• EU Withdrawal Bill will return to House of Commons on 12 June – following 15 defeats in the House of Lords, the Withdrawal Bill will now be debated by MPs who will vote for the legislation on a single day. Due to the tight numbers, the Tories will require the support of the Democratic Unionist Party for a majority. This has attracted significant criticism, with critics believing that the government pushing through the legislation in one day is an “absolute disgrace” (BBC News).
  • UK hints at staying in European VAT area – a letter from Mel Stride (financial secretary to the Treasury), has stated that “the government aims to keep VAT processes after EU exit as close as possible to what they are now” and Britain will take an “active role” in shaping new EU value added tax regulations for the 2020s, potentially suggesting the Treasury is planning for the UK to remain inside the EU’s VAT area following Brexit. If Britain were to stay in the EU VAT area, it will cross on of Theresa May’s negotiating red lines, however if Britain leaves the regime it will need border infrastructure to impose VAT at borders (Financial Times).
  • Brexit policies ready for June EU summit – Sajid Javid has stated that Britain will have a good set of Brexit policy proposals ready for the meeting with EU leaders this month and is confident that Britain will agree a withdrawal deal with the EU, dismissing claims of a no deal scenario. A white paper policy document is due to be published in advance on the summit on June 28/29. However, Theresa May is struggling to find a proposal on post-Brexit customs arrangements, with divisions in the cabinet and EU officials criticising draft options under discussion (Reuters).

Jessica's practice focuses on international trade and anti-bribery work, encompassing customs, export control and sanctions matters. Jessica's trade work includes advising international clients on fast-moving and evolving EU and UN sanctions, notably in respect of Iran and Russia, and on compliance with UK and EU export controls. Her trade experience also includes advising on tariff classification and customs valuations. Jessica's anti-bribery experience includes assisting with investigations, and advising clients on compliance with anti-bribery laws. Jessica has also taken a lead role in monitoring Brexit-related developments; analysing how they will affect the UK's trading position generally, and clients' businesses specifically. She has helped clients begin to conduct risk assessments of how Brexit will impact their businesses, and has assisted them in developing tailored Brexit strategies. Jessica also presents at various seminars, webinars, and conferences on the complexities of Brexit. Jessica advises global clients on complex issues arising from international transactions and works with clients across a number of sectors including pharmaceuticals, defence, finance, aviation, energy, and telecommunications. Jessica has also worked previously in Paris, and is fluent in French.

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