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Preparing for the effects of Brexit on science and innovation


Managing Partner Kelley Drye’s Brussels office

Patterned after the term “Grexit”, which was coined when the possibility of Greece leaving the European Union (EU) loomed large, “Brexit” entered the English language in 2012 to combine “Britain” and “exit”. Its existence can be traced to some eight months before then Prime Minister David Cameron announced that a referendum would be held to decide whether the United Kingdom (UK) should maintain its membership in the EU or not. The results of that referendum, which took place in June 2016, are well known and Brexit has become a household term.

The UK and what is now called the EU27, to reflect the 28 EU Member States minus the UK, are locked in a second phase of negotiations. Never mind that they have not fully completed the first phase, and that just over a year is left until the UK exits the EU on 29 March 2019. Agreement on a “transition” or “implementation” period is likely through at least the end of 2020. During that period, EU law would continue to apply to the UK and the UK would continue to be part of the single EU market and its customs union. On the other hand, a transition period will only happen if the UK and EU reach consensus on all ...

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