• Rule out no-deal, Jeremy Corbyn tells Theresa May – Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he will not hold talks with Theresa May until she rules out a no-deal Brexit. In a direct message to Mrs May he said: “Take no-deal off the table now please prime minister.” The prime minister has held talks with senior figures from the SNP, the Lib Dems, the Green Party and Plaid Cymru after she narrowly survived a no-confidence vote on Wednesday. She is to publish an updated plan of action on EU withdrawal to Parliament on Monday, 21 January, with a full debate and the key vote on it scheduled for Tuesday, 29 January. Corbyn’s letter can be read here. (BBC)

 

  • May tells Corbyn it is ‘impossible’ to rule out no deal – Theresa May has told Jeremy Corbyn his demand that she rule out a no-deal scenario as a prerequisite for Brexit talks is “an impossible condition” and called on him to join cross-party discussions immediately. In a letter to Corbyn on Thursday afternoon, written after the Labour leader dismissed her request for talks as a “stunt”, May said that she would be “happy to discuss” the Labour leader’s ideas. Referring to Corbyn’s instruction to Labour MPs not to meet with her, May asked: “Is it right to ask your MPs not to seek a solution with the government?” The proposed talks have been stymied by Corbyn’s insistence that a no-deal must be ruled out as a precondition and May’s insistence that doing so would not be workable. In her letter she wrote: “It is not within the government’s power to rule out no deal.” The Prime Minister’s letter can be read here. (The Guardian)

 

  • Corbyn could face string of resignations if he backs ‘people’s vote’ – Jeremy Corbyn could face up to a dozen resignations from the Labour frontbench if the party backs a second referendum as a way out of the Brexit crisis. A string of junior shadow ministers have told the Guardian they are strongly opposed to the idea of a second referendum, which they fear would expose Labour to a vicious backlash in leave-voting constituencies. The development follows another tense day of brinkmanship in Westminster between Theresa May and the Labour leader as they seek a way out of the crisis that has engulfed both major parties. (The Guardian)

 

  • Business groups call for politicians’ consensus on Brexit plan B – Business lobby groups on Thursday insisted there was no point delaying the UK’s departure from the EU unless politicians forged a consensus on a Brexit plan B, as they expressed increasing concern about the risk of Britain crashing out of the bloc. Josh Hardie, deputy director-general of the CBI, said extending Article 50 to give more time for deadlock in parliament would be of “no use”. “If there were to be an extension, there needs to be a change in position [at Westminster] so that it can deliver for the UK,” he added. (FT)

 

  • France activates no-deal plan – French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has said a no-deal Brexit looks “less and less unlikely” and has launched a contingency plan to prepare for it. After the UK Parliament rejected the withdrawal agreement, Mr Philippe said laws had to be passed and millions invested in French ports and airports. An EU official will now visit all 27 capitals to co-ordinate no-deal plans. Some €50m (£44m; $57m) would be invested in ports and airports, focusing on control points and parking areas, with the possible appointment of 580 customs and veterinary staff. In addition to France, Belgium, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands, have drafted emergency legislation to help them deal with a no-deal Brexit. (BBC)

 

  • Senior MPs intensify efforts to block no-deal Brexit – MPs from all the main parties on Thursday intensified their efforts to prevent a no-deal Brexit through a parliamentary manoeuvre that could cause a major split in the Conservative party. Supporters of two factions determined to stop a no-deal Brexit — one led by Nick Boles, the former Conservative minister, and another by Dominic Grieve, the former Tory attorney-general — held talks at Westminster on Thursday. (FT)

 

  • Irish drivers warned on N Ireland insurance in no-deal Brexit – Irish motorists have been warned to apply for a special “green card” to prove they are insured to drive in Northern Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit, as Dublin grapples with the implications of Britain crashing out of the EU. Separately, exporters to the UK have been put on notice that millions of extra customs declarations will be needed if Britain leaves the bloc without an agreed deal. Irish insurers have printed more than 400,000 forms in anticipation of a deluge of applications from motorists, many of whom commute to and from Northern Ireland daily. They have been told Northern Ireland authorities could seize their cars if they do not carry a card to prove they have insurance. (FT)

 

  • Second EU referendum would take a year, UK government paper says – A second referendum would take more than a year to be organised, according to a UK government briefing paper shown to opposition lawmakers today. Theresa May’s office said the one-page paper was a “factual” and “illustrative” document prepared by officials to aid cross-party talks intended to find a way forward on Brexit. (MLex)

 

  • Smaller banks could benefit from simpler regimes after Brexit, PRA’s Woods says – Smaller banks and financial institutions could benefit from simpler regimes after Brexit to advance both “safety and soundness” objectives and competition objectives, the deputy governor of the Bank of England’s supervisory arm has said. Sam Woods, of the Prudential Regulation Authority, said the UK has often argued in Europe for simpler approaches for small players, but the differing traditions across EU countries and the desire to harmonize regulation and supervision have been “powerful forces in the opposite direction.” (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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