The Government confirmed further rounds of negotiations on 31 July and round seven of the negotiations took place between 18-21 August in Brussels. The talks continue to focus on outstanding issues such as fisheries; the future level-playing field including financial services regulation; and law enforcement and judicial cooperation. Talks are expected to continue until 2 October 2020. The UK Government and the EU Commission have published an addendum to the Terms of Reference on the UK-EU Negotiations to account for the new rounds and the extension of the talks.
A statement published by the European Banking Authority reminds financial institutions that the transition period is due to expire on 31 December 2020 and reiterates the importance of adequate preparations being made by financial services to ensure a smooth transition. The EBA has called for institutions to finalise contingency planning in accordance with their regulators guidelines and ensure that there is adequate communication with customers.
It has been announced that over two millions EU citizens living in the UK have been granted settled status, while nearly 1.5m were granted pre-settled and 4,600 applications were refused, 36,500 were withdrawn and 34,900 were made by people who were ineligible for the scheme. The Liberal Democrats have called for EU citizens to be given the automatic right to stay.
A report published by the Institute for Government criticised how the Government is handling the negotiations, and stated that the Government risked “compromising” the UK’s domestic regulatory system by “rushing into trade negotiations unprepared” and that countries would seek lower standards from the UK when considering trade deals. The report recommended the Government clarified its red lines across all departments; sets up stronger decision-making structures internally; allow parliament greater powers of scrutiny; and adopt a more cooperative approach with the devolved administrations.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) published a survey of their members, revealing that 21% of respondents were less prepared for a no-deal Brexit than in January, as a result of the pandemic. Three-quarters of the respondents were concerned about further economic shock from non-negotiated exits. CBI Director General, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, said that “the majority of firms have neither the time nor the resources to prepare” and “smaller firms will struggle to cope with a double dose of disruption” from both the pandemic and non-negotiated exit. She reiterated that securing a deal with the EU free from red-tape was paramount for the UK’s recovery.
Please feel free to contact the Policy Team for further information on any of the matters raised in this update.
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