Walpole commentary: A New Brexit Deal

Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday announced a new Brexit deal with Brussels paving the way to an orderly Brexit in time for his ‘do or die’ deadline of 31st October…. But is it a done deal? At the time of writing, definitely not.

While it’s positive that there is consensus in Brussels, the deal on the table has yet to get through the UK and EU parliaments and there are a significant number of stumbling blocks to navigate, not least the parliamentary arithmetic with the DUP currently declaring that they will oppose the plan.

Parliament is expected to sit on Saturday (for the first time since the Falklands War) to vote on the proposed deal and we will  keep you updated on developments.

Walpole continues to believe that it is better for the British luxury sector that the UK leaves the EU with an agreement that minimises disruption to trade with what is our largest export market. We remain firmly opposed to no-deal which, as we have repeatedly warned, risks £6.8bn in British luxury’s export revenues.

Yet, given that the deal on the table is no-deal at all without parliamentary agreement, and until such time as there is more clarity on the specifics of the new deal – especially how the rights of citizens will be recognised, changes to UK/EU trading relationship and further detail around regulatory alignment – and their potential impact on UK luxury, our advice to members is to remain on high alert and continue with no-deal preparations.

For practical advice on on readying your business for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, visit the CBI’s no deal preparations hub, which is publicly available on their website.

If the deal passes through parliament, we urge the government to extend the transition period for another year after the set date of December 2020. The delay in reaching a deal means 13 months simply will not be enough to plan and prepare for the future trading relationship with the EU, and we ask for a new date of December 2021.

We are analysing the proposed deal Prime Minister Johnson will put before the House, and will also watch what happens over the coming days. Walpole shares its members’ wish for an end.

If you would like further information, please contact Carly von Speyr