Bank branches: why are they closing and what is the impact?

The number of bank branches in the UK roughly halved from 1986 to 2014 and closures are expected to continue. Concerns have been raised about the impacts on vulnerable people, small businesses and the viability of the cash system. While measures are in place to reduce the impact of branch closures, a number of parliamentary committees have concluded that more needs to be done.…

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Trade in services and Brexit

While the UK prepares to leave the EU, the future of services trade has received less attention in the public debate than trade in goods. The UK’s exposure to services trade means however that businesses in many sectors across the economy will be affected. This paper looks at the complexity of international trade in services and discusses what could change under the different future scenarios.…

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Planning for a no-deal Brexit

After Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in July 2019 the Government intensified planning for a no-deal Brexit and stressed its intention to take the UK out of the EU on 31 October with or without a deal. But the UK remained in the EU after 31 October after a further extension of the Article 50 period was agreed with the EU. A no-deal Brexit however remains the default outcome if an agreement is not ratified. This briefing paper provides an overview of Government and EU preparations for a no-deal Brexit, and of recent reports analysing the possible impact of this outcome…

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Revisions to the Political Declaration on the framework for future EU-UK relations

The UK and EU agreed a revised Political Declaration on the framework for the future UK-EU relationship on 17 October. This Briefing provides an outline of the contents of the Declaration and the key changes in the revised text …

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The October 2019 EU UK Withdrawal Agreement

Boris Johnson’s Government have negotiated a new ‘deal’ with the European Union. It is formed of a Political Declaration and a Withdrawal Agreement. This paper focuses on the Withdrawal Agreement and how it compares to the one negotiated by Theresa May’s Government in November 2018.

The main differences are in the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland or the ‘backstop’ as it is commonly known. It contains very different arrangements, the UK will no longer be in a single customs territory or union with the EU. The UK will no longer be legally bound to continue with level playing field commitments at the end of the transition period.

Northern Ireland will still be in the UK’s customs territory and VAT area, however, the region will align with the EU’s rules in these areas. Northern Ireland will remain mostly aligned to the EU’s regulations for goods. Four years after the end of the transition period Northern Ireland’s democratic institutions will vote on whether they wish to continue the arrangements in the Protocol.…

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No-deal Brexit: A guide to Commons Library research

The No-deal Brexit: A guide to Commons Library research is an annotated bibliography of sources published by the House of Commons Library on a potential no-deal Brexit. It will be updated regularly. Links to the papers included in the resource are available on this page, the downloadable version includes additional comment on some of the selected papers.…

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