Brexit: Limiting the Damage

It is one of the ironies of history that the EU as it is today, starting with the single market, was largely made in Britain, the achievement, above all, of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher and her right-hand man in Brussels, the then Commissioner (Lord) Arthur Cockfield. The single market has long been viewed by observers in countries with less of a free market tradition as a typically British liberal invention. And yet it is this market, as well as the EU itself, that another Conservative government is now seeking to leave.

Britain has also left its stamp on key EU initiatives from regional policy to development assistance and fisheries. The EU’s interest in a common foreign and security policy originally stemmed from Britain. The EU’s comparatively transparent and accountable administrative rules date from the reforms introduced by former British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock when he was Vice-President of the European Commission from 1999 to 2004. Thus, representatives of Britain’s two major parties have helped to make the EU what it is today.

If British prime ministers had explained to public opinion earlier the extent of their country’s influence on the EU, something that other Europeans never doubted, the referendum of 23 June 2016 might never have occurred.

A “Smooth and Sensible” Brexit

Be that as it may, Europeans on both sides of the English Channel are now grappling with the consequences of that vote. If reason and economic interest prevail, a “smooth and sensible” Brexit, as evoked by the British prime minister in Florence in September, might yet emerge.

This would involve a broad agreement, in 2017, on the principal aspects of the divorce settlement. This concerns mainly Britain’s financial commitments to the EU, the residence, professional and health rights of citizens living on both sides of the Channel after Brexit, and the need to maintain the Common Travel Area between Britain and Ireland and to avoid a hard border across the island of Ireland after Brexit. While Brussels, London and Dublin have affirmed their intention of achieving these goals, there are many practical and political issues to resolve.

If sufficient confidence and trust between EU and UK negotiators is established, it should also be possible to agree to the general terms of a future political and economic agreement between London and Brussels by the end of the year and to broach the question of transitional arrangements to smooth the way for government and business. The British government wishes to ensure that business need adjust to Brexit only once, hence the need for a smooth transition to a well-defined future relationship.

If good progress is made next year, the separation agreement and transitional arrangements could be drawn up by October 2018, allowing enough time for approval by EU and British institutions ahead of Britain’s exit from the EU at midnight between 29 and 30 October 2019. Little, except Britain’s lost vote in EU institutions, would then change for the next two to three years, as the UK continued to make payments to the EU budget, respect judgements of the European Court of Justice and accept the free movement of labour.

The breathing space would be used to negotiate, sign and ratify a two-part long-term agreement. The first part would cover trade and economic issues; it could take effect provisionally relatively quickly after agreement had been reached. The second part, though, would be a wide-ranging political agreement, involving security and even aspects of defence. Both sides have an interest in cooperation on armaments production and unconventional forms of conflict, as well as police and judicial affairs. This would involve the member states’ legal responsibilities and require ratification by all twenty-eight countries concerned. It might not come into effect before the mid-late 2020s.

This relatively benign sequence of events assumes that the British government is unified behind its negotiator, David Davies, and that the political situation in Britain and the EU remains generally stable. It also assumes that the EU can move beyond its rigid two-stage sequencing of the negotiations.

However, there may well be political upsets, involving a leadership competition in the Conservative Party and, perhaps, an early general election. The opposition Labour Party may come to power bringing a change in priorities but also differences of opinion in its own ranks. The British economy will be damaged by Brexit, according to leading economists, and public opinion is likely to react when this is widely felt.[1]Until now, the main impact has been a decline in sterling and rising inflation, raising the prospect of higher interest rates.

The “Cliff Edge” Scenario

Such uncertainties, as well as the divergent political agendas of London and Brussels, may make the smooth and sensible Brexit impossible to achieve during the limited time available. This opens the way to a second scenario, widely described in Britain as the cliff edge. Under this hypothesis, the December 2017 goal for achieving a breakthrough in the separation talks is missed. This further postpones discussion of transitional arrangements and a future long-term agreement.

Negotiations continue fitfully during 2018 but the two sides are too far apart to reach agreement by October 2018, which the EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has designated as the effective deadline. If October passes without an overall agreement, it will probably be too late to secure the agreement of the European Parliament before 29 March 2019, when the two-year negotiating period initiated by the British government’s notification of withdrawal expires. Nonetheless, negotiations might well go down to the wire.

