• Theresa May suffers fresh Commons defeat – Prime Minister Theresa May has suffered another Commons defeat after MPs voted down her approach to Brexit talks. MPs voted by 303 to 258 – a majority of 45 – against a motion endorsing the government’s negotiating strategy. The defeat has no legal force and Downing Street said it would not change the PM’s approach to talks with the EU. But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged Mrs May to “admit her Brexit strategy has failed” and to come forward with a plan Parliament would support. The defeat came after the pro-Brexit European Research Group (ERG) of Conservative MPs announced it had taken a “collective decision” to abstain, because backing the motion would have amounted to an endorsement of efforts to rule out a no-deal Brexit. (BBC)

 

  • Corbyn to hold Brexit talks with Barnier and Verhofstadt – Jeremy Corbyn will hold talks in Brussels next week with Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, as he seeks to break the Brexit impasse and persuade Theresa May to sign up to a customs union. The visit is likely to be highly unwelcome in Downing Street, and risks accusations that Labour is pursuing its own shadow negotiations, undermining the prime minister’s hopes of fresh EU concessions. May will be in Brussels in the same week to meet the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker. The UK attorney-general, Geoffrey Cox, is expected to travel with her. During a whistle-stop tour of the central figures in the Brexit talks on Thursday, Corbyn is also due to meet the European parliament’s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt. He will also hold talks with senior figures in the socialist group in the European parliament, including Labour MEPs. (The Guardian)

 

  • Cost of Brexit to UK economy running at £40bn a year – Bank rate-setter – The cost of Brexit to the British economy is running at £40bn a year and a damaging no-deal scenario could force an emergency cut in interest rates, according to a Bank of England rate-setter. Gertjan Vlieghe, a member of the Bank’s monetary policy committee, said that since the vote in June 2016, the economy had lost about 2% of GDP compared with a scenario where there had been no significant domestic economic events. The cost to Britain is currently £40bn a year, or about £800m a week of lost income, he said. Since the referendum, the UK’s economic growth has slowed while the rest of the world has recorded one of its strongest periods for growth of the past decade. Vlieghe’s estimate for the weekly cost of Brexit so far is more than double the £350m the Leave campaign claimed could be saved on EU membership fees and instead spent on the NHS. (The Guardian)

 

  • Dutch PM on Brexit: UK is a waning country too small to stand alone – Britain is a “waning country” and too small to stand alone on the world stage, the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, has claimed in a withering assessment of the UK’s exit from the EU. Rutte, who has emerged as a key player in the talks over the past two years, also warned in an interview that the UK looked to be sliding off the “precipice” towards a “devastating” no-deal Brexit. “Who will be left weakened by Brexit is the United Kingdom,” he said. “It is already weakening, it is a waning country compared to two or three years ago. It is going to become an economy of middling size in the Atlantic Ocean. It is neither the US nor the EU. It is too small to appear on the world stage on its own.” Rutte, who also claimed the Dutch would replace the UK in the bloc as the pre-eminent voice for free trade, has been regularly consulted by Theresa May on progress in the Brexit negotiations. (The Guardian)

 

  • EU, America and China will all get new medicines ahead of Britain after Brexit, drug company boss warns – The EU, the United States and China will get access to new medicines ahead of the UK after Brexit, the CEO of a global pharmaceutical company has said. David Meek, the CEO of Ipsen, a leading pharmaceutical multinational, has warned that the uncertainty around Brexit and the relocation of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) from London to Amsterdam has meant Britain has slipped down the list of priorities when it comes to filing for approval for new drugs. The responsibilities of the EMA will be adopted by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which Mr Meek believes will now fall into less prominent category. (Independent)
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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