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Brexit in a page - what do I need to know? | 27 November 2020

Brexit expert Jacqui Bickerton summarises all you need to know about Brexit.

Weekly reflection

  • So a trade deal has still not been reached between the UK and EU and the pressure is mounting. Yesterday the UK Government admitted that they simply did not know if Mr. Barnier will be at the scheduled resumed talks today following the row over foreign aid. It has been announced this week by the Chancellor that the UK Government intend to cut foreign aid from 0.7% to 0.5% of gross national income. This led to Mr. Barnier suggesting that he would not be continuing in the trade talks unless the UK moved its negotiating stance. Time is of the essence – the end of the transition period is just 34 days away.
  • The UK Government has undertaken one of the largest communication campaigns by writing to 365,000 UK nationals who are living in an EU country. The letters contain advice for the individual recipients on the steps they must take in preparation of the UK becoming a third country on 1 January 2021. Advice focuses on passport validity and residency applications in the EU country they are residing. £3 million has been allocated to charities by the UK Government to assist those UK nationals living within an EU country who may require assistance with the process.
  • Concern is growing in the automotive sector in relation to a possible no trade deal scenario with the EU. The industry’s lobby group, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders forecast that British car production could dip below one million cars during the course of one year in the absence of a trade deal. Tariffs will increase the cost of a car being imported from the EU in the region of £1,900 per vehicle. Industry leaders have also warned that the future of UK plants would be at risk if a deal is not reached.
  • This week has seen Lloyd’s of London confirm that the High Court has given final approval for the transfer of EEA policies to Lloyd’s Insurance Company SA, being effective after midnight on 30 December 2020. Lloyd’s Brussels will then be the insurer and data controller for the policies transferred. Non-life risks will be written by Lloyd’s Insurance Company SA from all 30 EEA countries. Lloyd’s General Counsel, Peter Spires said “Through Lloyd’s Europe, Lloyd’s policyholders across the EEA will continue to have their policies serviced following the end of the Brexit transition period”.
  • The Commons’ Treasury Select Committee has launched an Inquiry into the future of financial services regulation in the UK after the end of the transition period. EU legislation will no longer apply in the UK after 1 January 2021 so the Inquiry will be considering the shape of financial services regulation and Parliamentary scrutiny going forward. The Inquiry will also be evaluating the need for new legislation and how that ought to be created and passed. Evidence can be submitted before 9 January 2021.
  • And finally, the controversy continues around the Internal Markets Bill which was subject to the Report stage on Wednesday this week in the House of Lords. The proposed clauses which would facilitate the UK Government in breaching international law remain struck out. The Internal Markets Bill is scheduled for its Third Reading in the House of Lords on 2 December 2020 and will then return to the House of Commons.

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Key dates

27 November 2020
Trade deal talks to continue

2 December 2020
Internal Markets Bill has its Third Reading in the House of Lords

28 December 2020
Possible extraordinary meeting in the EU to ratify the trade deal (if a trade deal is agreed

31 December 2020
End of the transition period

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