• Theresa May’s strategy unchanged despite Tory row over defeat – Theresa May is sticking to her Brexit strategy, despite her party rowing in the wake of her latest Commons defeat. MPs rejected a motion endorsing her approach by 303 to 258, with 66 Tory MPs abstaining, leading one minister to accuse Brexiteer rebels of “treachery”. Steve Baker, of the backbench European Research Group which led the rebellion, called it a “storm in a teacup”. The PM will return to Brussels “within days”, after her Brexit secretary met EU ambassadors in London on Friday. Steve Barclay will also travel for further talks with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Monday, with Parliament yet to back a deal ahead of the UK’s withdrawal from the bloc on 29 March. (BBC)

 

  • Scotland government demands lost EU funding be ‘replaced in full’ by Treasury after UK’s exit – The Scottish Government wants all lost EU funding currently received by Scotland to be “replaced in full” by the UK Treasury after Brexit. Representatives from both the Scottish and Welsh governments are due to meet with chief secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss in Cardiff on Friday. Ahead of the meeting, Scottish finance secretary Derek Mackay said he was “deeply concerned” about the lack of clarity over future budgets and wants assurances that Scotland would “not be financially worse off as a result of the EU exit”. Welsh finance minister Rebecca Evans has urged the UK government to provide more details on future funding arrangements and changes to public sector pensions. Mr Mackay said EU funding had supported major infrastructure projects, helped sustain rural communities and financed research for Scotland’s universities. (Independent)

 

  • EU-Irish solidarity ‘will not diminish’, says Varadkar – Anyone believing the EU’s solidarity with Ireland may diminish is in for a “nasty surprise”, the Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) has said. Leo Varadkar made the comments during the All-Island Civic Dialogue conference in Dublin Castle. The event aims to discuss the implications of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union on 29 March. Mr Vardkar added: “Ireland’s concerns have become the European Union’s concerns”. On Friday, the Taoiseach said Ireland had received “remarkable solidarity” from the EU since the UK voted to leave. “Despite many attempts to bilateralise issues, or to divide the 27, the solidarity has been strong and resolute, and those who believe it will break at the last moment are in for a nasty surprise,” he added. (BBC)

 

  • Conservatives squabble over no-deal Brexit after May’s defeat – Conservative party’s divisions deepened following Theresa May’s latest parliamentary defeat. Andrea Leadsom, leader of the House of Commons, said the government “absolutely” would not rule out a no-deal scenario, hours after Alistair Burt, minister of state at the Foreign Office, tweeted “we are not leaving without a deal”. “The government does not want no-deal, but it is there because that is the legal default position, and any competent government must prepare for all eventualities,” Mrs Leadsom told the BBC. The Conservatives are divided over a no-deal scenario that the party’s Europhile wing regards as disastrous but which Eurosceptic Tories see as preferable to remaining within Brussels’ orbit. Mrs Leadsom acknowledged that some ministers could resign if Mrs May refused to delay Britain’s scheduled March 29 exit to prevent a no-deal outcome. “Resignations from government do happen,” she said. (FT)

 

  • UK lawmakers push to halt a no-deal Brexit – UK opposition lawmaker Yvette Cooper has put forward new draft legislation that would seek to stop a no-deal exit from the EU. The legislation states that after March 13, 2019, the Government must seek lawmakers’ permission either to exit the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement, or seek lawmakers’ permission for an extension of the Article 50 process. The length of the extension would be determined by the Government. The bill is supported by senior lawmakers from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Scottish National Party groups. The draft legislation can be viewed here. (MLex)

 

  • EU should trust UK on clearing post-Brexit, says BoE – EU regulators should drop ambitions for greater direct supervision of London clearing houses after Brexit, to avoid imposing potentially “conflicting requirements” on institutions that play a key role in global markets, according to a top official at the Bank of England. London’s clearing houses, which manage the risk around trades if one side defaults, have become ensnared in Brexit politics because they handle the bulk of the €660tn market for derivatives cleared in Europe. While EU authorities have a “valid interest” in monitoring the City’s clearing houses, they should defer to UK regulators, David Bailey, director of markets infrastructure at the BoE, said in an interview. “We have lots of experience co-operating with overseas regulators, making sure where they have a valid interest in a UK clearing house, they have the relevant input they need,” he said. (FT)

 

  • Brussels rejects plea for dual-listed London shares trading – Brussels has rebuffed calls from EU asset managers who want to continue trading dual-listed shares in London after a no-deal Brexit, in an indication of the European Commission’s tough stance on financial services. European regulations stipulate that EU investors must trade dual-listed shares on venues recognised by the EU. In a no-deal Brexit, EU fund managers would have to restrict themselves to trading the dual-listed shares on EU exchanges, where prices are often less competitive. That has led to concerns in London that the rules could shift trading and consolidate dual listings in the bloc. Alternatively it could see companies delist their EU quote and focus on the UK, because in a no-deal scenario fund managers would maintain access to trade stocks that are only listed in London. (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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