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The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
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Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

A Determined Prime Minister Can Take Us Out

Boris-Johnson-and-Jeremy-Hunt
Here is the fantastic Sir John Redwood MP's article first published on Brexit Central (https://brexitcentral.com/a-determined-prime-minister-can-ensure-we-are-out-of-the-eu-by-31st-october/) outlining how the right man can take us out of the EU by 31st October.  For too long we have witnessed this Parliament trying to delay or dilute Brexit. T...
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How Maggie Was Right About The EU Decades Ago

Margaret-Thatcher-on-EU
As the Conservatives elect their replacement for Theresa May over the summer, it's worth looking back to see how crucial it is for a leader that is in line with grassroots views, and currently Euroscepticism is the overwhelming grassroots position among members. Ever since the Maastricht Treaty was signed in 1992 there has been a battle for a refer...
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Why we Should be Focusing on AI post-Brexit

AI
​Artificial Intelligence is certainly an area of focus post Brexit, the sector of AI was worth around $1.2 trillion as of around 2018 with predictions from Zdnet.com estimating the growth of the AI business values to around $3.9 trillion by 2022, that's a huge amount for any sector; this roughly equates to a forecasted prediction of just over £3 tr...
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There is No Such Thing as No Deal

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The withdrawal agreement is not only unjustified but also not required. In the event of the UK's departure from the EU without a withdrawal agreement the EU itself has put in place measures to keep trade open. These range from agreeing to equivalence in financial services, access for hauliers, the continuation of flights, and the transport conventi...
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Recent Comments
Guest — Adam Hiley
the EU have never been Our Friends leave them to it
Thursday, 13 June 2019 17:59
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Just Leave!

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 Through the treachery of the government and MPs, Britain is in political and economic limbo. Instead of being free to taking back control, they have handed the future of the country over to the EU… Delay, and more delay. Britain is now going to be denied independence for up to 6 months longer, a total of three-and-a-half years after voting fo...
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Recent Comments
Guest — Adam Hiley
thank goodness one of the Worst Prime Ministers in living memory will be gone in 3 weeks good riddance May is even worse than Majo... Read More
Thursday, 30 May 2019 18:52
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Export Subsidies vs Refunds of Foreign Import Tariffs

This article is a follow up to my previous post entitled 'Nissan, Felixstowe, Lettuces and Whisky' in which I proposed a system of refunding foreign importers of British exports for the import tariffs they will pay to their own governments after Brexit, thereby allowing our exports to continue unaffected. If nothing is done about this our exports w...
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John Poynton
Two further thoughts: 1). If I can be given wrong advice by lawyers, what have the government and business leaders been getting? 2... Read More
Friday, 15 March 2019 17:31
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The truth about trade outside the EU

Click here to read the report  Britain was a leader in international trade for centuries, long before the EU was even thought of. As an EU member state, the UK cannot now trade on our own terms with the rest of the world. Decisions are made for us, based on the interests of the EU 28 - not the UK.Today, the UK is still a member in its own righ...
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Recent Comments
Guest — Adam Hiley
We owe it to the 17.4 million people who voted leave in 2016 to honour the result and isn't the vote legally binding which means ... Read More
Saturday, 23 March 2019 13:21
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‘No deal’ is our only remaining negotiating weapon; don’t decommission it.

Approaching the Wire at the Eleventh Hour I have written about Brexit for a number of months now and basically my message has been the same: keep our collective nerve and hold out for a good deal. By a 'good deal' I mean one that allows us free trade with the EU – nothing more. No shady 'backstops', no mealy-mouthed words that allow the 'reject pol...
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Recent Comments
Guest — Adam Hiley
May has to go and a clearout of Parliament of Remoaners needs to happen No deal is still likely britishconstitutiongroup.co... Read More
Saturday, 16 March 2019 19:11
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Fruit, Fear and Brexit

At the end of January, I was interested to learn how the BBC's news website reported Italy's recession. It was not on their radar. Unsurprisingly, several scare stories were. One, by business editor Simon Jack, was headlined "No-deal Brexit to leave shelves empty warn retailers." My attention was grabbed, however, by a dramatic warning with a state...
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Discontent

