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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

Brexit Update – “A Week Is a Long Time in Politics”

“A week is a long time in politics” – Harold Wilson, British Prime Minister, in 1964 The first week of Parliamentary scrutiny for Boris Johnson’s Government has certainly lived up to Harold Wilson’s famous aphorism.  MPs returned from their summer break to the news that the Prime Minister intended to close down (“prorogue”) Parliament after … Continue Reading

How Will Plans to End Free Movement Affect Your Current and Future EU Workforce?

The Home Office has recently issued a factsheet indicating that freedom of movement as it currently stands will end on 31 October 2019 and that arrangements for people coming to the UK for longer periods for work or study will change. Annabel Mace looks at what this means in practice and how employers should prepare. … Continue Reading

Brexit – Here We Go Again

The new Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson, has taken up office following his decisive (66% : 34%) victory in the contest among Conservative Party members who were presented with a choice between him and the Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. He promised during the campaign to take the UK out of the EU by … Continue Reading