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Implications of the EU-UK Trade Agreement on UK Financial Services

As expected, the market access to the EU for UK financial services firms has changed post-Brexit. The implications of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (“Agreement“) for financial services are more severe than for example trade, and the effects come close to that of a hard Brexit. Andreas Fillmann explores what this means for UK Financial Services looking … Continue Reading

Freeports in England – The Tax Offering

On Monday 16 November 2020, the UK government published the Freeports Bidding Prospectus, formally opening the bidding process to establish what it hopes will be at least seven new Freeports across England. The devolved administrations will oversee their own bidding process for creating new Freeports in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Here we look at … Continue Reading

Business Viability and Brexit

The UK will leave the EU single market, Customs Union, and VAT and excise duty area on 31 December. From 1 January 2021, the UK will operate its own external border as a sovereign nation. Is your business ready for the looming deadline of Brexit?  Dealing with Brexit and the ongoing uncertainties about the COVID-19 … Continue Reading

Preparing For Data Privacy Compliance Post Brexit Transition

With still no Withdrawal Agreement in place and eight weeks until the transition period ends, businesses should be planning now to ensure the continuity of EEA-UK data flows. Identifying affected intra-group, customer and vendor arrangements and preparing priority action plans is a crucial first step. Our guide prepared by Francesca Fellowes, Andrea Ward and Asel … Continue Reading

The Impact of Brexit on Contracts

Brexit threatens to have a significant impact on all UK businesses when they are importing and exporting goods and services from suppliers in the EU, as well as EU businesses when they are exporting goods and services to the UK. As such, all businesses (particularly manufacturers and retailers) need to consider the impact of Brexit … Continue Reading

Why Data May Prove One of The Hardest Parts of Brexit

Personal data and its transfer over international boundaries hit the news in July 2020, yet again, as the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) handed down the Schrems II decision on data transfers reaffirming its strong backing for data protection rights.  In October, a CJEU ruling on UK (as well as French and Belgian) … Continue Reading

UK Freeports – The Tax Angle

On Wednesday 7 October 2020, the UK government published the Response document to the Freeports Consultation that was originally launched in February 2020. With the UK simultaneously negotiating multiple new free trade agreements, freeports could make a significant contribution to making the UK’s post-Brexit economic and trade policy truly global. The creation of freeports is … Continue Reading

The UK’s New Points-based Immigration System: Where Are We Now?

The government has issued updated guidance for employers on the UK’s points-based system, which will apply to new applicants from the EU, the EEA and Switzerland (excluding Ireland), as well as those from outside the EU, from January 2021. Unfortunately, the updated guidance does not tell us much more than we already knew from the July 2020 policy statement – employers … Continue Reading

How Will Changes To The Chemical Regulation EU REACH Affect Your Compliance Obligations In The UK and EU After The Transition Period?

At the end of the transitional period, on 31 December 2020, the chemical regulation EU REACH will cease to apply in the UK. This will automatically invalidate EU REACH registrations and authorisations held by UK companies. A stand-alone UK chemical regulation UK REACH will replace EU REACH in the UK. Anita Lloyd and Dave Gordon … Continue Reading

Brexit and Subsidies Control

EU state aid law is a cornerstone of EU competition law and policy. It helps preserve a level playing field between companies competing in the internal market. Crucially, it operates only within the EU. Thus, EU state aid rules do not apply to financial support granted by non-EU authorities to companies in the EU, or … Continue Reading

Brexit – A Huge Change Coming

Having formally left the EU on 31 January, we are now into the home straight of the next lap of the Brexit process: defining the new relationship with the EU. Things are getting heated.  Both sides are accusing the other of bad faith, and the UK Government is threatening to pass controversial legislation which would … Continue Reading

Off to a Bumpy Start

In the last week of February – amid some chest-beating ferocity on both sides – the EU and UK published their respective negotiating mandates for the negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and the EU, which duly started at the beginning of March. On the day those talks started, the UK published its … Continue Reading

Getting Brexit Done

“They think it’s all over” The UK formally left the EU at 11pm GMT on Friday 31st January.  In keeping with his election slogan “get Brexit done”, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has banned the word Brexit from the Government lexicon.  Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay resigned at 11pm that evening, and his Ministry was disbanded.  Job … Continue Reading

Brexit Unblocked

One election, two winners, three losers The United Kingdom went to the polls in a general election on 12th December – the first winter election for almost a century.  Boris Johnson’s Conservatives campaigned on a strong “Get Brexit Done” slogan, against most other parties arguing for a second referendum or to stop Brexit altogether (Nigel … Continue Reading

Brexit: Turkeys voting for Christmas?

Brexit delayed again – now it’s off to the races in a General Election Despite having finally achieved a Parliamentary majority in favour of a way of delivering Brexit, in the Second Reading of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on 22nd October, Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided – in the face of Parliament’s refusal to allow … Continue Reading

Brexit – What Just Happened?

The UK Parliament met on Saturday for the fourth time in the past century, on 19th October, to vote on the revised Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by the Prime Minister and his EU counterparts. The date mattered, because under the Benn Act the Prime Minister would have to seek an extension to the 31st October Brexit … Continue Reading

So, What Happens Now? – An Update

Please note that this is an update to our blog post ‘Brexit – So What Happens Now?’, published on 8 October. The UK Parliament was prorogued (i.e. suspended) again on Tuesday 8th October, but this time inside a week as is usual before a Queen’s Speech on 14th October which set out the Government’s agenda for the … Continue Reading

Brexit – So What Happens Now?

The UK Parliament will be prorogued (i.e. suspended) again on Tuesday 8th October, but this time inside a week as is usual before a Queen’s Speech on 14th October setting out the Government’s agenda for the coming year.  It all however has a slight air of unreality about it, as most observers think that there … Continue Reading

Let Them Eat Cake (If We Coordinate) – Will UK Government Waive Competition Rules in Response to Food/Drink Shortages?

The possibility of a no-deal Brexit, and therefore the potential for food and drink supplies to be disrupted, has led to calls for the government to provide “cast-iron guarantees” that businesses in the food supply chain will be permitted to work together to discuss and tackle shortages, in order to decide where to prioritise shipments, … Continue Reading