Brexit essentials: this week’s round-up

Brexit essentials: this week's round-up

As we hurtle towards officially exiting the EU, Brexit continues to dominate headlines and generate frustration and fascination in equal measure. This week we round up all the latest developments

As we hurtle towards officially exiting the EU, Brexit continues to dominate headlines and generate frustration and fascination in equal measure. This week we round up all the latest developments in negotiations, and reports and insights on what Brexit will mean for the UK.

The highlights:

Two government policy papers

The government released two Brexit policy papers this week, clarifying their positions on the customs union and Northern Ireland border.

The first paper looked at two potential post-Brexit customs scenarios, and suggested remaining in the customs union for an interim period that could extend up to 2022.

The second paper outlined the government’s position on the Northern Ireland border, primarily focussing on avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Other government priorities on this issue were upholding the Good Friday Agreement, maintaining a Common Travel Area, and ensuring North-South and East-Wes cooperation on issues including energy.

‘No deal’ with EU on trade post-Brexit does not spell disaster for the UK, says IEA

Echoing comments by the Prime Minister that “no deal is better than a bad deal”, the free market thinktank the Institute for Economic Affairs, released a report discussing why reaching no trade deal with the EU would not be a disaster.

Commenting on the report, Jamie Whyte, research director at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said the UK should: “unilaterally eliminate all import tariffs, which would give us most of the benefits of trade, and export to the EU under the umbrella of the WTO rules.”

The IEA says this should be accompanied by international free trade agreements that would best serve UK consumers. They say free trade would bring considerable benefits to the UK, including “lower consumer prices, greater productivity and higher wages”.

The Institute for Government rebuked these ideas, stating: “Leaving with no deal is a recipe for maximum disruption”. The Institute points to the fact that no major country trades with the EU on WTO terms alone, and that it would mean “increased document checks, testing and inspection at the borders.”

CFOs have little faith in Prime Minister to lead Brexit negotiations

The first Thomson Reuters Quarterly CFO Brexit Survey asked CFOs which government figure they had most confidence in to generate a positive Brexit deal for businesses.

The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, received the highest score –  8.59 out of 10. Philip Hammond, Chancellor of Exchequer, received 7.99.

Prime Minister Theresa May got a meagre score of 3.47. The only individual with a lower score was Secretary of State of International Trade, Liam Fox, with 3.15.

Coming out in the middle of the pack were foreign secretary Boris Johnson at 3.89, Brexit secretary David Davis at 3.84 points and EU Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier with 4.38.

The City is haemorrhaging talent because of Brexit, says Morgan McKinley

The recruitment agency reported a decline in the number of available jobs in the City by 11% for the month of July compared with last year, and a 33% decrease in professionals seeking jobs.

Hakan Enver, operations director, suggested this was partly due to firms relocating jobs outside of London and partly due to Brexit, as: “EU nationals who want to stay in Britain have a shrinking window of opportunity to get a job and permanent residency, and many are seizing it.”

Other stories:

Visa-free travel for EU citizens post-Brexit

Whitehall sources said the government is planning to ensure visiting the UK will remain visa-free for EU citizens. However, should they wish to work in the UK, they would need to comply with new migration laws and go down the appropriate channels.

No more benefits for EU migrants

The Telegraph reported that EU migrants could be barred from claiming benefits unless they have worked in the UK for four years, and that the government is consdiering barring any migrants who arrive in the UK after March 2019 from claiming in-work benefits.

Frankfurt and Dublin to draw bankers away from London

The German and Irish capitals are emerging on top in the battle to draw highly-paid banking jobs away from London, according to Reuters.

Business confidence lowered

Business confidence has dipped back into negative territory, falling from 6.7 in Q2 to -8 in Q3, according to the latest ICAEW Business Confidence Monitor (BCM).

UK tourism increased post EU referendum

10.75m people visited the UK in the second quarter of this year, 8% more than the same period last year and most for any quarter since records began in 1980, according to the Office for National Statistics. This is at least somewhat linked to the depreciation of the pound following periods of political turmoil over the past year.


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