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These Brexit highlights bring you a summary of the latest Brexit news and legislation updates from across a range of LexisNexis® practice areas, collated on 7 August 2020.
Parliament has risen for the Summer recess and is due to return in September 2020, but we will continue to keep you updated on key developments.
This section contains key overarching Brexit news headlines.
With key issues yet to be resolved, a further modified schedule of talks on the future UK-EU relationship has been agreed, in order to ‘create the most conducive conditions for concluding and ratifying a deal before the end of 2020’. Details of the revised schedule of talks are outlined in a further addendum to the original joint terms of reference for the future relationship negotiations (subject to change as agreed between the parties). Further talks are due to take place every week from w/c 17 August 2020, until w/c 28 September 2020. The programme will involve a mix of formal negotiating rounds and smaller specialised sessions (as necessary) in London and Brussels (subject to public health guidelines).
See: LNB News 03/08/2020 30.
The House of Commons Library has published a briefing looking at the status of negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship, following intensified talks and negotiating rounds held in June and July 2020. It looks at the negotiating timeline, following the recent announcement of further talks, and examines the prospects and process for finalising a deal by the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.
See: LNB News 05/08/2020 47.
The Cabinet Office has published long-awaited guidance on the operation of the Northern Ireland Protocol to the Withdrawal Agreement, which is due to take effect from 1 January 2021. Ensuring that the Protocol is fully operational in order to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland at the end of the Brexit transition period is an agreed priority for the UK and the EU. The government promised a ‘pragmatic and practical’ approach to implementing the Protocol, minimising divergence and disruption for businesses and individuals, but the Protocol does introduce provisions specific to Northern Ireland, particularly in relation to the movement of goods. The guidance published on 7 August 2020 outlines the various processes for movement of goods between Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the EU and beyond. In addition to the guidance, the Cabinet Office has announced £650m in funding, including up to £200m for a new Trader Support Service (TSS), providing free end-to-end support for traders in Northern Ireland. Further guidance will follow as work to implement the Protocol continues. The government admits that there remain areas without ‘complete certainty’, but promises ‘full guidance’ by the end of the transition period.
See: LNB News 07/08/2020 42.
This section contains Brexit news headlines relating to Brexit-related primary legislation and legislative preparation for Brexit generally.
Correspondence from the House of Lords Committee on the Constitution to Minister in the Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Lord Callanan, has been published, questioning the ‘need to legislate’ for the UK internal market and raising concerns over the urgency with which the government plans to proceed with limited consultation. In the letter, the Chair of the Constitution Committee, Baroness Taylor of Bolton, notes that the Committee is ‘unsure’ what problems the government’s White Paper on the UK internal market is looking to solve and warns against attempts to resolve economic matters via expedited legislation, without proper engagement and consultation on the related political and constitutional issues.
See: LNB News 05/08/2020 56.
The Government Digital Service has published new guidance on applications for EU funding to help stakeholders prepare for the end of the transition period and beyond. Further new and updated guidance may be issued as the transition period progresses, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.
See: LNB News 05/08/2020 48.
The Chief Commercial Officer of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Steve Oldfield, has written to medicines and medical suppliers setting out plans and requirements to ensure continuity of supply of medical goods and healthcare provision at the end of the transition period. DHSC has also updated its guidance on the continuity of healthcare and supply of medicines and medical products for stakeholders to prepare for IP completion day. Further new and updated guidance may be issued as the transition period progresses, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.
See: LNB News 03/08/2020 103.
The Department for International Trade (DIT) has published revised guidance on exporting to Vietnam following the entry into force of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement on 1 August 2020. The UK is engaging to secure similar terms with Vietnam to enter into force after the transition period. Further new and updated guidance may be issued as the negotiations continue, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.
See: LNB News 05/08/2020 68.
The Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) of the Department for International Trade (DIT) has published new guidance on applying for a trade remedies investigation on imports causing or threatening injury to UK industry. During the transition period, applicants may only apply for investigation of imports where there is already an EU investigation in progress. From January 2021, other import practices may be investigated. Further new and updated guidance may be issued in preparation for the end of the transition period, so stakeholders are advised to monitor these pages for updates.
