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Latest News and Information from the British Embassy

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A digest of the latest news on Brexit from the British Embassy, Washington, DC

US President visited the UK

 Pres Trump in UK

"I am pleased to welcome the President of the United States to Chequers today on his first official visit to the United Kingdom.

"No two countries do more together than ours to keep their peoples safe and prosperous.

"We agreed today, that as the UK leaves the European Union, we will pursue an ambitious UK/US Free Trade Agreement."
- Prime Minister Theresa May

·     Prime Minister Theresa May hosted President Donald Trump and the First Lady for a black tie dinner at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, on 12 July. Dinner guests included businesses with links between the UK/US, like Barclays, GlaxoSmithKline, Diageo, Goldman Sachs, and EY UK. Conversation focused on UK/US trade and investment relationship, which is worth $200 billion a year. We are each other's largest investors, with over $1 trillion invested in total.

·     They also visited UK and US military personnel at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and held talks at Chequers to discuss Brexit, UK/US trade, including a future free trade agreement, and a range of foreign policy issues like Russia and the Middle East.

·     President Donald Trump and the First Lady then visited Windsor Castle for tea with Her Majesty the Queen.

 Review of the British guard


Brexit Negotiation Update

New Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab gave a statement to Parliament on 24 July on the publication of the White Paper on Legislating for the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU.

"We have made substantial progress: protecting the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU, deciding on the terms of the financial settlement, agreeing a strictly time-limited implementation period.

"Most of the Withdrawal Agreement, according to the EU side, around 80%, has now been agreed with our EU partners, and we have isolated outstanding issues for further focused negotiation."
- Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab

On 26 July, Brexit Secretary Raab said that discussions have moved us closer to an agreement on the last few remaining areas, including governance, data protection and administrative procedures. In addition, the UK government is clear that it wants to see no hard border between the UK and Ireland, and no new border that cuts Northern Ireland off from the rest of the UK. Last, we need to work up a clear and precise vision for our future relationship, and set this out in a political declaration to be signed alongside the Withdrawal Agreement.

 Brexit Secretary photo


UK Government Published Future Relationship White Paper

On 12 July, the UK government set out its vision of a future relationship between the UK and the EU in a White Paper.

·     At the core of the UK’s ambitious economic partnership proposal is the establishment by the UK and the EU of a free trade area for goods and maintain a common rulebook for goods, including agri-food. This would avoid friction at the border and ensure both sides meet their commitments to Northern Ireland and Ireland through the overall future relationship. It would protect the uniquely integrated supply chains and ‘just-in-time’ processes that have developed across the UK and the EU over the last 40 years, and will remain important given our geographical proximity, and the jobs and livelihoods dependent on them.

·     The White Paper also proposes participation by the UK in those EU agencies that process authorisations for goods in highly regulated sectors, and the phased introduction of a new Facilitated Customs Arrangement, where a good reaches the UK border, and the destination can be robustly demonstrated by a trusted trader, it will pay the UK tariff if it is destined for the UK and the EU tariff if it is destined for the EU.

·     The UK government believes this proposal set out in the White Paper is the best way of balancing our economic and Northern Ireland objectives, while also enabling the UK to have its own independent trade policy and allowing it to scope out an ambitious UK/US FTA. 

·     A future security partnership that would maintain existing operational capabilities, including participation in Europol and Eurojust; include arrangements for coordination on foreign policy, defence and development issues; and wider cooperation on illegal migration, cyber security, counter-terrorism, civil protection and health security.

·     Cross cutting and other cooperation that will allow arrangements to facilitate the free flow of data, establish cooperative accords in areas such as science and innovation, and new arrangements for annual negotiations on access to waters and sharing of fishing opportunities.

·     To ensure the future relationship between the UK and the EU is consistent and coherent, it should be structured around an overarching institutional framework that will underpin the various forms of regulatory cooperation agreed. This arrangement would provide for resolution of disputes through a Joint Committee and make sure both the UK and the EU interpret the rules consistently.

