Introduction

Following the recent third rejection of the Brexit withdrawal agreement in the UK Parliament, a no-deal Brexit remains firmly on the agenda. This alert sets out some of the main sanctions and export controls issues arising from a no-deal Brexit which are likely to impact upon companies operating in the UK and EU, and provides guidance on what companies can do to prepare for this eventuality.

The status of EU law post no-deal Brexit

After a no-deal Brexit, the UK will be considered a 'third country' with respect to the EU. The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, the central piece of Brexit legislation, provides that EU law would in effect be frozen at the date of the UK's exit from the EU, and would be incorporated into UK law. Changes to retained EU law would be decided by the UK Parliament over time, and passed as new UK legislation. Conversely, we note that in the event that a withdrawal agreement is passed substantially similar to that negotiated between the UK and EU, then the current EU export controls and sanctions rules would continue to apply during the relevant transitional period.

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