• Most Conservative activists back no-deal Brexit over May’s deal, study finds (FT): According to a new poll of more than 1,200 Conservative party members 57% said they would vote to leave the EU without an agreement in a referendum that offered the choice between Mrs May’s plan, a no-deal Brexit, and remaining in the EU. Only 23% said they would vote for the prime minister’s plan. This findings may be concerning to Theresa May, who had reportedly been hoping that party members would pressure Tory MPs over the festive period into backing her deal. The poll found that if offered a second referendum with the choice of Mrs May’s deal or a no-deal Brexit, 64% would vote for the latter and only 29% for the former. If offered the choice of remain or a no-deal Brexit, 76% prefer no-deal.

 

  • DUP refuses to back Theresa May’s deal (BBC): Sammy Wilson, the DUP’s Brexit spokesperson, told the BBC he was “more alarmed” than ever about what the deal would mean for Northern Ireland. The DUP are concerned that the deal will create new barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK and could end up as the default template for future relations. Mr Wilson described the backstop was a “con trick” that was being imposed on the UK and when asked if there was any way the party could support the prime minister’s deal, he replied “no there is not”.

 

  • Brexit threat to European sovereign bond sales (FT): European governments may struggle to raise money in the event of a no-deal Brexit given the central role currently performed by London-based banks that help sell their bonds. Most EU countries prohibit bankers based in “third countries” from helping to sell bonds. The UK would assume such a status in the event of no-deal. Many EU countries including Italy, Austria, Ireland, Portugal and the Netherlands have historically relied heavily on the City’s extensive network of banks and trading venues to sell their debt. Dutch regulators have warned that Europe would have fewer, and probably more expensive, alternatives.

 

  • UK grapples with post-Brexit Asian ambition (FT): Jeremy Hunt is currently on a tour of Singapore and Malaysia in the hope of boosting the UK’s commercial and diplomatic presence in one of the fastest growing regions of the world. Champa Patel, head of the Asia-Pacific programme at Chatham House, said plans to grow Britain’s presence in the region is currently mostly “grandstanding” because of the “vague and fuzzy” detail which lacks “policy depth”. However, Tang Siew Mun, head of ASEAN Studies Centre at Singapore’s Iseas-Yusof Ishak Institute think tank offered a different view saying that some regional countries may welcome a more engaged UK “especially at a time when American apparent disdain for multilateralism has caused a high degree of uncertainty”.
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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