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Brexit round-up – 25/01/19

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.

MPs propose rival plans ahead of vote

MPs have started to table proposals which could change the outcome of next week’s Brexit vote on Theresa May’s proposals. The amendments follow Mrs May’s statement of 21 January 2019, which focused on alterations to the Irish backstop. An amendment put forward by Labour says MPs should be able to vote on their preferred outcome of a closer relationship with Europe, with a permanent customs union. In addition, it compels MPs to decide if there should be a further referendum on the final Brexit plan once it is approved by the House of Commons. MPs are due to vote on Mrs May’s proposals for Brexit on 29 January.

For more information, please click here.

Prime Minister gives statement on next steps in Brexit negotiations  

In her statement on 21 January 2019 to the House of Commons, Theresa May refused to rule out a ‘no-deal’ Brexit and remained clear that she would not support a second referendum. Mrs May also said her Government would be more “flexible, open and inclusive” in engaging Parliament in the negotiations with the EU, they would embed protections on worker rights and environment and finally they would work to ensure that the Northern Irish border issue is resolved in a way that both the EU and UK can support. She also announced that the Government will waive the £65 fee that millions of EU citizens were going to pay under the EU Settlement Scheme after Brexit.

For more information, please click here.

Government advises businesses to prepare for chemical use in a no-deal Brexit

The Government has issued guidance to businesses that use chemicals on the actions they should take now to minimise any disruption in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal, UK businesses that manufacture or import chemicals from the EU will have to register those chemicals to a new UK regulatory system. Namely, UK REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) which will replace EU REACH and will require businesses to demonstrate how a chemical can be safely used with minimal risk to human health or environment.

For more information, please click here.

UK and New Zealand agree trade arrangement

The International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox has signed an arrangement which will help boost trade between the UK and New Zealand. The agreement maintains all relevant aspects of the current EU-New Zealand mutual recognition agreement on conformity assessment, which helps facilitate trade flows between the two nations, and means UK exporters can ensure goods are compliant with New Zealand’s technical regulations before they can depart the UK. New Zealand exports to the UK benefit in the same way. Mr Fox said: “This agreement provides UK and New Zealand businesses the certainty they need to continue to access each other’s markets as the UK leaves the EU.”

For more information, please click here.

Government issues advice on preparing for checks on timber post-Brexit

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have asked timber importers and exporters to consider requirements for their business in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. In particular, businesses importing timber and timber products from the EU and EEA and placing it on the UK market will have to carry out due diligence from day one of EU Exit, to demonstrate they are importing legally harvested timber. For example, assessing the risk of timber being illegal, applying set criteria in the regulations and obtaining additional information or taking further steps to verify legality, such as testing or assessment of the supply chain.

For more information, please click here.

Shipping firm agrees to increase freight capacity

DFDS has reached agreement with Felixstowe Port to increase roll-on, roll-off capacity by more than 40% to help freight shipping after Brexit. The investment comes as suppliers on both sides of the Channel look for alternatives to Dover once the UK leaves the EU in March. Felixstowe Port’s chief executive, Clemence Cheng, confirmed the contract secures DFDS’s continued service at Felixstowe for another 15 years. Niels Smedegaard, president of the DFDS, added that the contract was “striving to provide necessary capacity to continue.”

For more information, please click here.

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

Thank you to everyone who attended our Exporting and the regional economy after Brexit seminar on Wednesday. If you would like to download a copy of the seminar presentation, you can do so by clicking here.

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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