UK Cabinet agrees Brexit deal – what was agreed and what next? A summary and links to our initial analysis

Following a UK Cabinet meeting yesterday afternoon the UK Government has announced support for the text of a draft Withdrawal Agreement and an outline of the Political Declaration on the Future Relationship agreed with EU negotiators. The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the arrangements for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on 29 March 2019 and includes a transition period following the date of the UK’s EU exit through to 31 December 2020, during which EU law will continue to apply in and to the UK.

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Draft Withdrawal Agreement Approved by UK Cabinet – IP and Marketing Authorisation Provisions Summarised

The post below was first published on our Intellectual Property blog

As was widely reported yesterday evening, the Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community (the Draft Withdrawal Agreement (14 November 2018)), detailing the arrangements for the UK to leave the EU has now been agreed by the UK Cabinet. The draft is as agreed between the UK and the EU’s negotiators. As stated in HSF’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement webinar invitation here, a special European Council, anticipated to be held on 25 November 2018, will be asked to approve the Draft Withdrawal Agreement and the full text of the political declaration. The deal will also have to pass through the European Parliament. However, the main challenge to a deal being ratified is the requirement for approval by the UK Parliament. The first vote by the UK Parliament is expected within two weeks of the European Council.

We set out below a summary of the Draft Withdrawal Agreement’s provisions on intellectual property. The situation is not much changed from the previous draft issued in March 2018 although the provision for geographical indications has now been agreed: EU-wide rights will be replaced or recognised in the UK and provision has been made for pending applications, including for supplementary protection certificates (SPCs). The sharing of information for assessment of marketing authorisations between the MHRA and the EMA and vice versa is also provided for. Continue reading

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Brexit Withdrawal Agreement: Impact for data protection

Following a UK Cabinet meeting on 14 November 2018, the UK Government has announced support for the text of a draft Withdrawal Agreement and an outline of the Political Declaration on the Future Relationship agreed with EU negotiators.

The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the arrangements for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on 29 March 2019 and includes a transition period through to 31 December 2020, during which EU law will continue to apply in and to the UK (the “Transition Period”).

Data protection features in both the draft Withdrawal Agreement and the outline Political Declaration, reflecting the significance of the data protection rules to both the EU and the UK. Continue reading

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THE PROTOCOL ON IRELAND/NORTHERN IRELAND (THE BACKSTOP)

The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland aims to avoid the need for a “hard border” between Ireland and Northern Ireland by creating a “single customs territory” (that is, a customs union) between the whole of the UK and the EU.

The provisions of the Protocol are detailed and complex with multiple cross-references to annexes and EU law. Most importantly, the UK will be required to align its tariffs and other customs legislation on that of the EU and also to apply EU commercial policy (including, trade defence measures, GSP, trade concession contained in the EU’s trade agreements with other countries). The details are set out in Annexes 2 and 3. The UK will expressly not be allowed to apply lower duties than those applied by the EU. This will probably render impossible the negotiation of trade agreements between the UK and third countries as regards goods. Continue reading

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Brexit Outline Political Declaration: Initial indicators for the financial services industry

Yesterday’s announcements on the terms agreed for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU say relatively little about the future framework for cross-border trade in goods or services. More detail is expected on this next week.

The draft withdrawal agreement provides that a transition period will continue until 31 December 2020. Although this was provisionally agreed in March 2018, yesterday’s statements make this a more likely reality. The final deal remains subject to approval by the European Council, the EU Parliament and, crucially, the UK Parliament. Continue reading

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Brexit deal – what does it mean for insurers and insurance intermediaries?

The post below was first published on our Insurance blog

Yesterday’s announcements on the terms agreed for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU say relatively little about the future framework for cross-border trade in goods or services.  More detail is expected on this next week.

The final deal remains subject to approval by the European Council, the EU Parliament and, crucially, the UK Parliament.  Nonetheless, yesterday’s agreement must have increased the chances of a transitional (or implementation) period for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.  During that period, both (re)insurers and (re)insurance intermediaries would continue to benefit from the passporting rights that they currently hold, but ultimately stand to lose.

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Upcoming Webinar: UK Cabinet agrees Brexit Withdrawal Agreement text – what was agreed and what next?

Following a UK Cabinet meeting yesterday the UK Government has announced support for the text of a draft Withdrawal Agreement agreed with EU negotiators. This is the agreement setting out the arrangements for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on 29 March 2019 and includes a transition period following the date of the UK’s EU exit through to 31 December 2020, during which EU law will continue to apply in and to the UK. Continue reading

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Applying the Hague Choice of Court Convention post-Brexit

The post below was first published on our Litigation blog

The government has set out how it plans, in the event of a “no deal” Brexit, to ensure that the UK will continue to apply the Hague Choice of Court Convention, which currently applies to the UK by virtue of its EU membership.

As explained previously, the government has made it clear that, in the event of a no deal, the UK would re-join the Convention in its own right, and that it anticipates the Convention would come into force by 1 April 2019. That would mean that the Convention would govern jurisdiction and enforcement of judgments as between the UK and the EU (as well as the other contracting states of Mexico, Singapore and Montenegro) where there was an exclusive jurisdiction clause in favour of one of those states – unless and until some other arrangement is put in place, such as an agreement for the UK to join the Lugano Convention (which applies more broadly than Hague, including because it is not limited to exclusive jurisdiction agreements) or a bespoke agreement between the UK and the EU on jurisdiction and enforcement of judgments.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has now published a command paper and explanatory memorandum in relation to the Hague Convention. Continue reading

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“Onshoring” Statutory Instruments Comment Series: Bank Recovery and Resolution

Under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018—which aims, amongst other things, to incorporate into UK law all applicable EU legislation and to give powers to Ministers to make such amendments to retained law as are necessary to deal with any deficiencies arising from withdrawal—HM Treasury has begun to publish drafts of statutory instruments (“SIs”) which will “onshore” EU legislation related to the financial markets.  The paper “Onshoring” Statutory Instruments Comment Series: Bank Recovery and Resolution, to which Dorothy Livingston from our office in London contributed, considers legal uncertainties arising from the changes proposed by the draft Bank Recovery and Resolution and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 (the “draft BRR SI”) which amends the Banking Act 2009 as well as other pieces of UK legislation to create an amended legislative framework for bank recovery and resolution after Brexit. Continue reading

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Service Regulation and Taking of Evidence Regulation will cease to apply post-Brexit

The post below was first published on our Litigation blog

The government has published a draft statutory instrument, the Service of Documents and Taking of Evidence in Civil and Commercial Matters (Revocation and Saving Provisions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, which will mean that the EU Service Regulation (1393/2007) and Taking of Evidence Regulation (1206/2001) no longer apply to the UK when it leaves the EU.

The measure is needed to prevent these regulations, which cannot operate effectively without reciprocity between the UK and the EU27, becoming part of UK law under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. That Act provides that direct EU legislation (including EU Regulations) which is operative immediately before exit day forms part of domestic law on and after exit day. Without this statutory instrument, therefore, the Service Regulation and Taking of Evidence Regulation would be incorporated into UK law from that point. Continue reading

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