In the News: Brexit Edition
You could be forgiven for getting lost in the endless and relentless stream of Brexit-related news, but for companies looking to expand internationally, the details matter. Here’s a breakdown of the most up-to-date developments, so any businesses looking to go global can stay fully informed.
May Unveils Her Chequers Plan
In one of the biggest recent Brexit developments, Theresa May held a marathon session of talks at her Chequers cabinet summit on 6 July. In the end she managed to secure a Brexit plan, which will now be assessed by the EU.
The plan aims to keep the UK closely tied to Brussels, and includes the creation of a new UK-EU free trade area for goods with a “common rulebook” overseen by parliament, and a UK-EU “Joint Committee” to oversee and rule on disputes. However, these would be settled based on laws created by the EU.
The UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019, but if recent shuffles and resignations are anything to go by, the cabinet and government may look very different by then. There has been a string of major government resignations in recent weeks – most recently, on 16 July, with North Cornwall MP Scott Mann resigning as a ministerial aide to the Treasury over Theresa May’s recent Chequers deal on Brexit.
Mann said he wasn’t prepared to compromise the views of his constituents, the majority of whom voted to leave the EU, to deliver a “watered-down” Brexit. He said he felt the whitepaper was in conflict with their hopes for a Brexit.
A New Brexit Minister
Davis said in a letter to May that he would not be a “reluctant conscript” to the plan ministers agreed upon at Chequers, which he said was “certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense”. Davis has been replaced as Brexit secretary by Leave supporting MP Dominic Raab, although the prime minister also announced that she will be personally overseeing the remaining negotiations.
The string of resignations has left May vulnerable, despite still having a mandate and the support of the majority of her party. Other recent resignations include Brexiteer Steve Baker, Department for Exiting the EU minister.
The Government and Businesses Brace for a No Deal Scenario
Despite the ongoing negotiations, both the government and businesses are preparing for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. Health Secretary Matt Hancock, for example, has confirmed that the NHS in England is preparing to stockpile medicines and blood products in the event of a no-deal outcome. Despite insisting he was confident a deal will be made, he said it was only “responsible” to prepare for all possible outcomes.
And the savviest of businesses have been keeping an eye on the signs from Brussels, and some have been developing plans to move business and reapply for licenses based on the judgements they can make on the political climate. This comes at a price, but is designed to act as a safeguard that will pay off in the long term.
The Galvin Brexit Round-Up
Do you ever wonder how the latest Brexit developments could affect your business? Galvin International’s round-up of current events will give you the international perspective you’re looking for.
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