• The UK has agreed terms with the EU for the Brexit transition period which will last 21 months, ending on 31 December 2020. During the transition period, the UK will retain the benefits of the single market and the customs union, however the UK will lose their role in any of the decision-making institutions. The UK has accepted defeat on various points, for example European citizens who arrive in the UK during the transition period will receive the same rights as those European citizens who arrived prior to Brexit, this is contrary to the prime minister’s previous public insistence. The UK have also accepted a “back stop” plan to keep Northern Ireland under EU law, to prevent a hard border with the Republic of Ireland (The Guardian).
  • Trade bodies and business groups have broadly welcomed the Brexit transition deal terms and will allow businesses to plan ahead with a greater degree of confidence, following earlier consent around the lack of clarity relating to possible cost increases and the free movement of people following Brexit. However, concerns and criticisms were raised, highlighting that the UK has not given enough attention to the finer details and practical implications of the transition together and international banks still plan on relocating London staff, in order to provide seamless service to their clients (The Independent).
  • Sterling value has risen to about $1.40 for the first time since February with optimistic expectations prior to the Brexit transition deal announcement (The Financial Times)
  • Following Brexit, the UK government will face important decisions on harmonisation, trading partners and regulation. This will require expertise to make such decisions, notably scientific expertise in areas such as international trade, where scientific advice on manufacturing standards, food safety and environment protection will be necessary. However, it has been highlighted that there are potential shortfalls in the current arrangements, with chief scientific advisers already busy. It has been suggested that universities could assist with the potential gap between scientists and the government (The Guardian).