Please see below for today’s key Brexit items:

  • The head of one of the UK’s most influential business lobby groups has launched a fresh appeal for the Government to provide clarity ahead of Brexit, ensuring that the economy can prosper despite immense uncertainty. In a year-end letter to members of the Confederation of British Industry, director-general Carolyn Fairbairn said that firms in 2017 responded with resilience to a lack of clarity around Britain’s impending split from the EU. Nonetheless, she added that many are suffering considerably. Investment has been postponed – in some cases even halted – and inflation of 3 per cent has bruised living standards and squeezed retailers and other consumer firms. (The Independent)
  • The number of Irish passports issued has hit record levels since the Brexit vote, with applications from Britain and Northern Ireland continuing to rise, the Irish government has announced. More than 160,000 Irish passports were issued to people in Northern Ireland and Britain in 2017. At the same time, the number of people born in Britain registering as Irish rocketed by 95%. According to statistics issued by Ireland’s department of foreign affairs on Friday, 779,000 Irish passports were issued in 2017, the highest number since records began. (The Guardian)
  • Labour MPs have launched a new drive to push the Government into releasing official assessments of the impact Brexit will have on the economy. The group of 25 MPs wrote to Chancellor Philip Hammond demanding he publish documents drawn up by his officials, after he mentioned the work had been done at a committee hearing. (The Independent)

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.