Enjoyed a quiet summer, relaxing in sunshine, and switched off to the world around you? Now worried you might have missed some key Brexit developments? Don't worry, here are the key things you need to know.
Over the summer, the Government released a series of policy position papers. These papers are intended to answer critics, who've complained that Theresa May and David Davis haven’t been transparent enough with their goals for the negotiation.
The papers were dismissed by Barnier's team as vague, and not to be taken seriously. What is clear is that they are about the UK Government setting out its stall, describing its ambitions and taking an opening position. They do not amount to a blueprint for the negotiations — but they, and the EU's response to them, highlight the scale of the negotiating challenge. The fourth round of negotiations begins this month. This is the penultimate chance to finalise the divorce agreement, before the EU27 meet at the EU Summits in November. It's hoped that the Summits will give the EU27 an opportunity to opine on whether "sufficient progress" has been made on the divorce deal, allowing the negotiators to turn their attention to defining the new UK/EU relationship. It will be a key moment to assess the progress of the deals being reached. Away from the negotiations, the Government's European Union (Withdrawal) Bill (aka the formerly Great Repeal Bill), is heading to parliament for its second reading amid considerable constitutional criticism and politicial manoeuvring. The Bill is crucial to the delivery of Brexit and will define how much of the legal content will be scrutinised and imposed.
It will define businesses' relationship with the laws and regulations that govern them post-Brexit and how those are made. It's crucial that businesses follow this process to understand how their legal and regulatory environment will change. Find out how it will affect you here.
In the face of a legislative task of unprecedented scale and speed, forced and unforced errors are inevitable, and businesses will have to monitor changes closely and be ready to engage and, where necessary, challenge.
So, not a whole lot has changed over the summer. Uncertainty abounds. The demand for clarity becomes more urgent by the day. In the face of that uncertainty, it is important that you focus on your priorities and plan for the different scenarios that may emerge.