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Commemorating Brexit Day in the UK

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The Prime Minister has today (26 January 2020) unveiled the government’s full plans to commemorate Brexit day on the 31st January 2020.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/brexit-coin-light-display-and-ready-to-trade-campaign-among-plans-to-mark-31-january-reveals-pm

The commemorative 50p coin will come into circulation on the day the UK leaves the EU. The public will see 3 million of these coins enter their banks, shops and restaurants from the 31 January, with a further 7 million entering circulation later this year. The Prime Minister will be one of the first to receive the new Brexit coin, which reads “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations”. 13,000 people have already registered their interest in the coin with The Royal Mint.

On 31 January, the Prime Minister and all of his Cabinet will begin the day in the North of England for a special Cabinet. They will discuss the PM’s levelling up agenda and how best to spread prosperity and opportunity across all corners of the UK, as the country looks ahead to the next decade. Later in the evening, the Prime Minister will deliver a special address to the people across the United Kingdom at 10pm.

Number 10 is set to mark the hour itself with a commemorative light display in Downing Street. This will take place ahead of 11pm, which is the hour that the UK will officially leave the European Union. A countdown clock will be projected onto its black bricks from 10pm and the light display will symbolise the strength and unity of our four nations.

On 1 February, the new GREAT “Ready to Trade” campaign will launch in 17 cities across 13 countries outside the EU, as the UK seeks to deepen our relationships with future global partners. Here at home, from Monday 27 January, a new short campaign aimed at businesses and citizens will launch with the message “This Friday the UK leaves the EU”. It will urge them to check for any changes they need to make ahead of January 2021.

Union Jack flags will also line Parliament Square and the Mall on 31 January and the public will see government buildings in Whitehall lit up in red, white and blue colours throughout the evening.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

Next Friday marks an important moment in the history of our United Kingdom. No matter how you voted in 2016, it is the time to look ahead with confidence to the global, trail-blazing country we will become over the next decade and heal past divisions. That is what I will be doing on 31 January and I urge everyone across the UK to do the same.

Throughout next week, the Prime Minister and ministers across government will meet with people and businesses across the UK encouraging the whole country to look ahead.

The Prime Minister will host a “People’s PMQs” session on Wednesday 29 January and children will be invited to Downing Street on Thursday, giving them the chance to ask the Prime Minister questions about the future he intends to build for the next generation. Ministers will continue to focus on the Government’s domestic priorities in the run up to 31 January.

UK – EU Withdrawal Agreement

On 24 January 2020, following the Royal Assent given for the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has signed the Withdrawal Agreement – formerly known as “The Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community“.

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said:

The signing of the Withdrawal Agreement is a fantastic moment, which finally delivers the result of the 2016 referendum and brings to an end far too many years of argument and division.

We can now move forward as one country – with a Government focused upon delivering better public services, greater opportunity and unleashing the potential of every corner of our brilliant United Kingdom, while building a strong new relationship with the EU as friends and sovereign equals.

In Brussels, EU Council President Charles Michel and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also signed the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Withdrawal Agreement is an international treaty between the UK and the EU.

The EU Parliament will hold a vote on the agreement on 29 January. Once the EU Parliament has given its consent, the Council will adopt, by written procedure, the decision on the conclusion of the agreement on behalf of the EU.

A copy of the agreement, as published in the The Official Journal of the European Union Volume 62, 12 November 2019 is available from

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=OJ:C:2019:384I:FULL&from=EN
and a local copy is available

Official Journal of the European Union C 384 I (pdf)

Further information is available on the UK Government website at

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-withdrawal-agreement-and-political-declaration

EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill – Royal Assent

The EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill was passed to the House of Lords following its journey through the House of Commons.

The first Reading, in the House of Lords, was held on 9 January 2020, with the 2nd Reading on 13 January 2020. The Committee Stage was held on the 14-16 January 2020 during which numerous amendments were considered. The Report Stage was held over 20 and 21 January 2020 and the Bill was returned to the House of Commons with a number of suggested amendments.

The Bill entered its “Ping-Pong” stage. This is when the bill is sent back and forth between the House of Commons and the House of Lords as they try to resolve disagreements about the final text of the Bill.