The alternative to May's deal is not no Brexit but no deal. Britain could leave the EU on 29 March without a deal and trade with EU member countries on World Trade Organisation terms. These are the terms on which we trade with non-EU countries already, without falling off any cliff. No deal is Brexit. Her deal is no Brexit. 'No deal' merely means t...
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Leaving on WTO terms

Published on 7 January 2019, the Rt Hon Lord Peter Lilley and Cllr Brendan Chilton, Global Britain and Labour Leave outline the huge advantages to trade gained by leaving the EU on World Trade Organization terms. Far from 'crashing out' we will be 'cashing in'. We will keep our £39 billion. Even the House of Lords' heavily pro-Remain EU Financ...
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Nissan, Felixstowe, Lettuces and Whisky

I am sure we all understand the situation Nissan and other companies which export a majority of their UK production to the Eurozone will find themselves in after Brexit. They will face 10% tariffs by the EU on these exports, and it stands to commercial reason they would then be better off re-locating their production into the Eurozone, where they w...
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A truly open Britain in an increasingly open world

The media is trumpeting a very scary tune about a 'no deal' Brexit. Perhaps it's the swansong in their dark and gloomy concert. There will be hurdles, but we in Britain, will use our initiative and people are always at our best when we have to use our initiative. For those who would like to rename 'no deal', the Bruges Group is welcoming suggestion...
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Economic Impact of UK Trade with the EU and Non EU Countries 2000 - 2017

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY by Roger Kendrick As the negotiations with the EU approach the October 2018 decision point, the Chequers proposals are being promoted on the generally accepted premise that the UK economy, and manufacturing industry in particular, has benefited from access to the Single Market. For this contention to be valid, the UK economy ...
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It’s time to call the Irish bluff

Amidst the political fallout in the UK following the government's controversial draft Brexit deal, an equally important development in Ireland went relatively unnoticed. During the ruling Fine Gael party's annual conference, foreign minister Simon Coveney confirmed that Ireland has no plans to prepare infrastructure for a hard border with the UK, e...
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Recent Comments
Guest — Baz
Simple answer:- Republic of Ireland leave the EU and join with the British Isles and continue with existing arrangements (No borde... Read More
Thursday, 22 November 2018 15:36
Guest — Adam Hiley
there shouldn't be any ill between Britain and the Irish people it is the EU Irish and British Europhiles who put their wretched p... Read More
Friday, 23 November 2018 13:30
Guest — David
Insightful and full of strength. Thank you. ??
Saturday, 24 November 2018 06:20
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THE ECONOMIC IMPERATIVE FOR A NO-DEAL BREXIT

Any sort of trade deal with the EU is bound to result in economic meltdown. Here's how and why.  Author: John Poynton This graph shows our Balance of Payments Current Account – in effect our national profit and loss account, comprising mainly but not exclusively of trade – split into two separate components; our trade with the EU (the red line...
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Recent Comments
Guest — Steve
Where is the Quantitive easing graph referred at the start of paragraph four under 'So does a trade deficit with the EU matter?'.... Read More
Friday, 23 November 2018 09:39
John Poynton
Trying to get this fixed. Will also post the original leaflet on my own blog later today.
Friday, 23 November 2018 12:54
  5486 Hits

Lest We Forget

For centuries, wool was the mainstay of our economy; so vital that Edward III ordered his Lord Chancellor to sit on the woolsack. Export of raw wool financed trade and new towns. Flemish and Huguenot weavers fleeing European persecution added their skills. By the 16th century, English cloth dominated European markets. It provided the trade good use...
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Recent Comments
Guest — Adam Hiley
get rid of Theresa May now how dare She try and con us with Her checkers trick We now must simply leave both the EU & ECHR immedia... Read More
Saturday, 17 November 2018 18:26
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Single Market

There has been a great deal of discussion about the EU's single market. The following is an extract from Chapter 2 of my recent book Brexit: the road to freedom, which I hope throws some light on the subject. Neither the British state nor the EU had ever published an assessment of the single market's effects. No trade association or business had ev...
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Spanner in the Brexit works