Unless all twenty-eight countries “stop the clock” at midnight, an old Brussels ruse, the UK would then leave the EU without an agreement. Business leaders have warned of the chaos this will bring. There will be an unmanageable fivefold increase in work at British, Irish and mainland European ports checking consignments, the suspension of air travel between the UK and the EU, pending the conclusion of a new air transport agreement, and other major disruptions.

Health, safety, veterinary and phytosanitary inspections, as well as the assessment of customs duties, would lead to long queues of lorries at ports on both sides of the channel. Neither side can build the necessary infrastructure and linked IT systems or recruit sufficient qualified staff in time to cope with dramatically increased requirements after a hard Brexit. Supply chains would be disrupted and many foreign-owned companies, which had not already relocated to remaining EU countries, would seek to do so rapidly.

The political and economic damage of going over the cliff edge would last for years and embitter the UK’s relations with the EU and third countries. Many would question the value of Britain’s WTO commitments in the absence of appropriate trading arrangements between Britain and the EU.

This then is a sketch of the cliff edge. Those who admire Britain for its pragmatism, fairness and common sense find it hard to believe that such a scenario might become reality. Surely, they say, Britain and the EU are involved in preliminary skirmishing of the type that precedes any negotiation. They are sure to come to their senses as the decisive deadlines approach. Nothing is less than certain.

A Tale of “Downside” Risks

The outcome may well diverge from either the optimistic or the pessimistic scenarios delineated above. However, the risks are mainly “downside” as the economists put it. British negotiators have not yet grasped the fundamentally asymmetric nature of negotiations between twenty-seven countries backed by European institutions on the one side and a single country seeking to leave the club on the other. It would be better for government, business and the public, if this reality were more widely recognized, leading to realistic negotiating targets. Indeed, Brexit is not really a negotiation at all in the usual sense. It is rather an effort by the leaving country to secure some exceptions from the club’s rules at the time of its departure. This is much akin to the efforts of a candidate (joining) country to achieve some, temporary, transitional exceptions to the EU’s rules.

The Brexit talks are essentially an exercise in damage limitation, mainly through transitional arrangements. When the divorce and transitional arrangements have been agreed, Britain and the EU can concentrate on negotiating a long-term partnership which will be in their mutual interest.

This post was written by Michael Leigh of Covington & Burling LLP., © 2017
For more Global legal analysis, go to The National Law Review

Brexit Poses Issues For Airports, Airlines

The United Kingdom’s split from the European Union could leave the nation and United States without a trade agreement to manage the aviation industry. The aviation industry currently operates between the two nations under the Open Skies agreement signed by the U.S. and the EU in 2007. However, the U.K. will no longer be covered under the agreement once it leaves the bloc and, while it is still an EU member, cannot negotiate a new agreement either.

Open Skies agreements are bilateral air service agreements (ASAs) the U.S. government negotiates with other countries to provide rights for airlines to offer international passenger and cargo services. Agreements cover a number of significant matters including rights to fly over and land in territories, regulatory requirements, competition, commercial opportunities, customs and duties, and landing charges.

The situation is creating uncertainty and legal challenges in one of the most important components of international trade. Forty percent of the EU’s air traffic to the U.S. departs from U.K. airports and nearly 48,000 flights left the U.S. bound for the U.K. in 2016 alone. Commercial arrangements in the aviation industry including for airlines, air freight companies, airports and all related businesses depend on the Open Skies agreements as a basis for their contractual arrangements. Some U.S. airlines are already seeking to renegotiate deals with U.K. airports to ensure that break clauses and other mechanisms are inserted to deal with any uncertainty following Brexit, which under Article 50 has a deadline of March 30, 2019. Post-Brexit flight bookings may also need some form of provision to deal with contractual rights to hedge against major changes in the event that the Open Skies agreement is terminated for the U.K.

Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, told reporters on Aug. 2 that without some understanding of what a future agreement will look like airlines won’t be able to plan their 2019 flight schedules.

“There is going to be a serious disruption unless the British government can negotiate an agreement by around this time next year,” Ryanair said.

In late July, Airlines for America, the nation’s largest aviation trade group, issued a formal statement calling for the airline industry to be dealt with immediately and separately from Brexit negotiations. On Aug. 1, Reuters reported that British Transport Secretary Chris Grayling met with White House and airline officials to assure them that an agreement would be in place when the U.K. exits the EU. The Federal Aviation Administration’s chief Michael Huerta has also recently explained the seriousness of the U.K.’s situation with regards to aviation safety. Along with the other EU member states, the U.K. is currently part of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is responsible for all aspects of civil aviation safety in the EU. Speaking at the UK’s Aviation Club, Huerta pointed out that the U.K. currently benefits from the being part of EASA and that when it leaves the EU it will need to be replaced or there would be the very real possibility of an “interruption of service.”

