Key take away this week
This week it really feels like it is becoming real. 2 months until our exit from the EU and the country does not feel ready. This weekend the papers were full of warnings from the business contingency of measures being put in place and the potential for substantial shifts away from UK Plc, meanwhile the EU and Ireland made it clear that the Irish backstop position was non-negotiable or would lead to the UK being in a permanent customs union if any change were possible.
There has been much posturing, on all sides, but is the deal negotiated really that bad? Does it allow the best option to move forward and deliver a trade deal to protect the future? Having been heavily defeated in the Commons it would require a substantial change for this to be viable, but with so much to do and so little time, perhaps this requires closer review again. Or, as has always been said, perhaps as so often is the case with the EU that it will run to the final hours before the true deal can emerge. The answers are needed now.
Next steps following the ‘meaningful vote’: The Prime Minister delivered the following statement to parliament on 21st January. View > Confederation of British Industry > The EU Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has delivered a speech to the European Economic and Social Committee. View > The Brexit subcommittee of the European Parliament has called on the UK to break the deadlock. View > UK Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered a speech at a lunch organised by the CBI in Davos. View >
EU adopts mitigation measures for fisheries:The EU has adopted two contingency measures in respect of fisheries to mitigate the consequences of a no deal Brexit. View >
No Deal Brexit guidance: DEFRA has published guidance on Timber import and export. View >
UK Scheme for Geographical Indications on foodstuffs: DEFRA has published the outcome to its recent consultation. View >