In the context of Brexit, things would be so much tidier if it wasn't for Northern Ireland. The province not only obstinately voted Remain, but also inconveniently promises to bring with it a new, uniquely porous, EU land border. If somehow one could leave Northern Ireland as a member of the EU and have the frontier redrawn in the Irish Sea, life w...
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Recent Comments
Guest — Adam Hiley
just leave I don't care for Ireland they went their own way in the world long ago their problem good luck being trapped in the Eur... Read More
Tuesday, 04 December 2018 16:21
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Speech by the Bruges Group’s Dr Carl Hunter to the Conservative Foreign & Commonwealth Council

Your Royal Highness, your Excellencies, Chairman, my Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen. Good afternoon. I wish to thank the Chairman and Ms Melissa Crawshay-Williams for their kind introduction and to congratulate and thank the members of our Council for their kindness, courtesy and professionalism in arranging this event. I wish to speak of the changing...
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Do you expect us to negotiate?

"Do you expect me to talk?" "No, Mr.Bond. I expect you to die" (1) In a book published in June of this year (Swift, 2018a) and a blog the following month, (Swift 2018b), I predicted that reaching a mutually-beneficial accord with the EU would be very difficult, if not impossible, as they have no desire to come to any form of agreement with us, havi...
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Recent Comments
Guest — Janet Tanner-Tremaine
Sadly, your opening paragraph has proved true in every respect. The EU has no thoughts other than to punish the UK for leaving. ... Read More
Saturday, 29 September 2018 10:25
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Perfect timing by the European Union

The way in which the EU goes about producing the laws that bind the rest of us - whether our politicians like them or not - can be difficult to understand. If you're not intimately familiar with it, don't worry. You're in good company. If really interested, you'll find it in Arts.288-299 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, a tur...
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The Brexit Game Changer – Import Excess Tax

 A policy model for a clean Brexit - no queues at Dover, no Irish hard border Membership of the EU Customs Union and the (largely contrived) Irish border issue are once more on the front pages. After success in the Lords, Remainers smell blood and are slavering at the prospect of defeating the Government in forthcoming Commons votes. Given thi...
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Recent Comments
Guest — M Bailey
Do you think it’s possible for any of our politicians to grasp such a sensible concept and then negotiate it? In any case there do... Read More
Sunday, 02 September 2018 12:37
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Trump should prove his commitment to free trade with a UK-US Free Trade deal

There are several indicators that the US economy is doing very well at the moment. According to a recent BBC report: "The US economy grew at its fastest pace in nearly four years in the second quarter, expanding at an annualised rate of 4.1%, official figures show. The gains were driven by strong consumer spending and a surge in exports"[1] In addi...
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Medical provisions post-Brexit

  A report by Victoria Hewson, Senior Counsel of the IEA's International Trade and Competition Unit There are three main factors behind the fears in relation to medical provisions post-Brexit. Here we examine what the potential problems are and the available solutions: 1. New tariffs would raise prices It has been suggested that the prices of ...
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Recent Comments
Guest — Card Games
Very informative post! Thanks for sharing it with us. Card Games ... Read More
Wednesday, 19 December 2018 11:23
Guest — click here
Well. I hope everything will be implemented well for the benefit of all.
Wednesday, 06 February 2019 09:10
Guest — Derek Campbell
Awesome blog and very informative! Every decision made by politicians has consequences. And we all have to bear with it. applica... Read More
Wednesday, 05 June 2019 07:30
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Electronic Customs Procedures and Brexit

Theresa May's dismissal of Boris Johnson's suggestion that technology could allow customs checks without physical infrastructure (to solve the Irish border issue) is perverse. Her claim that such systems do not yet exist is not true and one must query if Number 10 talks to anyone other than the Treasury. The UK was a pioneer of electronic clearance...
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Guest — John W Young
Would I be right in saying that this would be known as "Max Fac"? It certainly seems like it. A great informative article. Thank y... Read More
Monday, 30 July 2018 17:39
  5141 Hits

Solving the Irish border question

Like a broken clock, remainers are occasionally right. One example of this is the Irish border question which many leavers have ignored or dismissed for too long. While we don't believe this issue is as impossible to solve as remainers insist, it does require an appropriate amount of attention. So far, different proposals have been suggested to avo...
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Robert Oulds discusses Airbus and BMW's Brexit warnings, the economy and whether or not there should be another EU referendum

