• MPs defeat government over no-deal preparations: MPs have defeated the government in Parliament by voting for measures designed to impede preparations for a no-deal exit. They backed an amendment to the Finance Bill, which would limit spending on no-deal preparations unless authorised by Parliament, by 303 to 296 votes. Jeremy Corbyn urged Theresa May to now rule out no deal “once and for all”. Treasury minister Robert Jenrick said the “simple truth” was the UK would leave the EU on 29 March. He said no-deal planning was “prudent preparation to provide our taxpayers with the certainty they deserve” and all the defeat would do would be to make the UK “somewhat less prepared”. Twenty Conservative MPs rebelled against the government, including former cabinet ministers Michael Fallon, Justine Greening, Dominic Grieve, Ken Clarke and Oliver Letwin. (BBC)


  • Brexit deal voting to begin at 1900 GMT on January 15 – Labour Party: British MPs will begin voting on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal at 1900 GMT on Jan. 15, the opposition Labour Party said on Tuesday, citing a copy of the provisional schedule for the debate. A five-day debate on the deal begins on Wednesday and is expected to end with several votes which could make-or-break the possibility of getting the approval needed from parliament in order to proceed with the Brexit plan. (Reuters)


  • Brexit: Ministers speak out against no-deal exit: Work and Pensions Secretary, Amber Rudd, has said history will take “a dim view” of ministers if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement. Ms Rudd told a cabinet meeting earlier that the UK would be less safe if there was a no-deal Brexit. Business Secretary Greg Clark has also told MPs a no-deal exit in March “should not be contemplated”. MPs are set to vote soon on a measure which may restrict the government’s tax powers in the event of a no-deal exit. (BBC)


  • EU ready to offer limited support to Theresa May on Brexit deal: Leo Varadkar, Irish prime minister, has confirmed the EU is ready to provide new “written guarantees, explanations and assurances” to help Theresa May surmount huge opposition to her Brexit deal in the House of Commons next week. Mr Varadkar’s comments will give Mrs May hope, but many MPs are demanding legal guarantees that the so-called Irish backstop— which would create a “temporary” EU/UK customs union to avoid a hard border in Ireland — will not be a permanent arrangement. Mrs May is expected to lose the vote, which Downing Street confirmed would be next Tuesday. She is pinning her hopes on firmer EU undertakings ahead of a second vote — possibly in late January or early February — speculation is rising that the prime minister will have to delay the UK’s departure from the bloc, scheduled for March 29. (FT)


  • Germany ‘in solidarity’ with Ireland over backstop to avoid hard border: Germany has said it stands in “full solidarity” with Ireland over the Irish backstop, saying a hard border would be unacceptable to the EU. Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, was speaking as Ireland’s deputy prime minister, Simon Coveney, said MPs who were planning to vote against Theresa May’s deal needed to stop their “wishful thinking” that the EU would reopen Brexit negotiations. (Guardian)


  • London First: Business group ready to back second Brexit referendum if Theresa May loses Commons vote: An influential business group has said it is willing to back a new referendum on the Brexit deal and is demanding that the government “stop the clock” on withdrawal to avoid crashing out for the EU. London First, a campaign group that represents 200 employers in the capital and counts the chief executives of Deloitte, Legal & General and Capita among its board members, withdrew its support for Theresa May’s Brexit deal on Monday. The group said a meaningful parliamentary vote on the prime minister’s offering looked increasingly likely to be defeated. If the government loses the vote it must revoke Article 50 in order to buy time to negotiate a better deal for the UK, London First said, adding that if no workable plan can be developed, the people must have their say. (The Independent)


  • Brexit secretary says he has not personally discussed delaying UK’s EU withdrawal: The Brexit Secretary says he has not personally discussed delaying the UK’s departure from the EU, after a claim that the UK has been “putting out feelers”. Stephen Barclay cast doubt on a report that the UK has been “testing the waters” on an extension to the Article 50 notice, beyond 29 March, because of the impasse at Westminster. He pointed to several “practical” problems with an extension and insisted it remained Theresa May’s policy to carry out Brexit to the promised timetable. The claim came after Margot James, the business minister, broke ranks to warn a pause to Article 50 would be needed if – as expected – the prime minister’s deal is defeated by MPs next week. (The Independent)

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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