Brexit in a page - 4 July 2019

Brexit expert Jacqui Bickerton summarises all you need to know about the future of Brexit

Weekly reflection

Key dates 

23 July 2019
New Conservative leader announced

24 July 2019
New Prime Minister takes office

25 July 2019
Parliamentary recess

3 September 2019
Parliament reconvenes

31 October 2019
UK leaves the European Union

  • The nominated European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen and nominated European Council President, Charles Michel, are not changing tack from Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk’s messages about Brexit. Specifically, Ursula von der Leyen has stated that “…the longer the postponement, the more the British will have to give guarantees…” Meanwhile, both candidates in the UK Leadership challenge believe that they will be able to persuade the EU to revisit the Irish border issue.

  • A non-governmental panel, The Alternative Arrangements Commission, created by the think tank Prosperity UK has outlined its recommendations for alternative arrangements on the Irish border. These include a sophisticated trusted trader scheme for customs declarations, the formation of a new UK and Irish single zone for food standards and mobile regulatory inspection teams positioned beyond the border. However, Deputy Chief Executive of Manufacturing NI, Mary Meehan believes that there are gaps within the recommendations and the extra bureaucracy could costs jobs within the manufacturing businesses in Northern Ireland.

  • Contingency planning for a no-deal Brexit appears to be taking a different form for SMEs and corporates. Whilst stockpiling occurred in readiness for March 2019, this cannot happen again at the same level. Chief Executive of Tesco, Dave Lewis has said that it will be more difficult to stockpile goods in October because all of the network will be full of things getting ready for Christmas so there will be less capacity. Tesco had purchased £200 million worth of extra stock earlier this year to deal with any potential supply disruptions. As to a no-deal Brexit and imports, Mr. Lewis said “If there’s a problem at the border, if there’s a problem with tariffs then there could be interruption”.

  • With Brexit uncertainty continuing, the French gaming industry is attempting to entice UK game developers across the channel with offers of tax breaks and loans. France’s gaming industry is the second largest cultural industry and has been described by the French Directorate General for Enterprise as being one of the most dynamic sectors in the French economy. Given the concerns amongst the UK gaming industry, specifically the impact of Brexit on markets, funding and talent, it is anticipated that the French industry may well expand with UK talent.

  • A report prepared by IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply confirms that there has been a contraction during the month of June in the construction and manufacturing industries. The final three months of 2012 was the last time GDP shrank for one quarter. The report indicates that two consecutive negative quarters amounts to a recession. Chris Williamson, the Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit said “Brexit-related uncertainty has increasingly exacerbated the impact of a broader global economic slowdown. Risks also remain skewed to the downside as sentiment about the year ahead is worryingly subdued, suggesting the third quarter could see businesses continue to struggle”.

  • A report prepared by the British Council has revealed that one in four teachers believe that Brexit has had an impact on the numbers of students opting to learn a foreign language. There is also a decline in cross border activities to include overseas trips and student exchanges. The General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders believes that the UK is in danger of becoming a monolinguist country. He said “Schools are also struggling with a severe shortage of language teachers and Brexit could worsen this situation because many of our language teachers come from EU countries”.

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