On the second anniversary of the successful Leave vote, Robert Oulds condemns Airbus, in receipt of £16 billion from the EU, and BMW, for choosing this day to advise the UK to stay in the single market and customs union. While the eurozone lurches from crisis to crisis, the UK has its highest rate of employment in history and we should look forward...
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Brexit: Same goals; different paths - Managing divergence

On the 5th of December 2017 the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis MP (speaking in a House of Commons debate) said: "She [The Prime Minister] said that there are areas in which we want to achieve the same outcomes, but by different regulatory methods. We want to maintain safety, food standards, animal welfare and employme...
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Recent Comments
Guest — Soumaya Keynes
Hi - you're using the Trade Talks podcast logo as the image associated with this article. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/tr... Read More
Saturday, 16 June 2018 21:43
Guest — Janet Tanner-Tremaine
Ariane thank you for a considered and truthful article on the Brexit from the EU that is being negotiated by the UK Government at ... Read More
Wednesday, 20 June 2018 14:49
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Tariffs, tariffs, tariffs

​We are now in a trade war. It is the unelected EU and Communist Party controlled China on one side and the United States of America on the other. Let us remember that the US charges 2.6% tariffs of imports into the USA. The EU by contrast, charges a 10% tariff on goods coming from the USA. No wonder and it is to no surprise that President Donald T...
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Bordering on Madness

The thing that first drew me to being opposed to our membership of the EU in 1991 was the realisation my elected Government was not in control of our country, that authority had passed to an offshore, unelected and unaccountable body.  My awakening came through a letter written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer during the terrible recession o...
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Rest Assured: There Will Be a Brexit Trade Agreement

​Bruges Group director Robert Oulds assured the possibility of a Brexit trade agreement in an interview with Jeremy Naylor on IG.com.  It was one of the many issues discussed during last Friday's broadcast. Topics ranged from the cost of other trade agreements, need for deregulation, lower taxes, and passporting rights.  The term "hard Br...
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No Transition is Better than a Bad Transition

No Transition is Better than a Bad Transition
In my last blog post, I made my own personal views on transition clear and I also stated what the government had said that their views on transition were. To summarise, I personally believe that, if a free trade agreement (FTA) between the UK and the EU is agreed by midnight on 29th March 2019 and, if a subsequent transitional arrangement is deemed...
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Signalling a post-Brexit industrial strategy

Supporting Bombardier - Putting employment in Britain at the heart of economic policy.

Robert Oulds

25th September 2017

We are determined that Brexit, if when it eventually happens in earnest, delivers the change we need. One of these new approaches can be in defending British industry, along with its jobs and innovation from unfair actions. But why wait for Brexit? It can begin now!

 

Bombardier, a major employer in Britain, a new entrant in the plane market, is being threatened by a trade complaint brought by Boeing designed to keep it out of the US market.[i] Theresa May’s government must show that a post-Brexit Britain will use its new-found independence to stand up for UK jobs. A policy area where we would not have to live with pan-EU rules any more. British taxpayers give Boeing hundreds of millions of pounds in defence deals, while at the same time they’re trying to close British factories. That’s not the action of a trusted partner for this country.


 

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Financial Services and Brexit

​Project Fear scaremongered more about financial services than anything else during the EU referendum campaign and this scaremongering has unfortunately continued after the Brexit vote. Remoaners and soft Brexiteers (those who want us to remain members of the European single market after Brexit) now tell us that the reason why there was not an imme...
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Simplifying Brexit: Maintaining third-party trade deals after Brexit

Memorandums of Understanding, or exchange of notes/letters, can form a key part of the necessary transitional arrangements as the UK moves from being an EU member state to an independent nation.

15th March 2017
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In our report What it will look like: How leaving the EU and the Single Market can be made to work for Britain[1] we explained that it should be relatively easy for the UK to maintain interim tariff-free trade with the countries who have signed deals with the EU, after Brexit.

 

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Another nail in the coffin of the Single Market

Last month, an event occurred which got little fanfare, but is likely to have a significant effect on the future of the UK, especially after Brexit. What happened was that the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement has now entered into force.

10th March 2017

The Single Market

Lord Lamont, the former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer wrote in The Telegraph:

‘The single market is open to all advanced economies, in exchange for paying a relatively modest tariff of 3 to 4 per cent, something that evidently does not stop non-EU countries from selling within it.