Faced with uncertainty of legal rights and concerns about ongoing aviation safety regulation, it is important that U.S. airlines as well as U.S. logistics and freight companies monitor the situation and plan for potential disruption. Some comfort can be taken from British Government assurances that open skies agreements and regulations will be in place when the U.K. exits the EU, however, individual commercial agreements should be reviewed to minimize risk of disruption. For instance, U.S. airlines have agreements with U.K. airports for a range of services including landing rights and leases for office outlets. All these agreements may need to be reviewed sooner rather than later so that both parties have contingencies in place to avoid any disruption as much as possible.

This post was written by G. Thomas Lee and David B. Hamilton of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC.
Get more Brexit Analysis at the National Law Review.

Brexit – Squaring Circle and involving European Court of Justice

Clash of Philosophies

There is a potentially irreconcilable clash of constitutional philosophies between the UK and the EU which results in certain “no go” areas on the EU side for the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.

Perspective of the EU27

EU UK FlagsThe EU27’s approach is driven by the perception that the European Union is not merely representative of a negotiable bundle of international trade treaties but is a supranational entity based on and subject to a constitution created by the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). From the perspective of the EU and the EU27 , the constitution of the EU goes well beyond international treaties.  The Treaties establish a Union which is based on principles similar to those in Federal States.

Any of the member states of the EU (including the UK) accordingly is, from the perspective of the EU, not only a counterparty to an international treaty but an integral part of an autonomous Union. The driving principle of the European Union – which was correctly identified and repeated by Leave campaigners – is the supremacy of the EU’s legal order over the legal order of its member states, including the supremacy of the EU’s legal order over the constitutions of the member states.

One of the most important principles of the EU is laid down in Article 3 (2) TEU.  This provides that the EU is an area within which its citizens are free and can freely move. This is a general principle which is not restricted to trade but applies in all areas of life. In addition to such general principle Article 3 (3) TEU states that, inter alia, one of the consequences of this area of freedom and free movement is the internal market.

That is the context of the European Union placing the future rights of EU citizens in the UK at the forefront of any of the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.

Since the EU is bound to such constitutional order, any agreement with the UK pursuant to Article 50 TEU needs, from the perspective of the EU, to comply with such constitutional principles. “Constitutionality” is a major issue for the continental European member states since governments and politicians on the continent are used to be bound by constitutions which cannot be overridden by domestic governments or parliaments by simple act of parliament or government. Constitutions can only be amended or overridden if a qualified majority in Parliament and, in some member states, a referendum so approves. In some member states, such as Germany, there are even some constitutional principles which cannotbe changed by Parliament at all.

Perspective of the UK

The UK approach is driven by its perspective that the EU is simply the creation of a bundle of international treaties which establish a common market in which various different principles of free trade and free movement apply, and the contents of which can be freely negotiated between the various parties to such international treaties. Accordingly the UK takes the point of view that the agreements to be entered into pursuant to Article 50 TEU upon Brexit can be freely negotiated and that such negotiations are not subject to or restricted by overriding constitutional principles which are binding on the EU during such exit negotiations.

How to reconcile the differing points of view and how to involve the European Court of Justice

The two above described perspectives of the UK and the EU would appear to be legally irreconcilable, but there is a potential avenue out of such dead-lock by making use of:

(a) the fact that Article 50 (3) TEU does not conclusively state that the UK ceases to be a member state of the EU two years after the Article 50 Notice has been given, but in principle refers to the date on which the relevant withdrawal agreement becomes effective, which effective date can either fall on a date occurring after the two years or on a date occurring prior to the two years.

Accordingly, a simple withdrawal agreement could provide that Brexit becomes effective only once certain specified additional agreements have been finalized and entered into.

(b) the Commission, the European Parliament, the European Council and/or any member state (including the UK) being entitled to request from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) pursuant to Article 218 (11) TFEU legal opinions on any draft agreement – like the agreements between the UK and the EU on their future relationships – to be entered into with a third country (which the UK would be once the withdrawal agreement becomes effective) in order to avoid and/or mitigate concerns relating to the constitutionality of the future relationship agreement with the UK.

