• UK food-safety agency pitches for post-Brexit regulatory powers
    04 July 2018
    Food companies in the UK should be subject to day-to-day risk management by a boosted national Food Standards Authority after Brexit, according to the head of the regulator for food safety and quality.

    Presenting the case for the FSA to take over much of the decision-making powers that lie currently in the hands of EU bodies, Heather Hancock told lawmakers there should be "as little change as possible" in the risk-management approach in the transition from EU oversight to national responsibilty.

    “There’s no precedent if one is outside the EU for having the full participation and access in all those institutions, and that’s why our focus is being on how we recreate, replicate and rebuild the necessary framework to operate effectively in the UK,” she said.

    By Zosia Wanat

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  • EU presses for UK Brexit-strategy paper to advance stalled talks
    03 July 2018
    The UK will replicate planned EU measures to shield companies from US sanctions on Iran after Brexit, Trade Secretary Liam Fox said today.

    The European Commission has proposed reactivating a "blocking statute" that would prohibit companies from complying with the provisions of the sanctions outside the borders of the US. The statute would allow companies to seek recovery of damages arising from the US sanctions.

    US President Donald Trump announced in May that his country would pull out from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions. The British government, along with the EU, condemned the move.

    By Matthew Holehouse

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  • Ireland says 'no point' in UK's plans to join single market for goods
    29 June 2018
    Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told his UK counterpart Theresa May there would be "no point" making proposals to keep the UK in the EU’s single market only for goods, because it risks setting a precedent that would “destroy” the bloc.

    May told Varadkar during a meeting in Brussels on Thursday that a policy paper to be published on July 9 would “form the basis of a negotiation of a final status treaty.”

    But the Irish leader today said that attempting to “cherry pick” trade in goods from the EU’s internal market was off the table. In previous speeches, May has said she wants to stay in the EU’s market for chemicals, drugs, and the aerospace and automotive industries.

    By Michael Acton, Zosia Wanat, Matthew Holehouse, Lewis Crofts

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  • May's Brexit indecision frustrates EU leaders and spurs no-deal planning
    28 June 2018
    Splits in the UK government over Brexit are frustrating EU leaders as the clock ticks down on Brexit talks.

    Arriving for a two-day European Council summit today, UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s counterparts from other EU countries said she needed to present a unified position on behalf of the UK to move talks forward.

    “I do understand that it is difficult to come to agreement ... within the UK parliament, but she has to,” said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. “Time is getting shorter and shorter to come to an agreement.”

    By Matthew Holehouse, Zosia Wanat and Michael Acton

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  • EU to tweak energy targets ahead of Brexit
    15 June 2018
    EU energy efficiency targets will be revised to account for the UK’s exit from the bloc, EU lawmakers have been told.

    The bloc needs to amend legislation covering energy efficiency, shipping and visas to patch holes in the bloc’s rulebook ahead of Brexit, European Commission Secretary General Martin Selmayr told EU Parliament lawmakers at a meeting on Tuesday.

    Late changes will need to be made to two draft laws currently going through the legislative process — a revision to the 2012 energy efficiency directive, and a regulation on the governance of the energy union. These are linked to the EU’s target of cutting emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

    By Matthew Holehouse.

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