• Brexit extended again as EU leaders agree to flexible Oct. 31 withdrawal date
    11 April 2019
    Brexit can be delayed until Oct. 31, EU leaders agreed late on Wednesday night, on condition that the UK hold European Parliament elections in May. UK Prime Minister Theresa May agreed to the extension.

    The European Council’s conclusions to last night’s summit also call on the UK to “act in a constructive and responsible manner throughout the extension,” following threats from supporters of a hard Brexit to disrupt the bloc’s workings, though it didn't detail any enforcement mechanisms for this clause.

    The extension could be cut short in one of two ways. First, if the UK fails to conduct EU elections in May, it will be forced to leave the EU on June 1, the Council document says. Second, if the UK Parliament approves the negotiated Withdrawal Agreement, the UK will leave under that agreement on the first day of the following month.

    By Zosia Wanat, Madison Czopek and Fiona Murphy.

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  • Brexit plan to scrap geo-blocking rules could mean lower prices, UK says
    10 April 2019
    The UK’s plan to scrap the EU’s geo-blocking rules after Brexit might result in lower prices for British consumers, at the expense of those inside the bloc, a minister has said in response to criticism from lawmakers.

    The UK will repeal the EU’s Geo-blocking Regulation, which prevents online retailers from imposing different prices or terms on customers based on nationality, in the event of a no-deal Brexit.>br>
    Lawmakers in the House of Lords, Parliament’s upper chamber, last night debated secondary legislation to do this, put forward under the EU (Withdrawal) Act, the enabling legislation intended to deliver sweeping amendments to the statute book.

    By Matthew Holehouse.

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  • UK, EU spell trouble for trading partners with tariff quotas unchanged in a no-deal Brexit
    01 March 2019
    The US, New Zealand, Brazil and other major exporting countries would have to compete with EU producers for preferential access to the UK for sensitive products subject to import quotas under a no-deal Brexit scenario, MLex has learned. They would also face strong competition from UK producers in exporting such goods to the EU.

    The EU-UK deal on the post-Brexit split of tariff-rate quotas doesn’t foresee any additional quota allocations for the bilateral trade between the two in the most sensitive goods.

    To benefit from preferential tariffs, the EU and the UK exporters will therefore need to use the “erga omnes” quotas, which are accessible by all other countries.

    By Zosia Wanat, Joanna Sopinska and Poppy Carnell.

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  • UK secures post-Brexit state-procurement access, but risks month-long limbo
    27 February 2019
    The UK has secured its future membership of a 46-country trade pact on state-procurement markets, though a no-deal Brexit could leave Britain out of the accord for about a month because of the time needed for approvals.

    Members of the Government Procurement Agreement committee at the World Trade Organization today approved the terms of the UK’s future accession, the UK government said in a statement.

    The agreement regulates state procurement of goods and services. It is signed by 19 WTO members, with the EU as one party representing its 28 member countries. The UK wants to rejoin the agreement as an independent country after Brexit.

    By Zosia Wanat.

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  • Brits could get unified EU-residency rights under no-deal Brexit
    15 January 2019
    The rights of British citizens living in the EU after a no-deal Brexit could be decided by the European Commission rather than by national governments, MLex has learned.

    The commission has asked governments to consider renouncing their powers over residency rights, MLex understands, to prevent inconsistencies that could harden the UK’s stance toward EU citizens in a no-deal scenario.

    National representatives will have a chance to comment on the proposal at a meeting on this issue scheduled for Wednesday. Residency rights for non-EU nationals are generally the business of each national government, not the commission.

    By Zosia Wanat.

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