019. Mrs May also told the HOC that that she had “won fresh guarantees” at last week’s EU summit over measures to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland and she hoped to secure “additional political and legal assurances” in the coming weeks.

For more information, please click here.

UK to remain in Common Transit Convention post-Brexit

The UK has successfully negotiated its membership of the Common Transit Convention (CTC) to remain after Brexit, ensuring simplified cross-border trade for UK businesses exporting their goods. The CTC is used for moving goods between EU member states, the EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Switzerland) as well as Turkey, Macedonia and Serbia. Financial Secretary to the HM Treasury, Mel Stride said: “Membership of the convention will support traders under a new trade agreement with the EU, or in the unlikely event of no deal. This gives businesses the continuity and certainty they need to plan for the future.”

For more information, please click here.

UK and Switzerland agree to transition trade agreement after Brexit

The UK Government and the Swiss Federal Council have approved the transition of a free trade agreement, marking the first and one of the most significant existing trade agreements to the UK to have been agreed. Britain has a major trade surplus with Switzerland, with exports worth £19.04 billion last year and British exports have grown by 41.1% in the last 5 years. In particular, British jewellery, precious stones and metal are the largest goods exports to Switzerland and pharmaceutical products also continue to be one of the UKs biggest exports to Switzerland, worth over £500 million in 2017.

For more information, please click here.

Information Commissioner (IC) gives Brexit advice to organisations

The IC, Elizabeth Denham, has published a blog giving advice to organisations to help them make preparations to ensure that personal data can continue to be transferred between the UK and the European Economic Area (EEA) in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. For example, she confirms that in the UK, data processing generally and transfers of personal data from the UK to the EU will continue to be governed by the GDPR at the point that the UK leaves the EU because the GDPR will be transposed into UK legislation. She also refers to a “six steps to take” guide and other guidance published by the ICO’s office to help them prepare for Brexit.

For more information, please click here.

We have recently 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.

Follow us on LinkedIn

Keep up to date with all the latest updates and insights from our expert team

Take me there

What we're thinking