Brexit: Five things we learnt this week


A round up of this week's biggest Brexit news.

1. High Court rules article 50 cannot be triggered without approval of MPs

MPs must vote on whether the UK can begin the process of leaving the EU, the High Court has ruled.

Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgieed, said: “The government does not have power under the crown’s prerogative to give notice pursuant to article 50 for the UK to withdraw from the European Union.”

A spokesman for the government has said that ministers will appeal against the decision to the Supreme Court. The hearing is scheduled to take place on 7-8 December.

Gina Miller, the lead claimant in the case, said: “It was the right decision because we were dealing with the sovereignty of parliament. It was not about winning or losing. It was about what was right. Now we can move forward with legal certainty.”

Source: The Guardian

2. No chance of pre-Brexit free trade deal says MEP

The UK will not be able to secure a free trade deal with the EU while it is still a member, an MEP has said.

Danuta Hübner MEP, a former Polish minister and EU commissioner, said: “Formally you cannot conclude or even negotiate the agreement that belongs to a third-country situation while you are still a member.”

EU Flag

These comments contradict plans by Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, who last week said it was his aim to secure a trade deal before the UK left the EU. Fox said that it would be in the mutual interest of the UK and the EU to come to an agreement on a trade deal before the UK exit.

Source: The Guardian

3. Brexit to have 'profound impact' on UK tax

Leaving the European Union is set to have a profound impact on tax in the UK. This was the key take away from the Edinburgh Tax Network event on “Brexit and Tax”, hosted by ICAS in association with Terra Firma Tax Chambers.

Isobel d’Inverno, director of corporate tax at Brodies LLP, said that as most of the EU legislation affecting direct taxes had been enacted as part of UK law, any change following Brexit is likely to be incremental.

The tax avoidance agenda may become “less complex”, d’Inverno said, as the UK would not have to reconcile the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative with the EU’s own tax avoidance programme.

Darren Mellor-Clark, tax partner and head of indirect tax in the City with Pinsent Masons, pointed out that, although VAT is a “European tax”, since it brings in more than £100bn for the UK government it is likely to continue, in some shape or form.  

Source: CA Today

4. UK told Nissan it would seek tariff-free trading for motor industry

Greg Clark, the business secretary, said that the UK government told the car manufacturer that it would seek tariff-free access to EU markets for the motor industry as part of Brexit talks.

Car production line

His comments came after ministers came under fire to clarify the “support and assurances” Nissan said it had received from the government.

Clark said that he had assured Nissan that Britain would be "a great place to do business in the future".

Source: BBC News

5. Virgin Money dismisses Brexit concerns

Virgin Money has brushed aside concerns that Brexit has shaken the banking sector. 

Net mortgage lending by the challenger bank jumped 33% to £3.5bn between the end of 2015 and 30 September 2016. In Q3, which covered the immediate aftermath of the vote, it amounted to £1.3bn.

Despite these positive figures, the bank said it has tightened credit scores for new card applications “to protect the credit quality of new credit card lending” while it monitored the economic impact of Brexit.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive of Virgin Money, said :“We decided to slow down our credit card growth immediately post the referendum just to see what would happen with the economy but I have to say that the only evidence is that consumer confidence remains completely stable.

“The mortgage growth that we achieved in [the third quarter] has been our best quarter ever.”

Source: The Telegraph


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