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After Brexit Deal or No Deal: Understanding what comes next

Wed 20th Nov 2019

Edinburgh, Morton Fraser Lawyers

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OVERVIEW View Conference Agenda

This conference, run in association with Morton Fraser LLP, examines the consequences of a deal or no deal between the UK and the EU. It will set out how the core elements of any deal – or an exit with no deal – will affect trade, access to EU markets and economic prospects and the impact of these changes upon labour for private and public sectors, tariffs, rules and regulations, customs and supply chains. If you want to understand what the emerging shape of a deal or no deal Brexit will mean for your organisation, start here.

Completion of UK-EU negotiations on withdrawal from the European Union and consequent draft agreements being published and ratified was expected by the end of 2018. However the two agreements covering a 'Withdrawal Agreement' and a political declaration on a 'framework for the future relationship' still remain unsettled following endless parliamentary debate and voting.  

What should have been an important staging point for the ending of general uncertainty on the broad framework for Brexit has still not yet been reached. Entry into the next stage – broad certainty on the outlines of departure with specific uncertainty on many areas of detail – remains precarious. With the prospect of a change of Prime Minister in the weeks ahead, no clear majority in Parliament for any way forward and an inability to ratify the current draft agreement with the EU on withdrawal, are we heading for a hard Brexit and the uncertainty which would follow? Is another referendum conceivable?

This conference will take place three weeks before the 31st October deadline on which the United Kingdom will formally leave the EU - with or without a deal. It is designed to explain the shape and implications of the deal or no deal, the consequential negotiations which will have to take place and the meaning of all of these for future trade, access to markets, availability and movement of labour and the long term relationship of the UK to the EU.

The conference will take place in three sessions:

  • Where do we now stand?
  • Business as usual: What do public services, business and citizens need to do to keep calm and carry on?
  • What happens next?

Whether the UK formally leaves the EU with a deal, leaves with no deal, sees the leave deadline extended again or opts to hold a second vote, dramatic change is coming. With a transition period set to run until the end of 2020, the originally intended bedding-in period for pre-agreed arrangements after leaving will instead to be a further negotiating period. In any scenario, years of work lie ahead in scoping, negotiating, ratifying and implementing the detail of agreements, with some commentators estimating five or more years to do so.

Core areas that the conference will discuss following the deadline for deal or no deal will include:

  • Where do we now stand?
  • Scottish and UK law making after the EU
  • How Brexit will affect public finances
  • Getting to grips with how we trade in deal and no deal scenarios
  • Understanding access after the Single Market
  • Labour markets and skills
  • Understanding the coming years of negotiation: Transition continued
  • Where and how EU compliance may still be required
  • Scoping our economic prospects
  • Core challenges ahead:
    > Exporting and markets
    > Being in Europe but not in the EU
    > Public Sector and core services
    > Hard and soft transitions


Michael Russell MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relations, Scottish Government

Charlotte Barbour

Director of Taxation, ICAS - The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland

Lynda Towers

Director of Public Law, Morton Fraser

Professor David Bell

Professor of Economics, University of Stirling

Professor Drew Scott

Professor of European Union Studies, School of Law, Edinburgh University

Dr Rebecca Zahn

Senior Lecturer - Law, University of Strathclyde

Kevin Shakespear

Director of Stakeholder Engagement, Institute of Export and International Trade

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All of the speakers worked well together all covering different relevant areas to provide an all round picture.

Carrie Campbell, Thomson Cooper,
Fraser of Allander Scotland's Budget Briefing, 26 September 2017

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