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Brexit round-up – 23/11/18

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.

Theresa May meets EU officials ahead of impending summit

Theresa May travelled to Brussels on 21 November 2018 to meet with EU officials, as both sides try to reach an agreement on outstanding issues in time for a special European Council summit on 25 November. Although a draft text of the Withdrawal Agreement was agreed at cabinet level last week, the EU missed its deadline on 20 November to complete the text of its declaration due to outstanding issues surrounding Britain’s access to the single market, EU boats’ access to UK fishing water and Gibraltar. Although the declaration is not yet legally binding, it is intended to set the framework for the future UK-EU relationship.

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Prime Minister under pressure as leaders oppose draft Withdrawal Agreement

Although Theresa May appears to have staved off a leadership challenge this week, she is under pressure on the domestic front as MPs from all sides of the Commons threaten to withhold support for the deal. Prominent Tory rebel Jacob Rees-Mogg said on 20 November 2018 that the time is “now” to force a no confidence vote, otherwise Mrs May will lead the Conservatives in the 2022 general election. He accepted, however, that a confidence vote is unlikely this month but may happen in the next. Similarly, during separate talks Nicola Sturgeon and Jeremy Corbyn agreed Mrs May’s Brexit deal is a “bad one” and that ‘no-deal’ should not be the only alternative presented to MPs.

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Institute for Government (IfG) identifies ambiguities in Brexit proposals

In its report ‘Supervision after Brexit’  the IfG argues that there is a hole in the Government’s Brexit proposals, because ministers have said little about who will take over the “supervisory” role of the European Commission and EU agencies. Specifically, the IfG argues that the current  “supervision” process will be particularly important if the UK is to retain the unprecedented market access the UK Government has said it wants. That access would be based on close alignment with and adherence to many EU rules. The report sets out various options to maintain this process, with one possible solution to make supervisory bodies accountable directly to Parliament rather than to Government departments.

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Confederation of British Industry (CBI) leaders convene special Brexit meeting

A specially convened meeting of the CBI’s most senior policy-making committee has issued an unanimous statement declaring “we must not go backwards” following the publication of the draft Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and EU. The CBI is united in the view that the Government’s proposed deal represents hard-won progress and suggests that the proposals have two essential benefits for our economy that must be achieved: (1) If passed, the agreement unlocks a transition period which guarantees a ‘no-deal’ cliff edge is avoided in March 2019 and (2) the agreement opens a route to a good long-term trade deal. Businesses want this to be based on frictionless borders, services access and a say for the UK over future rules.

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

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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