It is likely that the EU27 will at some stage call upon the European Court of Justice to opine on the constitutionality of the future relationship agreement(s) with the UK because of the fundamental nature of the agreement(s).

Samples of constitutionally important legal opinions rendered by the European Court of Justice in relation to Agreements which the EU had entered into in the past under Article 218 (11) TFEU (and its predecessors) include, for example:

– ECJ opinions 1/91 and 1/92 on the European Economic Area Agreement and the system of judicial review thereunder,

– ECJ opinion 1/94 relating to the EU agreeing to accede to WTO, GATS and TRIPs

– ECJ opinion 2/13 relating to the accession of the EU to the European Convention on Human Rights

– ECJ opinion 2/15 relating to the Free Trade Agreement with Singapore.

In relation to the Free Trade Agreement with Singapore the ECJ held on 16 May 2017 that such Free Trade Agreement is, because of its far reaching comprehensive content, a so-called “mixed-agreement” and therefore requires the consent of all 28 Member States of the European Union. Depending on the contents of the future relationship agreement between the UK and the EU, such agreement will also need to be ratified by the Parliaments of the EU27 Member States.

Agreements to be negotiated between the UK and the EU

The minimum number of agreements to be negotiated in the context of the UK leaving the EU pursuant to Article 50 is two:

(i) the withdrawal agreement on the details of the withdrawal “taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union” and

(ii) an agreement on the details of the future relationship between the EU and the UK.

Even though the minimum number of agreements to be entered into is two, it is likely that there will be more than two agreements since there are areas which need to be dealt with instantaneously (like aviation between the UK and EU27 and a potential accession of the UK to the ECAA Agreement in order to enable the flow of air traffic between the UK and the EU to continue as normal) irrespective of whether other areas may be dealt with at a later stage.

Whereas the withdrawal agreement can be adopted by the EU pursuant to a qualified majority decision pursuant to Article 50 TEU, any agreement on the details of the future relationship will require the “normal” majority contemplated in the TEU and TFEU for the relevant matters concerned, because Article 50 does not apply to such agreements on the details of the future relationship.

From the EU27 perspective, the principal items of the withdrawal agreement are those set out in the Brexit Negotiation Guidelines adopted by the European Council on 29 April 2017, the European Parliament on 5 April 2017 and the Non-Paper of the European Commission of 20 April 2017 and the Commission Recommendation for a Council Decision of 3 May 2017.

Withdrawal Agreement and the date at which it comes into force

The EU and the UK could agree that the withdrawal agreement is ratified in accordance with Article 50 TEU before the lapse of the two-year period but provides that it comes into force only after the agreement on principles for the future relationship has been (i) agreed on working level; (ii) submitted to and reviewed by the European Court of Justice pursuant to Article 218 (11) TFEU, and (iii) been ratified by the UK and the EU – or after the ratification process has been declared by the UK to be defunct.

That would mean that the UK would not cease to be a member state of the EU until there is an agreement on the principles for the future relationship without having to achieve this within the tight two years period.

The UK would also continue to enjoy all rights as a member state under existing international trade and other agreements entered into by the EU with countries around the world, like free trade agreements, air transportation agreements etc. until the ECJ has determined that the principles agreed between the UK and the EU in the agreement on principles for the future relationship are compliant with TEU and TFEU. Once this has been determined, the details of the future relationship could be negotiated in detail between the UK and the EU.

If the UK ceased to be a Member State on 30 March 2019 and “only” some transitory period or implementation period thereafter was agreed on during which certain specified EU rules continue to apply, this would not prevent the UK from losing its rights under existing International Agreements which had been entered into by the EU.

There is clarity in the approach of the EU27. The approach that the UK will take should become clearer after the General Election on 8 June, and later in the year as the UK government begins to identify its Brexit strategy in more detail, and identifies the trade offs it is prepared to make.  The historical and current political climate, as well as the sheer complexity of Brexit, is such that the UK cannot necessarily be expected the trade offs which history will regard as the “right” ones.

By Jens Rinze and Jeremy Cape of Squire Patton Boggs.

European Union Adopts Brexit Negotiation Guidelines

Brexit Bull HornOn April 29, a Special European Council, meeting as 27 member states (as opposed to the full 28 member states, as would usually be present), adopted the Article 50 guidelines (Guidelines) to formally define the EU’s position in Brexit negotiations with the United Kingdom. This follows the resolution of the European Parliament on key principles and conditions for the negotiations, adopted on April 5 (for further information, see the April 7 issue of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest).

