Since January, the UK has been able to negotiate its future trade relationships with other countries around the world. If the negotiations are not successful, there will be a Brexit without a deal. This view provides a guide to the withdrawal agreement and the expiry of the transition period. On 22 October 2019, the House of Commons agreed, by 329 votes to 299, to give a second reading to the revised withdrawal agreement (negotiated by Boris Johnson earlier this month), but when the accelerated timetable it had proposed did not receive the necessary parliamentary support, Johnson announced that the law would be overturned.   The political statement is a short document with few details about financial services. It is positive that, with regard to services (including financial services), the objective is to achieve a level of trade liberalization of services “well beyond” WTO obligations and to build on recent free trade agreements. These include provisions relating to market access and non-discrimination under the rules of the host state for service providers and investors. Parliamentary talks on Brexit do not appear to be progressing towards a majority decision, and the timing of future parliamentary votes is uncertain. The only outcome of last week`s discussion in Brussels was an agreement to continue the talks this month, a surprisingly relaxed schedule at the moment. We will have an ordeal in 2020 that will determine what we want from a free trade agreement, and it will be even worse to have some of it. Many things will be reversed by December 2020 and the following years will be spent filling the gaps in a weak position.
The UK will spend five years re-establishing trade relations with the EU and it will always have a little less satisfaction for traders than we currently have. During the transitional period, the UK and the EU-27 will seek to conclude the agreement that will strengthen their trade relations after the end of the transition period. On the basis of the revised political declaration, the EU and the United Kingdom appear to be aiming for a comprehensive but “classic” free trade agreement for goods, services and investment. The political statement is thin in detail, but trade in goods will be based on a free trade agreement that will at least guarantee that there will be no tariffs or quotas, as well as some degree of regulatory alignment with the EU. However, as a result of the free trade agreement, customs controls are required, requiring each party to prove that the goods originate from their respective customs territory, in order to obtain duty-free treatment. This means that the UK and the EU-27 must now agree on detailed rules of origin. This is probably a complex and tedious process. At least companies need to think about the rules of origin they want for different products and start putting pressure on them as soon as the UK and eu start negotiating the new free trade agreement. It is encouraging to note that the scope of the future trade regime appears to encompass services, including financial services and investment (although the agreement is in turn very detailed) and that it provides assurance that the agreement on future relations will offer a liberalisation of trade in services well beyond the obligations of the United Kingdom and the WTO. On 6 September 2020, the Financial Times reported that the UK government was considering drafting new laws to circumvent the protocol of the Northern Ireland Withdrawal Agreement.  The new law would give ministers the power to determine which state aid should be notified to the EU and to define which products at risk of being transferred from Northern Ireland to Ireland (the withdrawal agreement stipulates that in the absence of a reciprocal agreement, all products are considered vulnerable).
 The government defended this approach and stated that the legislation was in accordance with the protocol and