• Ireland has no plans for hard border after Brexit (The Guardian): Leo Varadkar has said his government has made “no preparations whatsoever” for a hard border on the island. He said if the Irish government made plans to facilitate a hard border, it would become a “self-fulfilling prophecy”. He continued, “Our focus is entirely on getting an agreement that ensures that [a hard border] doesn’t happen.” Earlier this week the Irish government unveiled their broader contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit which included border inspections at Dublin airport, Dublin port and Rosslare port. Neither the UK or the EU have published any contingency planning for the border communities.
  • Firms told to prepare for a nodeal Brexit (BBC): Mel Stride, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, told the BBC “there is a call to action now”. HMRC has published an update to its advice on how firms should prepare for a no-deal scenario. Mr Stride said businesses needed to “get a customs agent on board” or “look at software they can use to make sure (of) their import and export declarations”. He added that firms should register for an Economic Operators Registration and Identification Number (EORI number) – a system of unique identification numbers used by customs authorities throughout the European Union. He added that businesses should also be prepared to pay custom duties in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • Justice Secretary doubts PM would back no-deal (BBC): David Gauke has said he would be “very surprised” if Theresa May backed a no-deal Brexit in the event her deal fails. He added that he would find it “very difficult” to stay in cabinet if that became government policy. Labour MP Chuka Umunna, who is campaigning for another EU referendum, said Mr. Gauke had “effectively admitted that all the talk of leaving the EU without a deal is nonsense and a false threat designed to scare MPs into voting for the government’s Brexit plan”. MPs are due to start debating the deal again on Wednesday 9 January.
  • UK car manufacturing drops to lowest level in a decade (FT): Britain’s car factories suffered their worst November in a decade with a 20% fall in output underscoring fears that the sector has started to contract before the UK’s departure from the EU. While production for the domestic market fell 1.9%, exports dropped by 22.8%. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders blamed weak consumer and business confidence in the UK ahead of Brexit and falling demand from Britain’s main export markets of Europe and Asia. Currently, eight out of ten cars produced in Britain are destined for export, of which more than half go to Europe.

Jessica's practice focuses on international trade and anti-bribery work, encompassing customs, export control and sanctions matters. Jessica's trade work includes advising international clients on fast-moving and evolving EU and UN sanctions, notably in respect of Iran and Russia, and on compliance with UK and EU export controls. Her trade experience also includes advising on tariff classification and customs valuations. Jessica's anti-bribery experience includes assisting with investigations, and advising clients on compliance with anti-bribery laws. Jessica has also taken a lead role in monitoring Brexit-related developments; analysing how they will affect the UK's trading position generally, and clients' businesses specifically. She has helped clients begin to conduct risk assessments of how Brexit will impact their businesses, and has assisted them in developing tailored Brexit strategies. Jessica also presents at various seminars, webinars, and conferences on the complexities of Brexit. Jessica advises global clients on complex issues arising from international transactions and works with clients across a number of sectors including pharmaceuticals, defence, finance, aviation, energy, and telecommunications. Jessica has also worked previously in Paris, and is fluent in French.