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The Brexit State of Play: An exclusive DeHavilland discussion

16 February 2018

On Thursday 15 February DeHavilland hosted a special webinar to discuss the state of play on Brexit, including progress in negotiations and impact on the domestic policy environment, with a special focus on what to expect in the months ahead.

Head of Service Arran Russell was joined by Monitoring Consultant Rachel Marnick and Political Analyst John McStravick for a wide-ranging discussion including questions from the wider public affairs community.

DeHavilland recorded the webinar presentation for you to watch again. Click here to access it now.

The State of Play

Opening the webinar, John highlighted the achievement of "sufficient" progress on a range of issues in December 2017, permitting the parties to move on to Phase Two negotiations. He discussed the nature of behind-the-scenes talks since then, and discussed the key caveats built into what has been agreed so far, identifying two essential issues to be aware of when evaluating the likelihood of a deal.

Domestic legislation

Next, Rachel highlighted some of the key pieces of legislation being used to implement the outcome of the Brexit vote and the Government's interpretation of the instruction to leave the bloc. These include the controversial European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, currently in the House of Lords, as well as the Trade Bill and the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill - two new laws designed to lay the groundwork for the future trading relationship between the UK and EU. In particular, she noted how the Government's tactical approach to addressing amendments proposed by the Opposition reveals its wider approach to the Brexit talks.

Negotiation timetable

Moving on, John used a European Commission infographic to reveal the expected timetable for the Brexit negotiations and agreements, highlighting the key date making businesses nervous about the need for clarification.

Transition period

John also discussed the nature and outline of the Transition Period currently under negotiation, highlighting in particular some of the caveats about this arrangement and the major potential points of conflict as the parties seek to secure it.

"Crunch time" and looking to the future

Rachel next discussed the current communications climate around the negotiations, including a series of key UK Government speeches intended to set out the "road to Brexit".

Discussing the expected future relationship due to emerge from the talks, she noted the ambitions of British ministers and the specific issues requiring close attention, including the extent to which services would be covered in a possible trade agreement; the Customs Union; Northern Ireland and the effort to turn the UK into an independent global trading nation.

Concluding the session, the panel answered questions from listeners, covering issues including Labour's influence, youth engagement, the meaning of regulatory aligment, and the possibility of extending the transition period.

Watch the webinar in full now

If you would like to watch DeHavilland's Brexit webinar, click below to access it now.

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Anna Haswell, Senior Political Analyst and Content Marketer
Anna Haswell
Senior Political Analyst and Content Marketer

As Senior Political Analyst at DeHavilland, Anna Haswell leads on financial services policy, as well as covering media issues. In her capacity as Content Marketer, she is also responsible for DeHavilland's briefings and analysis output, working across teams to ensure relevant messages reach current and prospective clients alike. She is a graduate of the University of Oxford and Goldsmiths, University of London.