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UK Cabinet agrees Brexit Withdrawal Agreement text– what was agreed and what next?

19 November 2018 | London
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Recording: - Originally broadcast Monday 19 November 2018 

Following a UK Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 14 November the UK Government has announced support for the text of a draft Withdrawal Agreement agreed with EU negotiators. This is the agreement setting out the arrangements for the UK's withdrawal from the EU on 29 March 2019 and includes a transition period following the date of the UK's EU exit through to 31 December 2020, during which EU law will continue to apply in and to the UK.

This 585 page document has just been published alongside a short summary of the political declaration on the future UK/EU free trade arrangements (see here and here). A special European Council, anticipated to be held on 25 November 2018, will be asked to approve the Withdrawal Agreement and the full text of the political declaration. The deal will also have to pass through the European Parliament.
 
However, the main challenge to a deal being ratified is the requirement for approval by the UK Parliament. The first vote by the UK Parliament is expected within two weeks of the European Council. 

We hosted a webinar to discuss:

  • key aspects of the Withdrawal Agreement, including in relation to the UK-wide backstop to deal with the Irish border issues;
  • what the summary of the political declaration tells us about prospects for future UK/EU free trade arrangements;
  • the political obstacles to a deal.

Our Brexit Director, Paul Butcher, was joined by:

  • Oliver Lewis, Director, Hanbury Strategy. Oliver is one of the leaders of Hanbury's Brexit team. He has previously worked with the then Education Secretary Michael Gove as well as advised Cabinet Ministers on a range of policy issues.
  • Eric White, Consultant, Herbert Smith Freehills. Prior to joining Herbert Smith Freehills Eric was a member of the European Commission's Legal Service between 1985 and 2016, where he led the Trade Policy and WTO team.
  • Katherine Dillon, Of Counsel, Herbert Smith Freehills. Katherine is aspecialist in UK and EU financial services law and regulation with extensive experience of advising financial sector clients on the implications of Brexit.

If you would like to access the recording please contact us.