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Covington's Brexit Task Force Provides Insights on Latest Developments

2017

Our Brexit Task Force is staffed by senior lawyers and advisors across London, Brussels, and Washington to monitor events and to keep clients apprised of legal, regulatory, and policy developments. We are advising clients across a wide range of businesses and industries on the impact and implications of Brexit, including on strategic policy and regulatory issues pertaining to:

  • Employment and Immigration: the employment status of EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU; workforce planning and minimizing the impact of the Brexit vote on both employee relations and the wider business;
  • Corporate: deal opportunities created by the fall in the value of the British pound; the likely effect of Brexit on a number of corporate structures established in EU legislation; how to structure EU-UK joint ventures or projects to protect against the likely consequences of Brexit for EU-specific corporate structures;
  • Data Protection: the UK's regulatory framework, including UK implementation of the GDPR; data flows after Brexit between (i) the UK and EU and (ii) the UK and other third countries (e.g., the U.S.); status of UK corporate “main establishments;" and EU Model Clauses and Binding Corporate Rule programs post-Brexit;
  • Regulatory Integration: risks to business of regulatory fragmentation; the likelihood of securing bespoke agreements for specific sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, air transport, and financial services; strategies to advocate EU-UK regulatory integration in specific fields with UK and EU decision makers;
  • Cross-border Supply Chains and EU-UK Trade: the likely form of an EU-UK Free Trade Area and its implications for trade, manufacturing, and supply chains; work to protect the free flow of goods by region (e.g., special economic zones, sectorial agreements in the free trade area), including public policy and regulatory advice to secure such arrangements;
  • International Trade: the likely effect of the models adopted for Brexit on future UK trading relationships with the EU, U.S. and other jurisdictions; the consequences of the UK’s likely position outside the EU Customs Union on rules of origin; restructuring trade flows to minimize disruption and identify opportunities in the models for post-Brexit UK-EU trade arrangements; support and outreach in UK-EU trade negotiations.

We are also advising clients on sector-specific issues in:

  • Life Sciences: models for the integration or mutual recognition of EU and future UK medicines and medical devices regulatory systems;
  • IT and Technology: data protection; copyright and the UK’s recognition or implementation of pending proposals, and e-commerce and consumer rights;
  • Financial Services: assessing the impact of Brexit on the business and planning the response; advising on the restructuring of businesses and corporate reorganizations; advising on cross-border corporate relocation issues; assisting with major document and contractual reviews impacted by Brexit and the response; lobbying the Government and responding to Consultations; assisting industry associations as a member of task force committees and working groups; and advising on the likely impact on the implementation of major EU Directives and Regulations, such as MiFID II.

Resources

Below is a compendium of resources that outline key points about Brexit and its potential impact on industry.

Background

On June 23, 2016, the UK voted in an advisory referendum to leave the European Union. The impact of Brexit will depend on the form a post-Brexit UK will take, the common ground that emerges regarding the relationship that the UK seeks to have, and the relationship that the EU and the 27 remaining Member States will accept. So far, the UK Government has indicated it will leave the EU Single Market and seek a “comprehensive” free trade agreement with the EU. However, detailed framework for Brexit will not become clear for some time as it may take (at least) two years for the UK to negotiate its exit after it notifies the EU of its intention to leave, which it did on March 29, 2017, and it remains unclear whether the EU will be prepared to negotiate the new relationship in parallel with the exit negotiations.

Contacts

Our team will be following developments closely and is available to answer your questions. Please contact any of our Brexit Task Force leaders listed below.

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