The Guidelines are set out under six headings covering:

  • core principles;
  • a phased approach to the negotiations;
  • agreement on arrangements for an orderly withdrawal;
  • preliminary and preparatory discussions on a framework for the EU-UK future relationship;
  • the principle of sincere cooperation; and
  • the procedural arrangements for negotiations under Article 50.

On May 22, the EU General Affairs Council is expected to authorize the opening of the negotiations, nominate the European Commission as the EU negotiator and adopt negotiating directives.

The Guidelines are available here.

Exiting from the EU: Bre(xit)aking News

EU brexit UK Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court of the United Kingdom by a majority of 8 to 3 has today confirmed that triggering the exit procedure from the European Union requires an Act of Parliament.

As such the Supreme Court disagreed with the current UK Government which had argued that Government ministers could rely on their prerogative powers to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union without prior authorisation by Parliament. Scottish Parliament, Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies had argued that they too should be consulted. The judges did not agree with that view.

This is a big blow for the current Government. The judges held that triggering Article 50 will bring fundamental change to the UK’s constitutional arrangements by cutting off the source of EU law and by removing existing domestic rights of UK residents. As to the Brexit referendum, the Supreme Court confirms its political significance, however, notes that the statute authorising the Referendum was mute as to the specific legal consequences resulting from it. Defining the legal consequences will remain in the power of Parliament which will have to enact legislation fleshing out the changes in the law required to implement the referendum. Whether this will upset Theresa May’s timetable of invoking Article 50 by the end of March will have to be seen, the Government certainly does not think so and is expected to introduce a bill into Parliament shortly.

In the end the Supreme Court’s judgment is unlikely to change all that much given in particular that the Scottish Parliament, and the Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies are unable to exercise any veto. In addition, over the last days members of Parliament from other parties have indicated their support for the triggering of Article 50. For those hoping that Article 50 will not be triggered the question is whether the pro-EU members of Parliament are able to form a credible opposition in the time available and will vote as a matter of their conscience.

The uncertainty for companies will remain. The reaction amongst clients and companies exposed to the UK has been varied so far with some already moving jobs and operations while others are waiting or are committing to the UK despite Theresa May’s indication on future steps all supporting a hard Brexit. We are following legal and political developments in the UK closely and would be delighted to discuss concerns with you.

Full text of the judgment, transcripts from the hearings and parties’ submissions: here.

Copyright © 2017, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.

The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election; Brexit West?

brexit westIt is hard to overstate the political and policy parallels between the recent UK “Brexit” vote to leave the European Union (“EU”) and the pending U.S. presidential election.  Both cases reflect the significant tensions between globalism and national sovereignty, as well as the competing ideologies of capitalism and what might be described as European corporatism.  The narrowly-decided Brexit vote can be viewed as a reassertion of national sovereignty, reflecting deep political divisions and concerns about economic dislocation, immigration, and national security.  Similar political forces in the U.S. have given rise to the unlikely presidential candidacy of Donald Trump.

Regardless of the outcome of the November 8 election, these underlying political forces will continue to shape public policy on both sides of the Atlantic.  With respect to Brexit, the UK Prime Minister Theresa May recently revealed that she will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty no later than the end of March 2017.  Recent statements suggest that the United Kingdom may force a “hard Brexit,” i.e., leaving the EU within two years and without the framework for the future relation with the EU being agreed upon.  In other words, the pace of fundamental policy changes could be much faster than many observers currently anticipate.

Importantly, domestic policy outcomes will depend, to unprecedented extent, on discussions that will occur at an international level.  Understanding these dynamics will be the key to successful strategies for favorably influencing policy outcomes in Brussels, London, and Washington, DC.  This analysis briefly touches on some of the key policymakers who will shape the complex interplay between the U.S., the UK, and the EU, demonstrating that a government relations function will be an important facet on every successful strategic business plan.

United Kingdom

Theresa May, United Kingdom Prime Minister

As leader of a Conservative UK government, Theresa May will play an integral role in setting the tone on the UK side of the Brexit negotiations.

Rt. Hon. David Davis, MP and Secretary of State for Exiting the EU

David Davis will manage policy decisions in the Brexit negotiations and work to establish the future relationship between the EU and UK.

Oliver Robbins, Permanent Secretary for the Department of Exiting the EU

Oliver Robbins will be responsible for supporting the newly-formed Department of Exiting the EU in the Brexit negotiations.

