The EU and the UK have now both set out their negotiating mandates for the forthcoming trade negotiations. On 25 February 2020, the Council of the EU adopted a formal decision authorising the commencement of trade negotiations with the UK, together with a revised version of the European Commission’s mandate for the negotiations. The UK released its position on the future relationship two days later,i seeking a so-called “Canada-style” arrangement. Formal negotiations begin this week ahead of the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020.ii In principle, the parties will meet every 2-3 weeks with the possibility for more frequent informal discussions.
The CMA has been preparing for some time to take on an active and meaningful role as a domestic competition authority on a global stage. It has already assumed a significant role in major transactions, particularly those with a US dimension, and is pursuing investigations in a variety of sectors, including pharma and aviation. In addition, the announcement of a market study and review of online platforms and digital advertising with a final report due in July 2020 would appear to set the tone for its future enforcement activities and the scope for international influence.
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