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Welcome to the weekly Financial Services highlights from the Financial Services team for the week ending 14 December 2017.
The House of Lords European Union Committee has published a report which outlines the potential impact of the UK leaving the EU without a deal and examines the feasibility of a transition period immediately post-Brexit. The report finds that 'no deal' would be economically damaging and would bring an abrupt end to cooperation between the UK and EU on issues such as counter terrorism, police and security and nuclear safeguards. It would also require controls to be established at the Irish land border. Lawyers from Pinsent Masons and Doughty Street Chambers say the report calls into question the government’s ability to deliver a Brexit deal. They also doubt that the government would accept the committee’s suggestion of extending the Brexit deadline beyond March 2019.
The UK and the EU have agreed to move Brexit negotiations to the next phase. The government has published a policy paper in which it described the deal as a ‘breakthrough’. The agreement shows progress on various important withdrawal issues, such as the financial settlement, which will amount to between £35bn and £39bn. The agreement also shows progress on various separation issues, such as the decision of ‘no hard border’ between Northern Ireland and the Republic. The EU has told the UK the next stage of trade talks will not occur until February 2018 at the earliest. Industry leaders and legal experts cautiously welcome the progress, but suggest the ‘deal’ offers little concrete information regarding the UK’s future relationship with the EU, which critics suggest will prove far more challenging.
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