• Brexit recession warning from RBS boss – RBS chief executive Ross McEwan has warned a no-deal Brexit could tip the UK economy into recession. He told the BBC a “bad Brexit” could result in “zero or negative” economic growth which would hit RBS’s share price. He also said the bank was becoming careful about lending to certain sectors of the economy – particularly retail and construction. RBS is still 64% owned by the taxpayer following its bailout 10 years ago. Mr McEwan said: “We are assuming 1-1.5% growth for next year but if we get a bad Brexit then that could be zero or negative and that would affect our profitability and our share price.” The news that RBS is withdrawing credit will heap further woes on the retail sector which has already seen nearly 2000 stores close so far this year. (BBC)


  • Ireland backs Theresa May’s plan for all-UK customs union with EU –Ireland has boosted Theresa May’s hopes of breaking the impasse in Brexit talks by backing her emerging plan for an all-UK customs union with the EU. Ahead of a crucial EU summit this month, the British prime minister is seeking to resolve a dispute over the “backstop” to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. One of the proposals she is working on — to take effect if no other solution to the Irish border issue is found — is for the whole UK to participate in a customs union with the EU. Michel Barnier, chief EU negotiator, has rejected the idea but officials in Dublin privately argue it could settle the border question and open the way to a deal. (FT)


  • Theresa May’s failure to mention Chequers ‘gives Barnier hope’ – In her speech in Birmingham, May spelled out her vision of a free trade deal but she notably did not talk of it as her “Chequers proposals”, as she has done in the past. Some Tory MPs who are campaigning for May to drop the proposal of a common rulebook on goods, in particular, have taken that as a positive sign. David Davis’s former chief of staff in the Department for Exiting the EU, Stewart Jackson, predicted in the wake of the speech that a change of strategy would follow a cabinet meeting next Tuesday. It is understood that Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, took some comfort from the absence of the word “Chequers” in May’s speech, although he noted that the prime minister had once again committed the government to “frictionless trade in goods”, an outcome that the EU has said cannot come to pass given the UK’s decision to leave the single market and the customs union. (The Guardian)


  • EU regulators prepare for no-deal Brexit with MiFID II back-up plans – The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is in the process of drawing up memorandums of understanding between the Financial Conduct Authorities and the 27 other EU regulators in a safeguard against the fall-out of a no-deal Brexit. Speaking at the World Federation of Exchanges General Assembly and Annual Meeting in Athens on 3 October, ESMA Chair Steven Maijoor explained that with about 40% of equities issued in the EU27 trading in the UK preparing for a no-deal was essential. MiFID II, which came into force in January, only allows for trading on a third country trading venue when the European Commission has made an equivalence decision, with the EU’s highest authority only having issued one such judgement as yet to the SEC in the US. A no-deal Brexit would therefore mean UK market participants losing their authorisations to conduct business across the EU, and the removal of any legal basis for the daily data exchange between the UK and the EU27 under MiFID II. (Investment Week)


  • No-deal Brexit threatens access to new medicines, says regulator – A no-deal Brexit would threaten Britons’ ability to access new medicines, the UK drugs regulator has warned. In a consultation paper on future arrangements for scrutinising treatments and medical devices in the “unlikely” event that Britain quits the EU without a deal, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency also acknowledged there would be “costs” to business as it coped with additional regulatory hurdles to sell products in the UK. (FT)

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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