Disaster preparedness

Brexit and UK Defence: An Explainer

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - 12:05am

A number of initiatives to further the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy have been agreed, with the participation of the UK, since the Brexit referendum in 2016.

Key Points: 
  • A number of initiatives to further the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy have been agreed, with the participation of the UK, since the Brexit referendum in 2016.
  • What do they entail and what will be the impact for the UK now that it is no longer an EU Member State?
  • EU defence cooperation has been a stated ambition of EU Member States since the 1992 Maastricht Treaty.
  • These developments are frequently raised within the context of Brexit, with questions asked over the nature of UK-EU defence cooperation going forward.

UK-EU future relationship negotiating timetable: extending the transition

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - 12:04am

It provides an overview of the debate on whether the post-Brexit transition period should be extended, and explains the process for extending this period.

Key Points: 
  • It provides an overview of the debate on whether the post-Brexit transition period should be extended, and explains the process for extending this period.
  • UK-EU negotiations on the future relationship began in March following the UK withdrawal from the EU.
  • Both the UK and EU are seeking to negotiate a new agreement that can be in place following the end of the post-Brexit transition period.
  • Some commentators have suggested that an implementation or transition phase similar to the current transition period could be agreed as part of a new future relationship agreement.

Trade experts questioned on UK-EU relationship on professional and business services

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - 12:04am

What role do small and medium-sized enterprises play in the UK's professional and business services sectors?

Key Points: 
  • What role do small and medium-sized enterprises play in the UK's professional and business services sectors?
  • How important are EU markets to the UK's different professional and business services sectors?
  • What role, if any, has EU membership played in supporting trade in professional and business services between the UK and EU Member States?
  • What are the main trade barriers that UK professional and business services providers risk facing in the absence of a UK-EU agreement covering services?

Trade experts questioned on UK-EU relationship on professional and business services

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - 12:03am

What role do small and medium-sized enterprises play in the UK's professional and business services sectors?

Key Points: 
  • What role do small and medium-sized enterprises play in the UK's professional and business services sectors?
  • How important are EU markets to the UK's different professional and business services sectors?
  • What role, if any, has EU membership played in supporting trade in professional and business services between the UK and EU Member States?
  • What are the main trade barriers that UK professional and business services providers risk facing in the absence of a UK-EU agreement covering services?

C Spire offers Wireless Emergency Alerts on its mobile network

Monday, June 1, 2020 - 5:31pm

Customers can opt out of weather and missing person alerts by adjusting their device notification settings, but Presidential alerts are mandatory.

Key Points: 
  • Customers can opt out of weather and missing person alerts by adjusting their device notification settings, but Presidential alerts are mandatory.
  • C Spire CTO Carla Lewis says the alerts play an important role in keeping central Mississippi residents updated about flooding threats.
  • Without the alerts, C Spire and emergency response officials say injuries and deaths could result and damage totals could be much higher.
  • For more information about Wireless Emergency Alerts and CMAS on the C Spire network, go to www.cspire.com/cmas .

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.

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.

Majority of Americans Believe They are Likely to Be Impacted by a Natural Disaster, Few are Financially Prepared: AICPA Survey

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 12:00pm

For Americans looking for help getting started on their own disaster plan today, visit www.360FinancialLiteracy.org/BePrepared .

Key Points: 
  • For Americans looking for help getting started on their own disaster plan today, visit www.360FinancialLiteracy.org/BePrepared .
  • There you will find guidance that covers the five key components of a disaster plan to protect both your family and your finances.
  • Disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic can complicate the process of preparing a plan to protect your financial wellness from the next natural disaster.
  • With that in mind, here are a few areas where Americans may want to get a head start.

Global Clinical Chemistry Analyzers Market Outlook to 2027: Implications of COVID-19 - ResearchAndMarkets.com

Friday, May 22, 2020 - 10:49am

The "Clinical Chemistry Analyzers - Global Market Outlook (2018-2027)" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

Key Points: 
  • The "Clinical Chemistry Analyzers - Global Market Outlook (2018-2027)" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.
  • The Global Clinical Chemistry Analyzers market accounted for $11,114.09 million in 2018 and is expected to reach $21,308.36 million by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 7.5% during the forecast period.
  • However, the requirement of high initial investment is the restraining factor for the growth of the market.
  • Some of the key players in Clinical Chemistry Analyzers Market include Siemens Healthineers, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc, Abbott Laboratories, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Randox Laboratories Ltd, Mindray Medical International Limited, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Danaher Corporation, Horiba Ltd, Elitech Group.

Committee questions Michael Gove and David Frost

Friday, May 22, 2020 - 12:03am

On Wednesday 27 May, the Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union returns with a virtual evidence session, featuring Michael Gove MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and David Frost, UK Chief Negotiator.

Key Points: 
  • On Wednesday 27 May, the Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union returns with a virtual evidence session, featuring Michael Gove MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and David Frost, UK Chief Negotiator.
  • In this virtual evidence session, the Committee will question Mr Gove and Mr Frost on the current state of the future relationship negotiations between the UK and European Union, following three rounds of discussions.
  • The Committee is expected to consider the overall progress made, ahead of a fourth round of talks and High-Level Conference next month.