• May says she will not put seamless border in Northern Ireland at risk: Theresa May has said that she will not allow changes to the Brexit withdrawal agreement that give no insurance for the people of Northern Ireland, suggesting she would reject technology that disrupted border communities. Speaking in Belfast, she said MPs wanted to see changes to the backstop that could command support across the Commons but accepted that there were anxieties about replacing the arrangement. Mrs May said that a seamless border was “the cornerstone around which the community in Northern Ireland has come together to deliver peace and prosperity” and that she would “not do anything to put that at risk”. (The Guardian)


  • Liam Fox considering cutting UK import tariffs to zero in no-deal Brexit: Liam Fox is considering a plan to slash tariffs on all imports to zero if there is a no-deal Brexit in a move that would keep prices low for consumers at the expense of British industries. The UK trade secretary revealed his idea at a meeting with representatives of the ceramics industry on Monday. Laura Cohen, chief executive of the British Ceramic Confederation, said the idea was “foolhardy” because it could ruin the industry by “wrecking” the home market. (FT)


  • EU ‘intransigence’ could mean no-deal Brexit, says DUP: The leader of the Democratic Unionist party has stated that “intransigence” from Brussels and Dublin could lead to the UK leaving Europe without a deal. Asked on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme if her party’s hardline stance on the border backstop was making a no-deal Brexit more likely, Arlene Foster said: “Well, actually, I could reverse that by saying, through the intransigence of the European Union and the Republic of Ireland in their attitude, they are actually more likely to bring about the very thing that they want to avoid.” She said she would tell Theresa May and leaders in Dublin that there should be no backstop. (The Guardian)


  • May to meet Juncker on Thursday to seek Brexit concessions: Theresa May is to return to Brussels on Thursday seeking fresh concessions despite the EU’s insistence that the bloc will not renegotiate the Brexit deal. The Prime Minister will meet Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission President, on Thursday morning, and Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, in the early afternoon. Mrs May is expected to formally seek the reopening of the withdrawal agreement on the back of the passing of the so-called Brady amendment last week calling for “alternative arrangements” to replace the Irish backstop. (The Guardian)


  • Ireland and EU discuss emergency funds to offset no-deal Brexit: Ireland is in talks with the EU over a substantial Brexit emergency fund to offset the damage caused to the country’s EUR 4.5bn (£3.6bn) food exports to Britain if the UK leaves the European Union with no deal. Contingency funds to compensate farmers have already been discussed at the highest levels of the European Commission and are expected to arise in talks with Leo Varadkar during a round of meetings in Brussels on Wednesday. Sources say Ireland will be looking for a “long-term fix” in EU budget talks in April rather than a lump sum Brexit bailout. (The Guardian)


  • UK truckers could access EU via old bilateral deals under no-deal Brexit, government says: UK road transport companies could maintain much of their access to the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit as the government could resurrect old bilateral deals with individual European countries. Transport minister Jesse Norman told UK lawmakers that 22 agreements made with EU Member States many decades ago have been identified that would come into force to ensure road haulage operations do not grind to a halt if a withdrawal deal cannot be secured. The government has received informal assurances from national governments that agreements predating EU membership could be brought back into force. (MLex)


  • British steelmakers warn on ‘hugely negative’ impact of no-deal Brexit: British steel companies have been warned that they will face trade restrictions in virtually all their export markets in the event of a no-deal Brexit, resulting in a “hugely negative” impact on annual sales worth £2.8bn. UK Steel, an industry lobby group, said in a briefing paper sent to members, that departure from the EU without an agreement would mean duties or quotas in markets accounting for 97% of outbound shipments, up from about 15% at present. Britain’s 2.6m tonnes of steel exports to the EU would also be “severely disrupted” because of extra paperwork, costs and border delays, it added. (FT)

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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