• Theresa May won’t rule out ‘no-deal’ Brexit – Theresa May has refused to rule out a ‘no deal’ Brexit, if the deal agreed with the EU is rejected by MPs. The PM was pressed repeatedly on the issue by MPs, amid Bank of England warnings it could trigger a recession worse than the 2008 financial crisis. She said if MPs “voted down” her deal in December “then obviously decisions would have to be taken” and no-deal planning would be stepped up. Jeremy Corbyn later told ITV that MPs would not allow a no-deal Brexit. The Labour leader said: “The alternative isn’t no deal. Nobody’s going to allow no deal. How could we?” Labour is hoping to force a general election or, failing that, another referendum, if, as is currently widely expected, MPs reject Mrs May’s deal. (BBC)


  • London to lose €800bn to Frankfurt as banks prepare for Brexit – London will lose up to €800bn (£700bn) in assets to rival financial hub Frankfurt by March 2019 as banks start to transfer business to the German city before Brexit day. The lobby group Frankfurt Main Finance released the figure after it was confirmed that 30 banks and financial firms had chosen the city as the site of their new EU headquarters. But with several banks – including JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley – planning to spread their operations across a number of cities including Dublin and Paris, the lobby group believes the number of firms committed to expanding or setting up offices in Frankfurt will be closer to 37. Ultimately it will mean draining billions of pounds worth of assets from London to companies’ German operations within months. “All in all, we expect a transfer of €750bn to €800bn in assets from London to Frankfurt, the majority of which will be transferred in the first quarter of 2019,” said Hubertus Väth, the managing director of Frankfurt Main Finance. (The Guardian)


  • UK and US agree post-Brexit flights deal – The UK and US have agreed an “open skies” deal for post-Brexit flights, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said. The arrangement means airlines would continue to fly from the UK to the US after Brexit, the Department for Transport (DfT) said. Flights between the countries operate under the US-EU open skies treaty. The deal with the US is one of nine bilateral air services arrangements secured by the UK to replace it. The others are with Albania, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, Morocco and Switzerland. Discussions with Canada are at an “advanced stage”, according to the DfT. Mr Grayling said transatlantic flights have helped bring the UK and US “even closer together, strengthening our ties and boosting our economies”. The Brexit campaigner went on: “This new arrangement and those concluded with eight other countries around the world are proof that the UK will continue to be a major player on the world stage after we leave the EU.” (BBC)


  • Financial regulator backs short Brexit transition period – The UK financial regulator has thrown its weight behind securing a short but defined Brexit transition period, after warning of “significant challenges” if the UK crashes out of the EU. The Financial Conduct Authority warned in a report published on Thursday that it could not mitigate all the risks thrown up by a no-deal Brexit. A cliff-edge Brexit “would create significant challenges and risks in terms of [financial services] firms’ readiness, potential market disruption and insufficient public-policy solutions put in place on the side of the EU”, said Andrew Bailey, the FCA head, in a letter to the Commons Treasury select committee. The FCA stressed it was preferable to limit any Brexit transition period “to a minimum” so as to restrict the time during which Britain would be bound by EU rules but have no influence over them. (FT)


  • Second Brexit referendum could be held in 22 weeks, says Greening – Justine Greening, a pro-European Conservative MP, has insisted a new Brexit referendum could be held in 22 weeks. The former Education Secretary, who backs a so-called people’s vote on prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, warned the current proposal was a “threat to the Conservative Party’s very future”. Speaking at an event in London, she said: “I’ve worked out that you could plan and hold a referendum in 22 weeks.” “We could do that in 22 weeks. We could actually, after this vote on December 11, hold a referendum, potentially, on May 30 next year.” “We could, alongside that, choose to extend Article 50, I’ve suggested, by four months to July 29.” She added that the EU had been clear that “if Britain needs a few more months to resolve the route forward, we would be able to have that”. She said the public should have the choice of remaining in the EU, backing Mrs May’s deal, or leaving without a deal at all. (FT)


  • Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn agree to live TV debate (but on different channels) – Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have agreed to a live TV debate on Brexit but are clashing over which channel should host it. Downing Street said it had accepted a proposal which would see a debate over Mrs May’s Brexit withdrawal deal screened on the BBC at 8pm on Sunday 9 December – two days before a crunch vote in the Commons. But a Labour spokesman said discussions were still ongoing and Sky News understands the party is still “unhappy” about some of the arrangements. The Labour leader said earlier that he had agreed to the proposal being offered by rival ITV but not the format being offered by the BBC. (Sky News)

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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