UK progresses to meet Brexit milestones – with the WTO and in Parliament this week

International Development Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, has completed submissions of schedules on both goods and services - “marking a major milestone in finalising an independent seat at the WTO”.

The services schedule, submitted today, seeks to replicate the UK’s existing commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services - and gives overseas businesses the same level of guaranteed access to the UK service sector as they currently have.  This should give businesses around the world confidence that they can continue investing in and trading with the UK on the same guaranteed terms after we leave the European Union.

Fox: “Today I sent to the secretariat of the WTO the UK schedule for services. This is a necessary part of our leaving the EU and it marks a major milestone in regaining the full authority that comes with an independent seat.”

Members of the WTO now have 45 days to raise objections to the UK services schedules – with an additional consultation period of 45-days in which the UK can discuss and respond to any concerns.

Meanwhile, we reported on the responses to the earlier submission on Trade in Goods (see Insight Nov 19, 2018).  To date objections have been raised by at least 20 countries including significant economies such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States of America.

Fox said today that: “The UK’s goods schedule was submitted on 19 July and the 90-day certification period has now finished.  Whilst some members still have reservations about some of our proposals, this will not affect businesses’ ability to trade and it will not stop the UK from striking new trade agreements.”

This week in Parliament

Monday 3 December

The Treasury Committee starts a multi-day scrutiny session of the UK's economic relationship with the EU hearing today from: a panel of economic experts; then the Chief Exective of the FCA, Andrew Bailey.  The Committee intends to write to all MPs based on the evidence it has received, before the House of Commons comes to vote on the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Brexit Committee interviews the new Brexit Secretary, Stephen Barclay (his first appearance) along with the Prime Minister's Europe Adviser Oliver Robbins.

The PM is expected to give a statement in the Commons to MPs on the G20 summit.

The Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox, will make a statement on his legal advice on the Brexit deal.  For further insight and straightforward analysis of this advice, please contact us in the first instance at: .  This will not be published openly by Brexit Partners.

MPs, meeting in Westminster Hall, will consider an e-petition relating to not holding a second referendum on EU membership.

 Tuesday 4 December

MPs debate the Government's Business of the House Motion. This sets the rules of the Brexit debate proper.

The Government will move the motion to approve the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration.  There will be five days of debate, up to eight hours each.  The Speaker will select up to six amendments to be voted on next Tuesday, 11 December.

The Treasury Committee hears from the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, followed by senior Treasury officials, to discuss the Bank's economic analysis of the deal with,.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee holds the last of its Brexit sessions, considering the impact on the automotive sector.

The Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell discusses Scotland's role in the UK's future trade arrangements.

Wednesday 5 December

After Prime Minister's Questions, Day 2 of the 'meaningful vote' is expected to start.

The Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs Committee launches its inquiry into the Fisheries Bill.  This Bill is intended to allow the UK to manage fisheries within its own territorial waters after it has left the Common Fisheries Policy.

Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox, appears before the International Trade Committee

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond gives evidence on the Government's economic analysis of the deal with the Treasury Committee.

Thursday 6 December

Ministers from the Department for Exiting the EU will face questions from MPs in the Chamber, before the third debate of the week third on Brexit meaningful vote (the last two days of debate will take place next week Monday and Tuesday).

John ShuttleworthComment