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Brexit round-up – 28/08/20

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.

Government statement following latest round of talks

On 21 August 2020 the UK Government published a statement on the outcome of the seventh round of negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship, which was held from 18 to 21 August 2020. The Government statement said that little progress was made, and although agreement is still possible, it will not be easy to achieve. It also said that the EU maintains that the UK must accept continuity with EU state aid and fisheries policy, and that this must be agreed before any further substantive work can be done in any other area of the negotiation, including on legal texts. The Government observed that this makes it difficult to make progress, and there are other significant areas which remain to be resolved.

For more information please click here.

European Commission statement

The European Commission also published a statement following the recent round of negotiations which said that progress is needed on substantive issues such as the level playing field (which is a non-negotiable pre-condition for the EU), fisheries (where no progress was made on issues that matter), governance (where there is disagreement on dispute settlement), law enforcement and judicial co-operation in criminal matters (where no agreement has been reached on guarantees to protect citizens’ fundamental rights and personal data), and mobility and social security co-ordination (where positions remain far apart). It said that whilst some progress was made on technical issues (such as energy co-operation, participation in EU programmes, and anti-money laundering), the fundamentals must be agreed before consolidating the final agreed texts. The European Commission said that at this stage, an agreement seems unlikely and to reach an agreement, the Government will need to provide concrete and constructive proposals during the next round (in the week of 7 September 2020). For an agreement to enter into force at the end of the transition period, the full legal text must be ready by the end of October 2020, to allow sufficient time for the EU ratification procedures.

For more information please click here.

CLC working group launched to help construction industry at end of Brexit transition period

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has launched its Brexit Working Group To Help Ready Industry. The working group aims to produce and signpost business guidance and information to help the construction industry prepare to maintain business continuity at the end of the transition period. It also aims to identify critical issues facing the construction industry that the Government should address before the transition period expires, and will champion opportunities for the construction sector in ongoing trade deal negotiations. The group’s work will be split into four workstreams, addressing movement of people (preparing for new immigration rules, accessing alternative labour supply and reciprocal arrangements on skills and qualifications in new trade deals), movement of goods and materials (preparing for a new customs regime, guidance on World Trade Organization rules and alternative sourcing opportunities), standards and alignment and data adequacy. Andy Mitchell CBE, Co-chair of the CLC, said “… the clock continues to tick on reaching an agreement with the EU. Whether we reach an agreement or not, our relationship with our European neighbours and the rest of the world will change and we’ll be doing all we can to help the industry adapt, adjust and rise to meet the Prime Minister’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ ambition.”

For more information please click here.

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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