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Allie's Brexit blog: August update

08 Aug 2017

Allie Renison Head of Europe and Trade Policy

Allie Renison, Head of Europe and Trade Policy at the IoD gives you an insight into the world of Brexit...

The clock is ticking -or so we hear- but as Brexit negotiations finally get down to business, parts of the building blocks are finally starting to emerge. The EU had initially taken the lead in presenting a number of different position papers on so-called “separation issues”, most notably on citizens’ rights and a formula for the ‘divorce bill’. The UK government has published one substantive response so far in these areas, putting forward its own views on how EU and UK citizens already here should have their rights protected going forward. Much unites them, apart from the area of family repatriation rights and whether British courts or the EU’s own Court of Justice should enforce them. You can find the IoD’s initial response to the UK’s paper here.

For my own part, the start of negotiations has made for anything but a quiet summer once more. My recent schedule has been a mix of meeting with Ministers, civil servants, trips to Brussels and Belfast as well as regional visits to a number of IoD branches to give an update on Brexit and trade policy developments. Our recent paper setting out a range of options for transition to give business more certainty about the near future caught the eye of many in Westminster. Read the report here.

We are hoping and expecting to see more position papers in the autumn from the UK Government in this area, as well as on the Irish border and future framework for regulating cross-border trade in goods and services. Work will also soon begin on a number of Brexit-related legislative bills – including on immigration and trade policy. The latter of these is expected to equip our own government machinery with the necessary tools to eventually take over functions from Brussels – even if they create no active break with EU policy in this area.

The next few weeks will focus on preparing for some of these legislative bills, as White Papers will likely first emerge to give an overview of their direction of travel. A trip to the Washington, D.C. in September is in my diary to discuss the future of US-UK trade relation, as is a Brussels visit with our Director-General to meet with members of IoD Belgium. This will follow a third round of UK-EU negotiations taking place at the end of August. Please do get in touch with your local, regional or devolved national branch to ask about what activity they have taking place on Brexit and trade. Bi-monthly webinars on these areas will continue apace, so I hope to be taking some individual questions from you if I haven’t already!


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