Rt. Hon. Liam Fox, MP and Secretary of State for International Trade

Liam Fox will develop and negotiate free trade agreements with non-EU countries.

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England and Chairman of the Financial Stability Board

Mark Carney will set policy for the Bank of England and will attempt to mitigate shocks to the UK economy throughout the negotiations (his term was recently extended until mid-2019).

European Union

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission

Jean-Claude Juncker will head the European Commission and will set policy for the EU in the Brexit negotiations

Michel Barnier, Chief EU Negotiator

Michael Barnier, former-European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, will lead the Brexit negotiations for the EU.

Didier Seeuws, Official Negotiator for European Council

Didier Seeuws will lead a “Brexit taskforce” of EU negotiators that will focus on technical issues of the treaty negotiations.

Guy Verhofstadt, Member of the European Parliament and European Parliament Brexit Negotiator

Guy Verhofstadt will represent the European Parliament in the Brexit negotiations.

Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank

Mario Draghi and the European Central Bank will likely act in an advisory capacity for the EU during the Brexit negotiations.

United States

Considering Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s opposing views on the government’s role in the financial system, the outcome of the U.S. election will likely impact the ongoing global regulatory tension between market-based capitalism and state-based corporatism.  Moreover, the U.S. plays a key role on such international bodies as the G20, the Financial Stability Board (“FSB”), International Organization of Securities Commissions, and Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, which will serve as echo chambers as the new bilateral and multilateral agreements are negotiated.

Hon. Hillary Clinton, Democratic Presidential Nominee

Hillary Clinton will draw on her experience as Secretary of State as the U.S. reacts to Brexit negotiations.  A Clinton Administration will be much more inclined to embrace the trend that emerged after the 2008 financial crisis of greater international cooperation on financial regulation.  A likely hallmark of Hillary Clinton’s approach is an emphasis on collaborating with international economic powers to reduce risks to the stability of the global financial markets.  In this regard, a Clinton Administration will probably be receptive to engaging international regulatory bodies on heightened global capital requirements for financial institutions and on more stringent margin and collateral rules for securities and derivatives transactions.  Additionally, Hillary Clinton has advocated in favor of international regulations for resolving globally active financial institutions that could pose a risk to the financial system and called for an expansion of the authority of regulators to police financial market activity, including providing them additional authority to address risky activity in the “shadow banking” sector.

Donald Trump, Republican Presidential Nominee

If Donald Trump wins the election, his nationalistic policy agenda will probably place far less emphasis on international financial regulation.  More specifically, a Trump Administration will likely shun the macro-prudential framework set forth by the FSB and the G-20.  A Trump Administration may also revisit financial markets regulation with an eye toward U.S. competitiveness.  While the Republican Party platform included a provision calling for the resurrection of the Glass-Steagall Act, Republicans are unlikely to pursue this as a policy objective.  More likely, the House Republican financial reform proposals, principally House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling’s (R-TX) Financial CHOICE Act, will be the foundation for any financial reforms in a Trump Administration.

What Can Be Done?

These turbulent times will produce winners and losers on both sides of the Atlantic.  Accordingly, government relations efforts to favorably influence policy outcomes will be an integral component of every successful strategic business plan.  That requires a deep understanding of the nuts and bolts of the relevant issues and relationships with key policymakers in the U.S., UK, EU so they can receive the best input on the merits of competing regulatory alternatives.

ARTICLE BY Daniel F. C. Crowley,  Bart GordonBruce J. HeimanKarishma Shah PageGiovanni Campi & Ignasi Guardans of K & L Gates

Copyright 2016 K & L Gates

Brexit: Government Statement on EU Nationals in UK

UK EU nationals BrexitA small piece of employment-related Brexit news for you. The Cabinet Office, Home Office and Foreign & Commonwealth Office have published a webpage with a statement on the status of EU nationals in the UK. In it they state: “When we do leave the EU, we fully expect that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK, and that of UK nationals in EU member states, will be properly protected. The government recognises and values the important contribution made by EU and other non-UK citizens who work, study and live in the UK”.

The webpage also contains questions and answers for those who may be affected, but the position is very much that there has been no change to the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK as a result of the referendum.

What Should Employers Do Next?

If any of your workforce are worried about their future in the UK, point them in the direction of the statement for reassurance.

ARTICLE BY Sarah Bull & Christopher Hitchins of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
©2016 Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP