Brexit

Main Estimates: Government spending plans for 2020-21

Friday, May 29, 2020 - 12:03am

A summary of the process and details of the 2020-21 Main Estimates, the way in which Parliament approves the Government's spending plans.

Key Points: 
  • A summary of the process and details of the 2020-21 Main Estimates, the way in which Parliament approves the Government's spending plans.
  • One of Parliaments longest standing functions is the consideration and authorisation of the governments spending plans, requiring the government to obtain parliamentary consent before spending public money.
  • Main Estimates are the documents that contain the detail of those spending plans for a particular year.
  • Under the Crown prerogative, only Government can propose spending, so amendments to increase spending are not permitted.

Fisheries: UK-EU future relationship negotiations

Friday, May 29, 2020 - 12:03am

The UK is in the process of negotiating its future relationship with the EU, inlcuding fisheries, follwoing Brexit.

Key Points: 
  • The UK is in the process of negotiating its future relationship with the EU, inlcuding fisheries, follwoing Brexit.
  • This will include setting total allowable catches (TACs), distributing quotas and determining who has access to fisheries.
  • Future fishing opportunities would be based on the principle of zonal attachment, similar to the EUs fisheries agreement with Norway.
  • For an overview of the negotiations to date please see Commons Briefing Paper The UK-EU future relationship: the March 2020 EU draft treaty and negotiations update.

Notice from the Office of the Secretary - Ontario Securities Commission

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 10:16pm

FIRST CLASS CRYPTO INC., JOHNATHAN HARRIS, MITCHELL CARNIE AND NEILL KLOSS, File No.

Key Points: 
  • FIRST CLASS CRYPTO INC., JOHNATHAN HARRIS, MITCHELL CARNIE AND NEILL KLOSS, File No.
  • 2020-9
    TORONTO, May 27, 2020 /CNW/ -The Office of the Secretary issued a Notice of Hearing for a hearing to consider whether it is in the public interest to approve a settlement agreement entered into by Staff of the Commission and First Class Crypto Inc., Johnathan Harris, Mitchell Carnie and Neill Kloss in the above named matter.
  • A copy of the Notice of Hearing dated May 27, 2020 and Statement of Allegations dated May 27, 2020 are available at www.osc.gov.on.ca .

The UK-EU future relationship: the March 2020 EU draft treaty and negotiations update

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 3:00pm

This paper provides an update on the first three rounds of negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship and analysis of the draft new partnership treaty tabled by the EU in March 2020Download the full report Following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on 31 January 2020, negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship began on 2 March 2020. The UK and EU negotiating positions were outlined in published documents at the end of February. These are analysed in the Commons Library briefing papers 8834, The UK-EU future relationship negotiations: process and issues and 8920 The UK-EU future relationship negotiations: summary of positions).The negotiations The initial terms of reference for the negotiations published at the end of February envisaged five rounds of negotiations up to the middle of May 2020, with further rounds to be mutually agreed. The high-level UK-EU meeting envisaged for June 2020 would be an opportunity to take stock of progress “with the aim of agreeing actions to move forward in negotiations”.Draft texts tabled The European Commission published a draft treaty text on 18 March covering all aspects of the EU’s envisaged future relationship with the UK (see below). The UK also tabled texts covering some of its proposed suite of agreements, including a free trade agreement. These were not made public and the Government asked the European Commission not to share these texts with the Member States.Talks put on hold Lockdowns across Europe in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak meant that the originally planned second and third round of negotiations did not take place. On 15 April, the two lead negotiators, David Frost (UK) and Michel Barnier (EU) met by videoconference and announced a new schedule of negotiations. This would involve three new rounds to take place by videoconference in the weeks commencing 20 April, 11 May and 1 June.Second round of negotiations Following the second round of negotiations, Mr Barnier said that the UK had refused to engage seriously on a number of fundamental issues.

Key Points: 


This paper provides an update on the first three rounds of negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship and analysis of the draft new partnership treaty tabled by the EU in March 2020

Download the full report

    Following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on 31 January 2020, negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship began on 2 March 2020. The UK and EU negotiating positions were outlined in published documents at the end of February. These are analysed in the Commons Library briefing papers 8834, The UK-EU future relationship negotiations: process and issues and 8920 The UK-EU future relationship negotiations: summary of positions).

The negotiations


    The initial terms of reference for the negotiations published at the end of February envisaged five rounds of negotiations up to the middle of May 2020, with further rounds to be mutually agreed. The high-level UK-EU meeting envisaged for June 2020 would be an opportunity to take stock of progress “with the aim of agreeing actions to move forward in negotiations”.

Draft texts tabled


    The European Commission published a draft treaty text on 18 March covering all aspects of the EU’s envisaged future relationship with the UK (see below). The UK also tabled texts covering some of its proposed suite of agreements, including a free trade agreement. These were not made public and the Government asked the European Commission not to share these texts with the Member States.

Talks put on hold


    Lockdowns across Europe in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak meant that the originally planned second and third round of negotiations did not take place. On 15 April, the two lead negotiators, David Frost (UK) and Michel Barnier (EU) met by videoconference and announced a new schedule of negotiations. This would involve three new rounds to take place by videoconference in the weeks commencing 20 April, 11 May and 1 June.

Second round of negotiations

    • Following the second round of negotiations, Mr Barnier said that the UK had refused to engage seriously on a number of fundamental issues.
    • He referred to a lack of progress on four issues where the positions of the two sides continued to differ: i) level playing field; ii) governance; iii) police and judicial co-operation; and iv) fisheries.
    • A UK Government statement referred to promising convergence in some trade and related issues.

Third round of negotiations

    • Ahead of the third round of negotiations in early May, David Frost said that the UK had now tabled a full set of agreements, including a complete draft free trade agreement and a fisheries framework agreement.
    • In his statement following the third round, Mr Frost said that the main obstacle was the EUs novel and unbalanced proposals on the level playing field.
    • In his statement following the third round, Mr Barnier rejected the UK suggestion that there could be some tariffs, similarly to those found in the EU-Canada agreement, without there being level playing field provisions.
    • He said that the negotiations on different topics were linked with agreement in one area requiring agreement in others.

Publication of UK texts and letter to Michel Barnier

    • The UK Government published the ten draft treaty texts it has tabled in the negotiations on 19 May.
    • The Government also published a letter from David Frost to Michel Barnier sent on the same day.
    • Mr Frost said that the UK treaty texts were based on precedent from existing EU agreements with third countries.

Timeline and transition period

    • The Scottish and Welsh Governments, the Scottish National Party and Liberal Democrats and several other organisations have called for an extension to the post-Brexit transition period in order to give more time to negotiate an agreement.
    • The transition period ends on 31 December 2020, but the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) provides for an extension of the transition period for up to two years if agreed by the end of June 2020.
    • The Government has legislated to prohibit itself from seeking an extension and continues to reiterate that it will not do so.

EU draft treaty text

    • The EU draft treaty text, published on 18 March, operationalises the positions set out in the EUs negotiating directives in several areas and provides more details.
    • Some parts of the text, such as Title VI of Part two on services and investment, closely follow the text of the EU-Japan and other EU free trade agreements (FTAs).
    • Part one (common provisions) of the draft treaty states that all areas of the partnership should be within a unified governance structure.

Economy and Trade

    • Part two of the draft treaty covers economy and trade.
    • In the remaining areas, the parties would agree not to regress below the standards applicable at the end of the transition period (non-regression).
    • In addition, the governing body would be able to modify the commitments to reflect evolving standards in most areas of LPF.
    • Title IV covers rules establishing a free trade area for trade in goods.
    • The text proposes to exempt mutual trade from customs duties (zero tariffs) and product import quotas.
    • With regard to trade in services (Title VI) the EU is proposing terms of market access generally on a par with its recent FTAs.
    • EU priorities include digital trade, temporary business travel for natural persons and steps towards mutual recognition of professional qualifications where this is in the EUs interest.

Security Partnership

    • It also sets out the data protection and human rights requirements that would underpin the agreement and provides for the suspension of it in the event that these are not met.
    • This involves a requirement for UK continued adherence to the European Convention on Human Rights and for it to continue to give effect to the Convention in domestic law.
    • The EU has also proposed a text on foreign policy, security and defence (Part three, Title II) whilst acknowledging that the UK does not wish to engage in negotiations on these matters.

Participation in EU programmes and financial provisions

    • Part four of the draft text covers UK participation in EU programmes and sound financial management.
    • It covers financial conditions for UK participation in EU programmes, which would involve a combined sum of a participation fee and an operational contribution.
    • EU bodies would have the right to carry out reviews and audits of persons and entities in the UK receiving EU funds.

Governance and Final Provisions

    • Part five of the draft treaty sets out the proposed governance structure for the relationship and general dispute settlement.
    • The final provisions in Part six provide that if the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) is breached by either party, retaliation to such a breach can take place by suspending aspects of this new treaty.
    • The final provisions also cover territorial scope: the treaty will not apply to Gibraltar, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus.

Cohen & Steers Opens Dublin Office

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 9:05pm

NEW YORK, May 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --Cohen & Steers, Inc. (NYSE: CNS), a leading real assets specialty manager, announced today the opening of its Dublin office and the establishment of Cohen&Steers Ireland Limited ("CSIL"), strengthening its European presence.

Key Points: 
  • NEW YORK, May 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --Cohen & Steers, Inc. (NYSE: CNS), a leading real assets specialty manager, announced today the opening of its Dublin office and the establishment of Cohen&Steers Ireland Limited ("CSIL"), strengthening its European presence.
  • The company will expand Cohen & Steers' capability to distribute the firm's European fund range in the EU while ensuring uninterrupted service for its European institutional and wealth management advisory business post-Brexit.
  • Robert Steers, Cohen & Steers Chief Executive Officer said:
    Establishing Cohen & Steers Ireland reaffirms our commitment to providing investment solutions to institutions and wealth markets in the EU, where we look forward to extending the firm's position as a leading active manager focused on listed real assets and alternative income strategies.
  • Cohen & Steers has seen its market share grow thanks to our strong investment performance.

Joint statement of the members of the EEA Council, 25 May 2020

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 4:10pm

The members of the EEA Council held a video conference on 25 May 2020 at the initiative of Mr. Gordan Grli-Radman, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia.

Key Points: 
  • The members of the EEA Council held a video conference on 25 May 2020 at the initiative of Mr. Gordan Grli-Radman, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia.
  • The video conference was attended by Ms. Ine Eriksen Sreide, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Mr. Gulaugur r rarson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation of Iceland, Ms. Katrin Eggenberger, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Liechtenstein, as well as representatives of the European Commission and the European External Action Service.
  • The members of the EEA Council discussed the overall functioning of the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA Agreement) and the effect of COVID-19 on the Internal Market, and held an orientation debate on the European Green Deal in the context of the EEA Agreement.
  • Following the videoconference, the members of the EEA Council adopted the following joint statement:

    Response to the COVID-19 pandemic

    Cooperation in the EEA

    EEA Agreement Article 19 and Protocol 3

    Political dialogue

    The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU and the EEA Agreement

    The development of the Internal Market

    Incorporation of EEA-relevant EU acts

    The European Green Deal - environmental protection, climate change and energy

    Social Dimension

    EU programmes

    Financial Mechanisms

    Visit the meeting page

Notice from the Office of the Secretary - Ontario Securities Commission

Monday, May 25, 2020 - 10:44pm

TORONTO, May 25, 2020 /CNW/ -The Office of the Secretary issued a Notice of Hearing on May 25, 2020 setting the matter down to be heard on June 19, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. as soon thereafter as the hearing can be held in the above named matter.

Key Points: 
  • TORONTO, May 25, 2020 /CNW/ -The Office of the Secretary issued a Notice of Hearing on May 25, 2020 setting the matter down to be heard on June 19, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. as soon thereafter as the hearing can be held in the above named matter.
  • A copy of the Notice of Hearing dated May 25, 2020 and Statement of Allegations dated May 25, 2020 are available at www.osc.gov.on.ca .

UK Shopfitting Market Trends Research & Analysis 2019-2023 - ResearchAndMarkets.com

Friday, May 22, 2020 - 8:23am

The "Shopfitting Market Trends Report Research & Analysis UK 2019-2023" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

Key Points: 
  • The "Shopfitting Market Trends Report Research & Analysis UK 2019-2023" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.
  • Produced in the UK from quantitative data with qualitative insight, this independent, high quality report identifies shopfitting market trends and opportunities.
  • The report considers the impact of Brexit and the 2019 General Election; forecasts the commercial new build and refurbishment markets and many other relevant end use sectors alongside shopfitting market sizes and trends for the key product sectors & shopfitting end use shares in the UK shopfitting market to 2023
    Key Questions Answered in the Report:
    What is the size of the shopfitting market?
  • This unique shopfitting market report represents a comprehensive yet cost effective tool for understanding the historical, current and future performance of the UK Shopfitting market and Shopfitting market trends.

UK Consumer Confidence Survey 2020: COVID-19 Impact

Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 2:00pm

DUBLIN, May 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The "Coronavirus Impact on UK Consumers 2020" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

Key Points: 
  • DUBLIN, May 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The "Coronavirus Impact on UK Consumers 2020" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.
  • Heading into January general consumer confidence had been on a rising trend amid renewed political stability and optimism around Brexit.
  • It was the week to March 15th that saw worries about the impact of the virus on people's spending really begin to rise, as it rapidly became understood just how serious this situation was.
  • Nevertheless, this is not seen as a good time to be spending, particularly on large purchases.

Minister ignores political reality of post-Brexit fisheries deal

Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 1:05pm

The Committee initially wrote to Environment Secretary George Eustice MPin March about fears raised by its inquiry into access to British waters by foreign fishing fleets after the UK's withdrawal from the European Union.

Key Points: 
  • The Committee initially wrote to Environment Secretary George Eustice MPin March about fears raised by its inquiry into access to British waters by foreign fishing fleets after the UK's withdrawal from the European Union.
  • The response received from Victoria Prentis MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food was unsatisfactory and gave the impression that the Government is not genuinely seeking to reach a fisheries agreement.
  • While the Committee agrees with the Minister's point that the UK will have every right to control fishing access to its waters, the Minster ignored their central contention that exercising that right comes with consequences for both the fishing industry and the wider economy.
  • The Committees newly appointed Chair, Lord Teverson has asked the Minister to write to them again about the current state of play in the fisheries negotiations and whether she believes agreement will be reached by 1 July.