PASSAGE OF NEW SANCTIONS LEGISLATION AND PUBLICATION OF UPDATED GUIDANCE

On 24 May 2018, it was announced that the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act (the “Act”) had received Royal Assent. The Act is the first piece of UK primary legislation governing the post-Brexit legal position and will create a post-Brexit framework for the imposition and enforcement of sanctions and the replication of the pre-Brexit anti-money laundering (“AML”) compliance regime. Continue reading

FOREIGN & COMMONWEALTH OFFICE PUBLISHES GUIDANCE ON SANCTIONS LICENSING POLICY AFTER BREXIT

The post below was first published on our FSR blog

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has published guidance detailing the UK Government’s intended approach to sanctions exceptions and licences after Brexit. Sanctions exceptions and licences are mechanisms through which restrictive measures imposed by sanctions may be relaxed in specific circumstances. The guidance comes as the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill (the “Bill“) reaches the final stages of the legislative process. The Bill has passed through both the House of Lords and the House of Commons, and is currently in the “ping pong” stage. Continue reading

NOTICE TO STAKEHOLDERS on Brexit’s impact on the INTERNAL ENERGY MARKET from the EU Commission

The Commission has issued on 27 April 2018 its Notice to stakeholders on UK’s withdrawal of the EU and the internal energy market.

The Commission and the EU agencies have been producing “be prepared for Brexit notices” which give insights into their views of the consequences in the various policy areas of a no-transition or hard Brexit and often include recommendations as to action that stakeholders should take. Continue reading

EU – Japan EPA presented to the European Council, ratification begins

The post below was first published on our PIL blog

On 18 April 2018 the European Commission (the “Commission“) presented the finalised text of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (“EPA“) to the European Council and thereby took the first step in the EPA’s ratification process at the EU level.  Getting to this point took significant time and effort: the first of 18 rounds of negotiations began in early 2013, dozens of meetings were held within the EU itself, and the consolidated text was not finalised until (almost five years later in) December 2017.  While the time required to negotiate the text of the EPA is consistent with that taken by another recent EU agreement (the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA“) took a little over 5 years), both parties to the EPA appear keen to kick the ratification process into high gear.  If the parties’ plans come to fruition, the EPA will enter into force by 29 March 2019 and potentially will do so even before the formal conclusion of CETA, the text of which was finalised years earlier than that of the EPA.

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SUPREME COURT TO CONSIDER LEGALITY OF DEVOLVED PARLIAMENTS’ BREXIT CONTINUITY LEGISLATION

The UK Government has referred two key pieces of Brexit legislation recently passed by the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly to the Supreme Court. The devolved parliaments’ bills seek to ensure the continuity of EU law and in doing so confer enhanced powers on the Scottish and Welsh governments post-Brexit. Following the referral, the UK and Welsh governments have reached a political compromise involving significant amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill (“EUWB“). Unless a compromise can be reached with the Scottish Government, the Supreme Court will rule on whether its legislation is within the Scottish parliament’s legislative competence.

The referral underscores heightened tensions between the UK and devolved governments over the demarcation of returned powers post-Brexit and the likelihood of future legal challenges and regulatory uncertainty in key devolved policy areas.

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