‘Every developed country has access to the single market. The EU has a relatively low external tariff with the exception of certain goods such as agriculture.’[i]

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Recent Comments
Guest — KBL
I agree that the TFA is helpful in the sense that the EU can't just turn round and say "We're not going to do any sort of deal wit... Read More
Thursday, 16 March 2017 22:30
Robert Oulds
Thank you for your comment. That was covered first in the Bruges Group paper What it will look Like: https://www.brugesgroup.com/m... Read More
Thursday, 16 March 2017 23:31
Guest — KBL
Thanks for your response. I assume you mean the statement on page 24 of the paper that "David Davis’ Department for Exiting the E... Read More
Saturday, 18 March 2017 16:34
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What it will look like: How leaving the EU and the Single Market can be made to work for Britain

The PM, Theresa May, must focus on eliminating tariffs and clearing the EU's burdensome barriers to trade

17th January 2017

The Bruges Group report What it Will Look Like: How leaving the EU and the Single Market can be made to work for Britain details the potential challenges the UK faces when it leaves the EU. The report also explains how these problems can be addressed by Her Majesty's Government, ahead of Theresa May's planned Brexit speech on Tuesday 17th January 2017.

Only by knowing the potential pitfalls can the Prime Minister hope to mitigate and eliminate the EU’s burdensome trade rules and bureaucracy. The UK can then take advantage of the global opportunities that await us.

Drawing upon decades of research and analysis, this report clearly explains how:

  • There is no such thing as a truly 'Hard Brexit' - but there are significant obstacles.
  • A UK-EU trade agreement, focused on tariff reduction and clearing customs, could take just 18 months to complete.
  • The UK's bargaining position is stronger than many commentators believe.


This report deals with the top ten issues of withdrawal from the EU. It explains that specific, easily reached agreements on the mechanics of trade in both goods and services will not only resolve any problems that may arise when exporting to the EU but such arrangements will also protect and enhance our trade with the EU.

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MoUs – the key to a smooth Brexit?

Whichever form Brexit eventually takes, whether ‘hard’ or ‘soft’; most parties would like the transition to be as painless and smooth as possible. To ensure that the Brexit process runs seamlessly, the UK and the EEA countries could agree a time-limited transition deal as a temporary ‘stepping stone’ to the final outcome.

19th December 2016

The deal need not be an official treaty but could take the form of what is called a Memorandum of understanding or MoU.

As the UK government website states:

“An MoU records international "commitments", but in a form and with wording which expresses an intention that it is not to be binding as a matter of international law. An MoU is used where it is considered preferable to avoid the formalities of a treaty – for example, where there are detailed provisions which change frequently or the matters dealt with are essentially of a technical or administrative character; in matters of defence or technology where there is a need for such documents to be classified; or where a treaty requires subsidiary documents to fill out the details. Like a treaty, an MoU can have a variety of names and can also be either in the form of an exchange of notes or a single document. However, the formalities which surround treatymaking do not apply to it and it is not usually published. Confusingly some treaties are called memoranda of understanding. Although an MoU is not legally binding it should be no less carefully drafted than if it were a treaty, given that it is always the intention to perform all HMG's commitments, whether legally binding or not.”[1]

An MoU is an established device In public international law; less official that a treaty but more than a gentleman’s agreement. MoU’s can take various forms and can serve wildly different purposes. They can be short and cover one specific issue or be lengthy, covering a range of topics.

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Recent Comments
Guest — Peter Gardner
I have been arguing for some time that a series of agreements in MoU's, Heads of Agreement or exchanges of letters should constitu... Read More
Thursday, 29 December 2016 00:19
Robert Oulds
Thank for your comment. Very helpful. If he EU decides that the withdrawal agreement needs to have the status of an Association Ag... Read More
Tuesday, 03 January 2017 20:00
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The trade issues which must be solved by David Davis’ Brexit Department

Any withdrawal agreement must look at these issues and find practical solutions to make sure that goods enter the EU as seamlessly as possible.

5th December 2016
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Brexit negotiations must aim to prevent the complexities of trade slowing the free flow of goods after Britain leaves the EU. Any withdrawal agreement between the EU and the UK, must look at these complexities and find practical solutions to make sure that trade enters the EU as seamlessly as possible.

 

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