See: LNB News 30/07/2020 30.
The House of Lords International Agreements Sub-Committee (IASC), chaired by Lord Goldsmith QC, has written to the government outlining the concerns they have heard from stakeholders about some of the government’s planned trade agreements and calls for ‘stronger powers for Parliament in scrutinising trade deals’. Lord Goldsmith QC stated: ‘There is incredibly limited time for us—and for stakeholders across the UK—to scrutinise UK treaty negotiations effectively, which raises concerns over ensuring these deals provide real value to all parts of the UK, the industries affected and to the public as a whole. While that is the government’s ambition, Parliament must be able to scrutinise the government’s actions and check whether that ambition has been realised.’
See: LNB News 31/07/2020 48.
This section contains key Brexit news hand-picked by Lexis®PSL lawyers from their own practice areas.
Brexit: HM Treasury statement on securitisation repository registration
HM Treasury has announced that it will soon bring forward legislation to ensure the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has the relevant powers to enable a well-functioning securitisation regime following the end of the Brexit transition period. This legislation will cover securitisation repository registration arrangements under the UK Securitisation Regulation. It is intended to assist the FCA when considering draft applications for registration from prospective securitisation repositories prior to the end of the Brexit transition period.
See: LNB News 30/07/2020 97.
For further updates from Banking and Finance, see: Banking and Finance weekly highlights—overview.
Comment—UK uncertainty over EU data-transfer deal grows as Brexit deadline nears
The UK’s prospects of maintaining a free flow of data with the EU after Brexit by clinching a deal with the bloc this year are looking increasingly shaky as the clock ticks down.
See News Analysis: Comment—UK uncertainty over EU data-transfer deal grows as Brexit deadline nears.
For further updates from Commercial, see: Commercial weekly highlights—overview.
Post-Brexit law enforcement will require EU and UK co-operation
As Brexit approaches, the UK and the EU have many law enforcement measures left to negotiate, such as how they will co-operate on matters of extradition and anti-money laundering, says Nicola Sharp at Rahman Ravelli.
See News Analysis: Post-Brexit law enforcement will require EU and UK co-operation.
For further updates from Corporate Crime, see: Corporate Crime weekly highlights—overview.
Welsh Government seeks comment on support for farmers post-implementation period
The Welsh Government has opened a consultation on the subject of its proposals to continue and simplify support for farmers and the wider rural economy following IP completion day. The consultation sets out a framework to support the competitiveness of farming and food production responding to the climate emergency and seeks comment on its approach. The consultation closes on 23 October 2020.
See: LNB News 31/07/2020 80.
For further updates from Environment, see: Environment weekly highlights—overview.
PRA consults on implementation of CRD V
The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) published Consultation Paper CP12/20 Capital Requirements Directive V (CRD V) (CP12/20), in which it consults on the implementation in the UK of elements of the Capital Requirements Directive (EU) 2019/878 (CRD V). The consultation closes on 30 September 2020.
See: LNB News 31/07/2020 58.
ISDA paper finds Brexit may have ‘cliff-edge’ effect on OTC derivatives market
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), alongside the Italian Financial Markets Intermediaries Association (Associazione Intermediari Mercati Finanziari, or ASSOSIM), the Swedish Securities Dealers Association (Svenska Fondhandlareföreningen), the European Banking Federation and the Danish Securities Dealers Association (Børsmæglerforening Danmark), published a paper responding to concerns about the impact of Brexit on EU and UK firms and their EU and UK clients after IP completion day. The paper sets out reasons on why IP completion day, unless mitigating action is taken, will generate a ‘cliff-edge’ change in the EU regulatory requirements that apply to the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives business, adversely affecting EU or UK firms and their EU and UK clients.
See: LNB News 31/07/2020 93.
Lloyd’s warns over post-Brexit German reinsurance business
Lloyd’s of London (Lloyd’s) has warned its members that reinsurance contracts for German clients will need to be written through Lloyd’s Insurance Company SA (LIC), based in Brussels from October 2020, unless the UK can secure a deal on Solvency II equivalence with Europe before then.
