• Theresa May’s new customs plan ‘dead on arrival’ in EU: EU officials said any hint that the UK wants to be part of the single market on goods, but not services will be rejected. It is a blow for the prime minister who has spent the last week in meetings with EU leaders, including Angela Merkel, in a bid to prevent Europe dismissing her plans out of hand when they are published next week. EU officials said they claimed they had repeatedly warned UK negotiators that this option would not work. It had reportedly been widely discussed among EU ministers and rejected – including, crucially, by the EU’s two most powerful players, France and Germany. Theresa May’s new plan would see most importers pay UK tariffs on imported goods, but about 4 per cent would pay EU tariffs if the finished goods were then re-exported on to the continent. Technology would be used to track goods to see which stayed and which travelled on, leading to claims of complexity and a risk of smuggling. Britain would maintain “full regulatory alignment” on goods to reduce border checks and solve the Irish problem, but divergence would be allowed on the bigger services sector. (The Independent)
  • Retail, Financial Services, Automobiles and German Investment: Almost 13,000 small retail businesses are at “high risk” of collapse if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal, industry leaders have said. A “hard Brexit” in March could break the supply chain, leaving food rotting at the border and limiting the choice and quality of products on supermarket shelves, according to the British Retail Consortium. (The Times) JPMorgan has asked “several dozen” employees to lead a first wave of relocations from Britain to continental Europe by early 2019, kicking off plans to protect its business post-Brexit, a memo to staff shows. (Reuters) Britain’s biggest carmaker, Jaguar Land Rover, has warned that a hard Brexit will cost £1.2bn a year in trade tariffs and make it unprofitable to remain in the UK. (Financial Times) German business leaders have issued a strongly worded statement warning they are reluctant to invest in Britain because of Brexit uncertainty. The intervention from German Industry UK, which represents firms including carmakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz as well as the Lufthansa airline. (The Guardian)
  •  Council of the EU Chair suggests extending Brexit talks if no deal is reached: The chair of the Council of the EU has suggested he is open to extending Article 50 Brexit talks, opening the door to Britain potentially staying in the EU beyond March next year. Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian chancellor, currently holds the rotating presidency of the European institution, which gives him significant procedural clout in setting the agenda for summits and meetings of the bloc’s ministers. Speaking at a press conference in Vienna on Thursday, Mr Kurz said he would be “in favour of pursuing negotiations rather than have a hard Brexit”. “Our goal is to reach an agreement” on the Irish border, he said, but “if that’s not possible we need to avoid a hard Brexit. If not, it’s good to keep negotiating,” the EUobserver reported. Asked whether he would countenance extend Article 50 talks, he said: “We’ll see.”. (The Independent)
Author

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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