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Brexit round-up – 26/07/19

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.

EU says Johnson must decide if UK wants deal or not

Following the announcement that Boris Johnson was the next Prime Minister, EU negotiator Michael Barnier said on Twitter “We look forward to working constructively w/ PM @BorisJohnson when he takes office, to facilitate the ratification of the withdrawal agreement and achieve an orderly #Brexit.” This reinforces the EU’s position that they will not renegotiate the withdrawal agreement with Barnier further saying “We are ready to listen and to work with him in a constructive way. We will wait for the new decision, the new declarations of the UK Government.”

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New Prime Minister triggers numerous resignations

Following the news that Boris Johnson would become Prime Minister this week there have been a number of resignations prior to him taking on the new role including Jeremy Hunt as foreign secretary, David Gauke as justice secretary, Rory Stewart as international development secretary, David Lidington as Cabinet Office minister, Mick Davis, the chief executive and treasurer of the Conservative party and education minister Anne Milton. Philip Hammond has now also quit as chancellor and in his resignation letter to Theresa May he said “Despite the uncertainty created by the unresolved issue of Brexit, we have been able to make notable progress in rebuilding the public finances and preparing the British economy for the opportunities ahead.”

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EU confirms it will not renegotiate Brexit

Following the announcement of Boris Johnson as the next Prime Minister, Frans Timmermans, the European Commission’s first vice president, told reporters in Brussels that the EU would not renegotiate the deal reached with Theresa May. He said “I think the position of the EU is also clear: the United Kingdom reached an agreement with the European Union and the European Union will stick with that agreement. We will hear what the new Prime Minister has to say when he comes to Brussels.”

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Boris Johnson announced as next Prime Minister

Boris Johnson has beaten Jeremy Hunt, winning 92,153 votes to his rival’s 46,656, and has now been elected as the new Conservative leader and the next Prime Minister. He has pledged that the UK will leave the EU on 31 October “do or die”, accepting that a no-deal exit will happen if a new agreement cannot be reached by then and in his victory speech, Mr Johnson promised he would “deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Jeremy Corbin.”

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Sir Alan Duncan quits as a Foreign Office minister

In protest against Boris Johnson’s victory in the Conservative leadership race, Sir Alan Duncan quit as a Foreign Office minister the day before Johnson was announced as the new Prime Minister. He quit to demand an emergency Commons debate to give MPs a chance to say whether they supported Mr Johnson’s “wish to form a government” but the Speaker refused his request. In his letter of resignation he said “It is tragic that just when we could have been the dominant intellectual and political force throughout Europe, and beyond, we have had to spend every day working beneath the dark cloud of Brexit.”

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Trade envoys quits in protest over Government’s no-deal Brexit policy

One of Liam Fox’s trade envoy, Andrew Percy, has quit in protest that the Government’s no-deal Brexit policy threatens the demise of an existing trade deal with Canada worth £800m. A study for the Government found that losing the Ceta deal with Canada would deliver an £800m blow to GDP by 2030, both from direct trade lost and from “diversion” to the EU – which would still have the agreement. Barry Gardiner, Labour’s shadow trade secretary “Andrew Percy’s resignation, claiming he was patronised and ignored when he was clearly ‘telling it like it is’, is sadly typical of the arrogance Liam Fox displays to everyone who disagrees with him.”

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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 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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