See: Lloyd’s warns over post-Brexit German reinsurance business.
New cyber security sanctions regime
The UK government published details of the new cyber security sanctions regime in the form of the Cyber (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 (the Regulations). Cyber security has arguably never been more important as our world becomes increasingly digitised. This provides fertile soil for cyber criminals, who are using increasingly sophisticated methods of illegally accessing IT networks. Nicola Broadhurst, partner; and Gregory Barton, associate; both at Stevens & Bolton LLP, set out details of the regime and the purpose of the Regulations.
See News Analysis: New cyber security sanctions regime.
For further updates from Financial Services, see: Financial Services weekly highlights—overview.
WIPO discusses end of the transition period for Madrid System users
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has published a discussion of the implications of the end of IP completion day for Madrid System users. The discussion sets out what will happen to international registrations under the Madrid System that the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has neither refused nor protected on 1 January 2021 and to international registrations under the Madrid System protected in the EU before 1 January 2021. It also discusses the rights of holders of existing international registrations, centralised management under the Madrid System for a comparable UK trade mark, and continuing use of the Madrid System as a UK national or legal entity after the transition period.
See: LNB News 30/07/2020 82.
WIPO issues statement on Brexit implications on the Hague Agreement
The WIPO has issued a statement on the implications of Brexit on the Hague Agreement concerning the international registration of industrial designs. Effective on 1 January 2021, international applications and registrations that have the designation of the EU will no longer have effect in respect of the UK. International registrations that have been protected in the EU before the end of IP completion day will be automatically granted an equivalent national design right in the UK at the end of IP completion day. The UK IPO will record such re-registered international designs in its register without any actions required from the holder of the rights, however, from 1 January 2021, international design holders must manage re-registered designs directly through UK IPO and not the International Bureau of WIPO.
See: LNB News 30/07/2020 77.
For further updates from IP, see: Weekly highlights (IP)—overview.
Cyprus rejects EU-Canada trade agreement
It has been reported that Parliament in Cyprus has voted against ratifying the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada on the basis that it does not adequately protect Cypriot goods. Opponents of the agreement also argued that CETA would adversely affect smaller producers. There were 18 votes in favour of ratifying the agreement, 37 against and no abstentions. The Cypriot Government is holding deliberations with opposition parties who voted against the ratification. CETA, a key precedent referred to in the development of the UK’s proposals for the future UK-EU relationship, entered into force provisionally in 2017 but will not enter into force fully until it is ratified by all EU Member States. Many countries are yet to ratify, but Cyprus is the first to refuse ratification.
See: LNB News 06/08/2020 10.
For further updates from Public Law, see: Public Law weekly highlights—overview.
European Commission proposes changes to EU VAT rules for Northern Ireland
The European Commission has proposed changes to the EU’s VAT rules to accommodate trade with Northern Ireland in preparation for IP completion day. The changes would ‘introduce a special identification number for businesses in Northern Ireland, so that EU VAT provisions can be properly applied to goods, in line with the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland’. The provisions will not apply to supplies of services in Northern Ireland, which will instead be subject to UK VAT rules after IP completion day. The Commission has encouraged Member States to ‘rapidly agree to the proposal, so that it can be implemented as quickly as possible’ in time for 1 January 2021.
See: Commission proposes to amend VAT rules to accommodate trade with Northern Ireland after the transition period.
For more information on Brexit and tax, see Practice Note: Brexit—UK tax consequences.
For further updates from Tax, see: Tax weekly highlights—overview.
● What volume of Brexit-related legislation is anticipated before IP completion day?
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The following recent journal articles are available subject to subscription:
● Casting the net: In this article, Tom Forster QC and David Claxton, barristers at Monckton Chambers, analyse the new UK sanctions regime, whose effectiveness is deemed ‘an early test of the UK’s international influence once it is fully separate from the EU’. See: New Law Journal 170 NLJ 7897, p7
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