Brexit in a page - what do I need to know?
Although MPs are enjoying their summer recess and Brexit is enjoying a time of calm and quiet, there remains daily speculation about Brexit.
Parliamentary summer recess commences
Parliamentary business resumes following summer recess
Customs Bill returns to Parliament
Trade Bill returns to Parliament
- Even though Members of Parliament are enjoying their summer recess and Brexit is enjoying a time of calm and quiet, there remains daily speculation about Brexit and the final deal.
- Theresa May cut short her walking holiday with her husband during the last week to join the French President, Emmanuel Macron at his holiday retreat in France. Mr. Macron is a passionate supporter of the EU. The French press has reported that this meeting was "a cry for help" from Theresa May, something which the UK Government denies.
- Michel Barnier has however indicated that there may be a "willingness" on the part of the EU to be flexible in the negotiations when discussing the Northern Irish border. The EU would want Northern Ireland to be part of a common regulatory area for goods and customs should a deal not be reached between the EU and UK at the end of the implementation period. This is not agreed by the UK. However, Michel Barnier said that he "remains confident that the negotiations can reach a good outcome".
- This week saw the National Union of Students Union of Students in Ireland (“the Union”) raise support for a ‘people’s vote’ on the Brexit deal. The Union represents 200,000 members. The current President, Olivia Potter Hughes said "In light of the utter farce and chaos that has engulfed the Brexit process since the referendum result was announced, the public must be given another chance to have its say on what direction the UK should take on Brexit".
- Turning to the financial markets, sterling has hit a nine month low against the Euro this week following The Governor of the Bank of England's warning that the chances of 'no deal' were "uncomfortably high". The slight interest rate rise last week was hoped to bring stability to the market and make UK exports more competitive. However, such an interest rate rise inevitably makes the UK a less attractive work place for foreign nationals.
- The International Monetary Fund has predicted that EU economic growth across the remaining 27 Member States could fall by 1.5% by 2030. The effect on the UK's GDP would be to distinguish almost 4%.
- Theresa May, during a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister in Edinburgh has been invited to provide a 'Plan B' for Brexit as the current Brexit plan "…seems to be dead…" Nicola Sturgeon believes that it would be catastrophic for the UK to leave the EU without a deal. In response, Theresa May has urged the Scottish Government to avoid "sowing division" over Brexit and to get behind her proposals during the negotiations.
- The pharmaceutical dilemma continues to rumble, with AstraZeneca announcing that it was going to be forced to test medicines in the UK and also the EU to ensure that they could cross the border. It further warned that there is a risk EU patients may not receive vital medicines if it does not prepare properly for a "no deal Brexit". The company is establishing a testing operation in Sweden to ensure continuity of medicines to the EU remaining Member States post Brexit.