• Varadkar and Merkel discuss ‘no deal’ Brexit planning in phone call – Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he and German chancellor Angela Merkel both agreed to stand by the Brexit withdrawal agreement in a phone call on Thursday morning. Speaking after a Cabinet meeting in Dublin, Mr Varadkar said he and Ms Merkel had a long conversation at her request. “We spoke for about 40 minutes,” he said. “The conversation focused on securing the ratification of the withdrawal agreement which, as you know, will be put to the House of Commons in about two weeks’ time”. “We agreed that we would stand by the agreement we made with the United Kingdom at the end of last year… We also discussed ‘no deal’ planning.” Of his conversation with Ms Merkel, the Taoiseach added: “Brexit was a problem created in the United Kingdom… It is up to them to make a proposal but it has to be a proposal that we can accept. So it can’t be a proposal that contradicts what is already in the withdrawal agreement”. (Irish Times)

 

  • Ryanair secures UK license in preparation for no-deal Brexit – Low-cost carrier Ryanair has secured a UK operating licence meaning it can continue UK domestic flights and flights from the UK to outside the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Ryanair’s chief legal and regulatory officer, Juliusz Komorek, said: “The risk of a ‘no deal’ Brexit in March is rising, and despite our robust post-Brexit structures, including our post-Brexit plan around European ownership, we continue to call for the UK and EU to agree a transition deal from March 31 2019, so that any disruption to flights and British consumer summer holidays in 2019 can be avoided.” The airline applied for the air operating certificate in late 2017. (FT)

 

  • Brexit: Farmers call for new law to guarantee food standards – Food standards must be protected after the UK leaves the EU, the farming industry has said. The National Farmers Union said it had heard enough “warm words” from ministers and action was needed now. Its president, Minette Batters, said any attempt to encourage cheap imports after Brexit in an effort to cut food bills should be “fought to the death”. Environment Secretary Michael Gove said standards should not be “bartered away” in pursuit of short-term trade gains. In a speech to the Oxford Farming Conference, he also urged MPs to back Theresa May’s Brexit deal later this month and warned of “considerable turbulence” for farmers if the UK left on 29 March without a deal with the EU. The NFU has said a no-deal exit would be “catastrophic” for the industry and could potentially open the UK to goods that are not produced to the high standards of food safety, animal welfare and environmental protection that are the hallmark of British farmers. (BBC)

 

  • Brexit: Rep of Ireland gains more than 4,500 jobs related to UK’s EU exit – The Republic of Ireland has gained more than 4,500 jobs from international firms as a result of Brexit, according to the country’s foreign investment body. IDA Ireland revealed the figure in its annual results for 2018. It said the jobs were a result of more than 55 “Brexit-related” investments which were approved last year. “For investors, the importance of Ireland’s ability to provide a stable, predictable investment climate cannot be overstated,” the report stated. “Ireland’s advantages in a post-Brexit context include English language, commitment to the EU, a common law system in addition to our existing competitive proposition,” it added. IDA Ireland is the semi-state agency tasked with attracting foreign direct investment to Ireland. (BBC)

 

  • UK updates guidance on medicine regulation under no-deal Brexit – Medicines produced in an EU state will automatically gain British marketing authorisations in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to updated UK regulatory guidelines. Drug makers would have until the end of 2021 to amend packaging and leaflets for a product already on the market, the guidance says. It also foresees a full accelerated assessment for products containing new active substances. The guidance can be accessed here. (MLex)
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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