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"Significant Legal Implications for Business as the Risk of Disorderly Brexit Remains," says Baker Botts

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BRUSSELS AND LONDON, 27 November 2018 - Baker Botts’ lawyers provide comment and perspective following the special EU summit on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and on the high-level political declaration outlining the nature of their expected future relationship.

“The last two weeks have shown that it will be extremely difficult to find a solution that is politically acceptable to all sides in the UK with the risk of a disorderly Brexit. Even if the Withdrawal agreement in its current form does not ultimately become law, with potentially catastrophic consequences in post Brexit UK-EU trade relations at least in the short to medium term, the content is still likely to be a blueprint in many areas for regulating future relations between the UK and EU,” said Catriona Hatton, Partner-in-Charge of Baker Botts' Brussels office and Co-Chair of the firmwide Antitrust Practice.

“Due to the ongoing uncertainty about the fate of the Agreement, there is increasing risk of a disorderly Brexit with far reaching consequences for business if the UK has to trade on WTO terms,” added Hatton.

In some sensitive sectors, such as air transport, the EU and UK may find a stop gap solution by putting in place bare bones agreements to ensure continuity of supply. This is unlikely to be an option for many sectors.

“Continued uncertainty about what will happen makes many U.S., UK and continental European executives increasingly anxious.  Companies in Europe are accelerating the roll-out of their Brexit contingency plans if they have operations in the EU and UK that would be impacted by a hard or no deal Brexit. This may prove to be a costly exercise if the Agreement enters into force, but in the current climate, companies need to plan for a hard Brexit,” commented Matthew Levitt, Baker Botts Partner, Brussels.

Reporters interested in speaking to Catriona Hatton or Matthew Levitt on the broader implications of Brexit should contact Adam Leviton [email protected] or +44.20.7726.3420.


Baker Botts is an international law firm of approximately 650 lawyers practicing throughout a network of offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology, and life sciences sectors. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit

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