• Theresa May dismisses talk of delay to Brexit vote – Downing Street has dismissed speculation that next Tuesday’s Brexit vote could be scrapped, insisting that “it is happening” according to schedule. Theresa May refused earlier on Thursday to rule out the idea of postponing the date to try to win over Tory rebels or attempt a renegotiation with Brussels. The UK prime minister, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, was asked about reports that some cabinet ministers want her to push the pause button on next week’s vote. The government appears to be on track for a defeat of huge proportions, with scores of Tory MPs and the DUP planning to vote against the “withdrawal agreement” with Brussels. Pressed repeatedly on the idea of a postponement, Mrs May did not rule it out altogether, saying instead: “I am leading up to a vote on Tuesday.” (FT)

 

  • No chance of ‘eleventh hour’ Brexit renegotiation says Philip Hammond – Philip Hammond has tried to convince MPs there is no hope of an “eleventh hour” renegotiation with Brussels as the chancellor urges colleagues to fall behind the government’s Brexit strategy. The chancellor told the House of Commons that the alternatives to the withdrawal agreement would lead to unwelcome results, while “the idea that there is an option of renegotiating at the eleventh hour is simply a delusion.” The comments came after it emerged some cabinet ministers had urged Prime Minister Theresa May to halt next Tuesday’s key Brexit vote for fear of a colossal defeat at the hands of her own MPs. The idea of a delay has been “under serious consideration” within Downing Street in recent days, according to one aide. But the prime minister’s spokesperson said on Thursday morning the vote would not be pulled: “The vote will take place on Tuesday as planned”. (FT)

 

  • Brexit: Theresa May ‘looking at MPs’ role on backstop’ – Theresa May says she “is talking to colleagues” about their concerns over the Northern Ireland “backstop” ahead of a crucial vote on her EU deal. She suggested MPs could be “given a role” in deciding whether to activate the backstop, which is designed to stop the return of a physical border. But she told the BBC there could be no deal with the EU without it. No 10 has said the Commons vote will go ahead on Tuesday, despite claims it could be delayed to avoid defeat. However, the chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbench MPs, Sir Graham Brady, told the BBC that he “would welcome the vote being deferred” until there was “clarity” on the backstop issue. And in another development, the European Court of Justice said it would deliver a ruling on Monday on whether the UK could unilaterally cancel Brexit by reversing Article 50 – the day before the MPs’ crunch vote. (BBC)

 

 

  • UK accused of watering down citizens’ rights pledge in no-deal plan – The British government has been accused of failing to protect the rights of British and EU citizens in the event of a no-deal Brexit, as Michel Barnier reiterated that he would not renegotiate the agreement currently on the table. Amid demands in Westminster for the prime minister to be sent back to Brussels to seek more concessions from the EU, the bloc’s chief negotiator told a conference of regional leaders: “I must say once again today, calmly and clearly, it is the only and best possible agreement.” Barnier said: “Everybody needs to do their bit, everybody needs to take on the responsibility. The British parliament will be voting on this in the next few days. This has serious implications for the future of the country.” He said a no-deal Brexit remained a possibility, and urged regional leaders and business to speed up their preparations for such an outcome. A Home Office plan for EU citizens’ rights in the UK after a no-deal Brexit, published on Thursday, has been criticised for letting down both EU citizens living in the UK and British citizens on the continent. (The Guardian)

 

 

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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