Please see below for today’s update on key Brexit news items:
- The European Union has set in stone a midnight Sunday deadline for Theresa May to reach a Brexit deal on the Northern Ireland border ahead of a make-or-break summit in Brussels. Margaritis Schinas, the chief spokesperson for the European Commission, told reporters in Brussels on Thursday that Theresa May was welcome back in the EU capital any time this week for discussions – after her last attempt at a deal was vetoed by the DUP. (Independent)
- Theresa May has failed to get the EU to agree that Britain will retain a voice at the European court of justice in return for her concession that the Luxembourg court will retain a role in protecting citizens’ rights in the UK after Brexit. Downing Street had suggested a British national should remain in the court as one of the 11 advocates general, who present opinions to the judges before their rulings. It is understood that UK negotiators argued the rules stipulating that advocates general should come from member states were less rigid than those for judges. The issue had been left open for further talks in the new year, but it is understood that EU diplomats have ruled out the proposal among themselves. (Guardian)
- Boris Johnson has been defending his much quoted jibe that the EU could “go whistle” over the Brexit bill. The UK and EU are widely believed to have now agreed a deal which will see the UK paying up to 50bn euros (£44bn). But the foreign secretary said he had been referring, in July, to reports the UK could face a €100bn bill. (BBC)
- The House of Lords’ European Union Committee has today published a report outlining the consequences of a “no deal'”. It is the most detailed analysis by any parliamentary committee of the question, and it leaves no doubt that such an outcome would be “deeply damaging” for Britain. The Lords committee is careful to note that, in the event of “no deal,” EU member states would feel the negative effects of a loss of trade with a major partner. However, the peers are in no doubt about the greater impact on Britain. (FT)
- Across the charity sector, trustees, volunteers and staff are increasingly worried about the looming impact of Brexit. UK charities risk losing at least £258m in EU funds because of Brexit, including the loss of EU funding streams such as European Structural Fund (ESF), which, together with the European Regional Development Fund, makes up the bulk of the EU structural and investment funds programme, which by 2020 will have invested some €11.8bn in the UK since 2014. (Guardian)
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.