• EU-UK import-quota split draws more opposition from trading partners
    09 October 2018
    A plan to split Britain’s import quotas from the rest of the EU after Brexit faced increasing global opposition at the World Trade Organization today.

    A total of 21 countries made interventions at a meeting today against the proposed tariff-rate quota lists, or “schedules,” from the EU, the UK or both, MLex understands.

    Many of those raising objections are among the bloc’s most important trading partners.

    By Zosia Wanat and Joanna Sopinska.

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  • EU banking and drug authorities' relocation in limbo amid political row
    03 October 2018
    The EU's banking and drug-licensing authorities are in limbo as the bloc's governing institutions are locked in a political tug-of-war over the decision to relocate them after Brexit.

    The European Banking Authority, or EBA, and European Medicines Agency, or EMA, are both currently based in London and are due to move to Paris and Amsterdam, respectively — but the imminent moves have been blocked as EU lawmakers and governments argue over how the decision was made.

    The row risks preventing the relocations from being completed by the deadline of March 29 next year, the day the UK leaves the EU, potentially disrupting the functioning of the agencies and the lives of hundreds of staff.

    By Zosia Wanat.

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  • UK stumbling in dash to prepare statute book for Brexit
    28 September 2018
    Lawmakers feared a power grab. It’s at risk of becoming a power vacuum.

    Hundreds of pieces of secondary legislation designed to perform radical surgery on the UK statute book in preparation for Brexit are yet to emerge.

    There are warning signs that government departments are struggling to get to grips with the vast task of replicating the EU’s regulatory functions in a domestic setting, raising questions about the UK’s ability to respond to a no-deal exit from the EU.

    By Matthew Holehouse.

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  • May hints at Irish Sea border in pledge to offer new backstop proposal
    21 September 2018
    Theresa May says she will shortly put forward an alternative proposal for the Irish backstop, indicating that it could feature a regulatory border between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland if the province’s devolved government and lawmakers agree.

    The UK prime minister’s remarks confirm hints from ministers that she’s prepared to accept a middle way to prevent the Northern Ireland question sinking Brexit negotiations..

    The UK has already said it would accept remaining in a customs union with the bloc to prevent the need for checks on products crossing the Irish border, until an alternative solution is found.

    By Matthew Holehouse

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  • CMA's state-aid preparation to be led by Enser, following chief's departure
    05 September 2018
    Work to prepare the UK’s state-aid control regime at the country’s competition authority will be led by Juliette Enser, until a replacement for the agency’s departing state-aid chief is found, MLex has learned.

    Sheldon Mills, appointed by the Competition and Markets Authority in April as interim senior director of state aid, is joining the Financial Conduct Authority in November to lead its competition department.

    Enser is currently the UK antitrust authority’s interim project director for state aid. Michael Grenfell, the CMA’s executive director of enforcement, and a team of staff will assist Enser in her role.

    By Simon Zekaria and Matthew Holehouse.

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