The U.K. government must change its approach to Brexit to secure a withdrawal agreement if the EU continues to oppose its customs proposals, according to a House of Commons committee.
Brexit secretary Dominic Raab told journalists, however, that the government has made compromises. “We do need to see that matched on the EU side,” he said.
Prime Minister Theresa May told the BBC September 17 that if Parliament does not back the Chequers proposals, “the alternative to that would be not having a deal.” Read more:
My news story for Worldwide Tax Daily, published by Tax Notes on September 19 (paywall)
HM Revenue & Customs has alerted 145,000 businesses that trade only with EU countries to changes that would have an immediate impact in the event of a no-deal Brexit in March 2019.
HMRC sent separate letters, signed by Deputy Chief Executive Jim Harra, to VAT-registered businesses based in Northern Ireland and those based elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
For businesses outside Northern Ireland, HMRC confirmed that in a no-deal Brexit scenario, those trading with the European Union only would have to start completing customs declarations from March 2019, and that customs checks would be applied for the first time. Read more:
My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), September 14
HMRC: Letters on ‘no deal’ Brexit advice for businesses only trading with the EU, September 13
The UK government has no desire to push through trade agreements without public support, a minister told peers debating the Trade Bill as UK and US trade officials met in London …
The Trade Bill, setting out measures enabling the UK government to develop a post-Brexit trade policy, passed its second reading in the House of Lords after seven hours of debate on September 11 … Rona Fairhead, minister of state at the Department for International Trade, told peers that the bill is intended to provide “continuity of the existing trade agreements that we already have through the EU, and the certainty that this gives to businesses and our trading partners.” Read more:
My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), September 13
Lords Hansard: Trade Bill second reading, September 11
The European Commission is satisfied that “sufficient progress has been achieved” on three priority issues in phase 1 of the Brexit talks, the commission announced on December 8, while questions remained about the implications of commitments given regarding Northern Ireland.
It is now for the European Council to decide at a December 15 meeting whether the negotiations should proceed to their second phase, the commission said, adding that its assessment, set out in a communication to the European Council (Article 50), was based on a joint report agreed by negotiators and endorsed by UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
My news story for Tax Analysts, December 8 (paywall)