Brexit Bulletin – May 2019
Welcome to the May edition of the BPIF's Brexit Bulletin. This month the political powers-that-be have made the most of the delay, with focus turning inwards to the state of the parties, the Cabinet and the Prime Minister, rather than outwards towards the EU. The end of May has seen the end of (Theresa) May, and a Conservative leadership race is well underway. She'll stand down as Conservative leader on 7 June, and as Prime Minister as soon as a replacement is decided. With a new PM expected to be in Downing Street by the end of July, a number of candidates have come forward for the job - alongside Boris Johnson are Esther McVey, Dominic Raab, Michael Gove and Sajid Javid among others.
Following a difficult European Parliament elections for the two main parties, the BBC's maps and charts pages are your best bet for a simple overview of who won what.
You can add colleagues to our mailing list by logging into the members' area of the BPIF website or contacting your Regional Director.
In this month's Bulletin:
1. Brexit update
2. Manufacturing exports and stockpiling slows
3. Exports country-by-country
4. EU Settlement Scheme refunds
5. Latest publications
Following last month's agreement with the EU to delay Brexit until October 31 2019, cross-party talks this month failed to reach a compromise. The House now awaits the latest version of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, due next week. If it passes we'll leave the EU before October. If it passes subject to a referendum, then voters go back to the polls to vote on the deal. If MPs reject the deal outright (again), there are a host of likely possibilities, including a General Election and a no-deal exit. And the start of negotiations all over again.
The BBC has a handy diagram to answer the ‘what happens next?' question.
Manufacturing exports and stockpiling slows
Research from IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply shows that fears of the threat of a disorderly Brexit lost UK manufacturing companies new orders from international clients last month. The rush in stockpiling also began to reduce.
To read more on the research, please click here.
If you export - whether to countries inside or outside the EU - existing trade agreements won't apply if we leave the EU without a deal. As you know, trade will take place on WTO terms while the UK works to secure replacement agreements with each country. The Government's published information on a country-by-country basis, updating the status of those replacement agreements.
To find out more on exporting country-by-country, please click here.
EU Settlement Scheme refunds
As you'll know, staff members who paid fees to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme are due a refund, as the Government has decided that the scheme will be free.
They've confirmed that refunds will be paid automatically back onto the bank cards from which they were debited, so there's no need for staff to take any action. Any problems and staff should contact the EU Settlement Resolution Centre on 0300 123 7379.
To find out more on the EU Settlement Scheme refunds, please click here.
We've trawled through the latest publications about Brexit of particular relevance to the printing industry.
To read more click here.
The BPIF has updated its briefing document summarising the latest developments regarding pulp, paper and board demand and prices.
The first quarter of 2019 experienced a slowdown in growth, following Q4's seasonal boost - however, the drop-off was not quite as extensive as the expectations for Q1 suggested it might be. Forecasts for Q2 suggest growth will be maintained but it will be at a further reduced level.