The Government had previously indicated that they would reject any amendments to the Bill and this proved to be the case. Because the Government has a large majority, votes rejected the suggested 5 amendments and the Bill was returned to the House of Lords.

The Lords withdrew their amendments and the Bill proceeded to Royal Assent.

All the different stages of the Bill can be found at

EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill – Stages

All Documents and details of the debates held can be found at

Bill documents — European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill 2019-20

Royal Assent to the Bill, which enshrines in law that the UK will leave the EU on Friday 31 January 2020, was granted with little fanfare and announced, on the 23 January 2020 in the House of Commons by the Deputy Speaker

I have to notify the House, in accordance with the Royal Assent Act 1967, that Her Majesty has signified her assent to the following Act:

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020.

After the turmoil of almost 4 years since the EU Referendum was held, 2 General Elections and 3 different Prime Ministers the announcement was an anti-climax.

The UK will leave the EU at 11:00pm GMT on 31 January 2020 and enter a “transition period”, where effectively nothing changes, until 31 December 2020 (unless the period is extended). The period is supposed to minimise any disruption caused by the UK leaving the EU and the time will be used to determine the future relationship (including Trade) between the UK and the EU. It is hoped to agree a future Trade relationship during this time.

UK overseas trade in goods, November 2019

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HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) collects the UK’s international trade in goods data for Non-EU and EU trade with the UK. These are published on a monthly basis and figures for November 2019 have recently been released. (13 January 2020).

UK overseas trade in goods statistics: November 2019

A summary is provided in a document available at

UK Overseas Trade in Goods Statistics Commentary: November 2019

Summary

Total exports of goods for November 2019 were £30.0 billion.

Total imports of goods for November 2019 were £43.9 billion.

The UK was a net importer this month, with imports exceeding exports by £13.9 billion.

For EU trade the UK was a net importer this month, with imports exceeding exports by £7.8 billion.

For Non-EU trade the UK was a net importer this month, with imports exceeding exports by £6.1 billion.


Imports to the UK

EU Imports for November 2019 were £21.1 billion.

Non-EU Imports for November 2019 were £22.8 billion.

Germany accounted for 11.8% (£5.2bn) of the total value of imports to the UK. The USA had the second largest proportion of the total value of trade, accounting for 9.8% (£4.3bn) followed by China 9.1% (£4.0bn), the Netherlands 7.7% (£3.4bn) and France 5.3% (2.3bn). The top five partner countries accounted for 43.7% of total UK import value this month.


Exports from the UK

EU Exports for November 2019 were £13.3 billion

Non-EU Exports for November 2019 were £16.7 billion.

The USA accounted for 15.6% (£4.7bn) per cent of the total value of goods exports from the UK. Germany had the second largest proportion, accounting for 10.0% (£3.0bn), followed by China with 8.0% (£2.4bn), France with 6.3% (£1.9bn), and the Netherlands at 6.3% (£1.9bn). The top five export partners accounted for 46.2% of total exports in goods this month.


Spreadsheets are available which show the figures in more detail.

UK overseas trade in goods statistics November 2019: import and export data

The following tables contain EU and Non-EU import and export data for November 2019.

UK overseas trade in goods statistics November 2019: imports

UK overseas trade in goods statistics November 2019: exports

EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill update 09 January 2020

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill has continued its path through the House of Commons to a conclusion and has been passed on to the House of Lords for the next stage.

The Committee Stage of the Bill was completed after 2 days of debate on Tuesday and Wednesday 7-8 January 2020.

The selected amendments that were put to a vote were all won by the Government.

The Report Stage and Third Reading of the Bill were held on Thursday 9 January 2020. Following debate, and after a vote, the Third Reading of the Bill was passed by 330 votes in favour and 231 against.

The Bill has completed its passage through the House of Commons and has been sent to the House of Lords for scrutiny with the Second Reading stage starting on Monday 13 Jan 2020. The Bill is expected to complete its journey through the House of Lords by 22 Jan 2020.

Bill as introduced in the House of Lords(Copy pdf)

Explanatory Notes – (Copy pdf)

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