In preparation for its independent trade remedy framework, the UK government has launched a Call for Evidence on November 28, 2017 to identify UK businesses that produce goods currently subject to EU anti-dumping or anti-subsidy measures. Currently, all trade remedy activities applying in the UK (for example investigations, decisions, and monitoring) are undertaken by the European Commission under the EU’s common commercial policy.  Post-Brexit, the UK plans to operate its own trade remedy regime through the “UK Trade Remedies Authority”. (See here for our previous post on the trade and customs bills establishing these powers.) Continue Reading UK Government Seeks Views from Businesses on Maintaining Existing Trade Remedy Measures Post-Brexit

In November 2017, the UK Government took its first legislative steps in preparation for its post-Brexit trade regime.  On November 7, the Trade Bill was introduced for a first reading in the House of Commons.  Separate from the imminent trade deal it must strike with the EU (once progress on Brexit withdrawal negotiations are deemed satisfactory by all parties concerned), the UK is now sketching out its own international trade powers that will allow it to shape its relationships with partners worldwide.

Subsequently, on November 20, the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill (the “Customs Bill”) was introduced for a first reading in the House of Commons.  The core elements of these two bills are described below. Continue Reading UK Government Prepares for Post-Brexit Trade and Customs Regimes in Two New Bills

On May 22, 2017, the Council officially authorized the opening of Article 50 negotiations with the UK. It appointed the Commission as the EU’s negotiator and adopted a first set of Negotiating Directives outlining the EU’s priorities for the first phase of negotiations. These directives are in line with, and complement, the (more political) Article 50 Guidelines of the European Council, adopted by the EU 27 Heads of State and Government on April 29, 2017. This last step in a chain of authorization procedures means that the European Commission, led by Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, now has all the clearances required empowering it to start Brexit talks forthwith.

Continue Reading Adoption of European Commission Mandate – Brexit Negotiations Can Now Start

On May 16, 2017, the EU Court of Justice released its long-awaited opinion on the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (“FTA” ) (“the Agreement”) (full text here). Back in July 2015, after the EU and Singapore completed trade negotiations, the European Commission sought clarity on its authority to conclude complex deals.

The following questions submitted by the Commission have now been answered:

Continue Reading ECJ Issues Opinion on Singapore FTA: Answers to Guide Brexit Trade Negotiators

The UK Government intends to trigger Article 50 TEU by the end of March. This effectively means that the UK will therefore exit the EU by March 2019,  unless there is an extension.

In a speech delivered on January 17, Prime Minister (“PM”) May explained that the UK would not seek to be part of the EU’s customs union, but would instead look to establish a “comprehensive” trade agreement with the EU. In tandem, she noted that the UK would no longer accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

Continue Reading Towards Brexit: The Trade Implications