• Talks on backstop ‘alternative arrangements’ begin: MPs have met with the government to discuss alternative arrangements to the proposed Irish border “backstop”, as three days of talks begin. The Alternative Arrangements Working Group, with Leave and Remain MPs, met for the first time after the Commons voted to find another way of avoiding the return of Irish border checks. A government spokesman said the talks had been “detailed and constructive”. The Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told RTE radio the UK was reviewing ideas that had “already been rejected” and it was “very frustrating” that the UK government was “going back to the idea of technology”. (BBC)

 

  • Customs checks to be simplified in ‘no-deal’ situation: Lorries will be able to drive straight off ferries and Channel Tunnel trains without making customs declarations in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, the government has announced. New guidance for importers and hauliers say firms would file a simplified form online in advance and pay duty later. Hauliers have warned that no-deal could result in long queues at Channel ports. The industry said firms would still not be ready for a “chaotic” EU exit – even with these simplified procedures. (BBC)

 

  • Nissan was offered state aid to cope with Brexit, minister concedes: The business secretary has admitted the existence of a previously secret package of state aid to Nissan that could have been worth up to £80m had the carmaker gone ahead with plans to manufacture a new model X Trail in Sunderland after Brexit. Greg Clark released a letter dated October 2016 in which he pledged tens of millions of pounds of support and promised the Japanese company it would not be “adversely affected” after the UK leaves the European Union. (The Guardian)

 

  • UK’s finance chiefs say Brexit is biggest risk to business: Finance chiefs at UK companies believe that Brexit presents the biggest risk to their business, with almost 80% predicting a worse corporate environment after the country leaves the EU, according to new survey data. More than 100 chief finance officers responding to Deloitte’s latest quarterly CFO report said Brexit presented the biggest risk to business over the next 12 months, above other factors including weak UK demand and US protectionism. (FT)

 

  • May attempts to reassure European business leaders on Brexit: Theresa May tried to reassure European business leaders on Monday that she would deliver a withdrawal agreement by March 29, whilst making it clear she wanted their help in rallying support for compromise from the EU. During the call with 15 members of the European Round Table of Industrialists, participants said it was “implicit” that she wanted their help in urging European governments to compromise on the Irish backstop. The ERT includes the chairs or chief executives of 54 multinational companies doing business in Europe, including Lakshmi Mittal, chairman of ArcelorMittal; José-María Álvarez-Pallete, chief executive of Spanish telecoms company Telefónica; Nils Andersen, chairman of chemicals company Akzo Nobel; Rafael del Pino, chairman of transporter Ferrovial; and Leif Johansson, chairman of pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The companies represented on today’s call have combined revenues of more than €2.25tn, and support nearly 7m jobs across Europe. (FT)

 

  • Lord Trimble to take UK government to court over Brexit Irish backstop: David Trimble, the first Northern Ireland first minister, will take the UK government to court amid claims the Irish backstop contravenes the Good Friday Agreement. Lord Trimble, the Conservative peer and former leader of the Ulster Unionist party, will argue the backstop should be removed from the Brexit deal negotiated by Theresa May. (FT)
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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