The May/June period has been the busiest for BAB this year. We responded to a number of interesting developments in the transatlantic policy space, including the resignation of the Prime Minister, and welcomed the President's second official state visit to the United Kingdom. We also welcomed a number of US delegations to the UK, including representatives from Senator Rob Portman's office and student groups from two American Universities. We had the pleasure of speaking to a number of news outlets during the president's visit on a range of topics, from the future of a UK-US Free Trade Agreement, to Huawei - You can listen to all of BAB's media engagement's below.
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If you read last month's Policy & Trade Update you might remember that I compared the Brexit process of recent months to the classic 1993 movie Groundhog Day. Well despite my apparent certainty that Britain would leave on 12 April, the Brexit deadline has been extended yet again to 31 October. So if you missed the excitement the first time around, there will be re-runs long into the year for you to enjoy.
Independence Day or Groundhog May?
On 29 March 2019, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland cast off its shackles, and set course for a new, independent life outside of the European Union. Right?
err... not quite.
One wouldn't be blamed for losing track of just what was amended, debated, amended again, voted on and ultimately rejected this month. Theresa May presented a second Withdrawal Agreement after the historic defeat of the first, which was also defeated, and then presented a markedly similar third Withdrawal Agreement which suffered the same fate (I'm sensing a pattern here). The long and short of the situation is that the UK now has until 12 April 2019 to pass an agreement in the House of Commons to determine what the UK's future trading relationship with the EU will look like. If they don't, the UK leaves the EU without a deal - a scenario BAB has made clear across the past two years will be extremely challenging for business.
Brexit: It's Happening This Month!... Maybe.
Regular readers of our Policy Update may recognise this month's title bares a striking resemblance to last month's: "Brexit: It's Happening Next Month. Currently." That's because on 26 February, the Prime Minister announced that she would hold a vote in Parliament to extend Article 50 in the event that her 'new deal,' presented to the House on 12 March fails to pass.