Countdown to Brexit – July 2018

juli 2018

With a little over eight months to go before the UK leaves the EU, here is a brief summary of the key news stories surrounding Brexit in recent weeks.

Brexit Whitepaper released

A new white paper stating the UK government’s position on the UK-EU relationship post-Brexit was unveiled earlier this month. This followed a contentious period for the government with Dominic Raab and Jeremy Hunt replacing David Davis (Brexit Secretary) and Boris Johnson (Foreign Secretary) respectively.

Senior EU officials have been critical of some parts of the white paper. This has prompted fears on both the UK and EU sides that a “no-deal” Brexit could become reality.

Theresa May has stated that the EU must “evolve” its position on Brexit, as the UK Government had “done their work” on the future UK-EU relationship with its white paper.

EU Negotiations Continue

Theresa May announced that she will lead the EU negotiations from now on with Dominic Raab acting as deputy. Raab has stated that this new approach to the negotiations would ensure “one chain of command” to “get the best possible deal” and acknowledged there had been previous tensions between his department and the Cabinet office prior to his appointment as Brexit Secretary.

This is important because the Brexit Department has so far taken a more hard-line approach to the split, with May’s office favouring a softer divorce. Raab and his predecessor David Davis were both pro-Brexit campaigners.

Both the UK and EU are stepping up preparations for a “no deal” Brexit. The two sides insist this is not what they want – and that reaching a deal by the autumn is still planned. However, they have yet to agree how their final relationship will work, with key issues around cross-border trade unresolved, and the UK’s official departure date of 29 March 2019 fast approaching.

The Irish Border

A decision on how to resolve the Irish Border issue is still proving to be a challenge, with both a hard Irish border and the EU-proposed backstop option being dismissed by Theresa May.

Earlier this month an amendment to the customs bill was passed in Parliament, making it illegal to have a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. The Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, is planning to hire 1,000 officials for customs, veterinary and export checks in case of a “no deal” Brexit agreement.

None of the updates above change the assumptions we make in our Brexit Modelling Tool. Customs Connect can help clients to minimise the impact of Brexit with our modelling tool and customs planning services, to name but a few. For more information, contact us on +44 (0)845 519 0878 or info@customsconnect.eu

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