January 23, 2020

Brexit Bulletin: Law of the Land
Days to Brexit: 8(Bloomberg) -- Sign up here to get the Brexit Bulletin in your inbox every weekday.What’s Happening? The Withdrawal Agreement Bill received royal assent, making Brexit on Jan. 31 a matter of U.K. law.Seventeen words brought an end to the British side of this phase of the Brexit saga. In a statement to the House of Commons, Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans delivered the news to listening lawmakers: “Her Majesty has signified her royal assent to the following act: European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020.”Royal assent brings to a close the crisis that paralyzed U.K. politics after the country voted to leave the European Union in June 2016. Former Prime Minister Theresa May failed to get her version of the deal through the House of Commons after reaching an agreement with the EU in November 2018. Her successor, Boris Johnson, succeeded only after winning a large majority in last month’s general election.With the U.K. due to slip out of the EU at 11 p.m. London time next Friday, all that remains is for the European Parliament to rubber-stamp the deal. That was due to move a step closer on Thursday afternoon via a vote of the assembly’s constitutional affairs committee, a group of the parliament’s most influential members. The panel was expected to nod the deal through.The full EU parliament, which officially has a veto over the deal, will vote on Jan. 29. It will almost certainly follow the committee’s lead. The U.K. is scheduled to leave the EU two days later.Beyond BrexitClimate activist Greta Thunberg should go back to school and study economics, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said at the World Economic Forum in Davos. These billionaires made their fortunes by trying to stop climate change. The £200 million ($262 million) London mansion bought by Cheung Cheung Kie earlier this month isn’t even his most valuable property.Brexit in BriefRule Makers | U.K. financiers are asking the government to revamp regulations to attract global business after Brexit. Watchdogs should have the power “to make the U.K. a better place to do business” through a new mandate to support London’s financial hub against rivals, according to the International Regulatory Strategy Group, a panel backed by the City of London.Diverging Views | Speaking at Davos on Thursday morning, U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid tried to reassure business over Britain’s post-Brexit ties with the EU. “We won’t diverge just for the sake of it,” he said. That’s despite telling the Financial Times last week that “there will not be alignment” with EU rules after Brexit.Off-Piste? | Did Javid speak out of turn at Davos when he said that talks for a U.K.-EU trade deal will take priority over any agreement with the U.S.? Today’s Bloomberg Westminster podcast discusses his motivations.Time Is Tight | The clock is ticking for the EU and the U.K. to hammer out a trade deal by the end of the year, according to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. “It’s an awfully short amount of time so I hope that coming next summer, June, July, that Boris Johnson will at least contemplate extending, if necessary, this transition phase,” Rutte said in a Bloomberg TV interview in Davos. “I’m Still Here” | Steve Bray, otherwise known as the “Stop Brexit Guy” was a fixture outside Westminster during the height of the U.K.’s Brexit tension, often disrupting live TV interviews. On Thursday he took his protest to Brussels, joining a small rally outside the European Parliament, the Brussels Times reports. “I came to Brussels just to visit this parliament,” the Times reported him as saying. “I’m still here because I still care.”Want to keep up with Brexit?You can follow us @Brexit on Twitter, and listen to Bloomberg Westminster every weekday. It’s live at midday on Bloomberg Radio and is available as a podcast too. Share the Brexit Bulletin: Colleagues, friends and family can sign up here. For full EU coverage, try the Brussels Edition.For even more: Subscribe to Bloomberg All Access for our unmatched global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, The Bloomberg Open and The Bloomberg Close.To contact the authors of this story: Thomas Penny in London at tpenny@bloomberg.netIan Wishart in Brussels at iwishart@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Adam Blenford at ablenford@bloomberg.net, Chris KayFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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