In Case You Missed It:
26 July: Brexit Secretary statement following negotiation round

25 July: Brexit Secretary op-ed in Daily Mail 

25 July: UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox gives speech to Heritage in DC

22 July: Liam Fox launches consultations on UK's trading future outside of EU

20 July: Prime Minister's Belfast speech

19 July: UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox launches UK's first ever space exports campaign to target export opportunities in the US and India

18 July: New public consultations announced for future trade agreements

18 July: International Trade Secretary Liam Fox's speech to Federation of Small Businesses

17 July: The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union

16 July: Prime Minister's speech at Farnborough International Airshow

13 July: Fourth Meeting of the UK/US Trade and Investment Working Group

13 July: Information about the Withdrawal Bill

12 July: The future relationship between the UK and the EU

12 July: Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab statement on the future relationship between the UK and the EU

12 July: Scotland Secretary updates Scottish business leaders on Brexit

21 June: Chancellor Philip Hammond's annual Mansion House speech

22 May: Chancellor Philip Hammond's speech to CBI


UK Government Launched UK/US Free Trade

Agreement Consultation

 Consultation table

UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox, launched on 22 July the 14-week consultation process for a prospective free trade agreement (FTA) with the US, Australia, New Zealand and potentially seeking membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership once the UK has left the EU.

Please engage with the UK/US FTA consultation process through this online web portal, which will close on 26 October 2018. 

The UK/US have a very close strategic relationship. When President Trump met with Prime Minister May, they agreed that as the UK leaves the EU we would pursue an ambitious UK/US FTA. 

Therefore, following the launch of the consultation process, Secretary Fox visited Washington, DC, to meet with and provide an update to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. 

He also delivered the Margaret Thatcher Freedom Lecture at the Heritage Foundation on 25 July. In his speech, he highlighted the already close UK/US trade and investment relationship.

"The UK is the largest source of foreign direct investment into the USA, with around $560 billion of holdings here – more than France and Germany combined and 30% more than Japan.

"Our investment is also 20 times the investment from China, and 30 times that of Mexico.

"British companies employ over a million workers across every state in the Union, from Ohio and Pennsylvania to Florida to California.

"I don’t know if we have any Texans here today, but more than 107,000 people in the Lone Star State are employed by UK firms."
- UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox

 A Phillipson photo

Following, Dr Fox's visit, UK Trade Commissioner for North America, Antony Phillipson, spoke with Fox Business about the potential UK/US FTA and Brexit.


UK/US Trade and Investment Working Group Completes Fourth Meeting and Second SME Dialogue

The UK/US Trade and Investment Working Group met on 10-11 July for the fourth time in London, and the UK/US Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) Dialogue met for the second time on 9 July in the margins.

The Working Group, established in July 2017 by UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, is focusing on providing commercial continuity for UK/US businesses, workers, and consumers as the UK leaves the EU and exploring ways to strengthen trade and investment ties.

The Working Group is also laying the groundwork for a potential, future free trade agreement once the UK has left the EU, and exploring areas in which the two countries can collaborate to promote open markets and free and fair trade around the world.

 UK Tech Hub

UK is a Tech Hub

The Prime Minister held a roundtable as part of London Tech Week on 13 June to showcase the UK as the best place in the world to run a tech company. This event kicked off a series of discussions to drive inward investment in key sectors.

During the roundtable, Salesforce announced they will be investing $2.5 billion in the UK over the next five years, which will include the opening of a second UK data centre in 2019.

Another American company that participated in the discussion was Cubic Corporation, based in San Diego, California. Matthew Cole, President of Cubic Transportation Systems and Corporate Senior Vice President at Cubic Corporation, wrote on LinkedIn about his experience and why they chose to expand to the UK.

"We chose London and the UK in general for a reason: this location offers tremendous access to fine academic institutions, creative start-up companies and a general business environment which is open to innovation and experimentation, and has some of the world-leading transportation capabilities."
- Matthew Cole, President of Cubic Transportation Systems and Corporate Senior Vice President at Cubic Corporation

Are you a US company looking to expand internationally? Consider the UK, learn more here



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