2021 Insights: Brexit

Skadden's 2021 Insights

UK Follows Global Trend To Enhance National Security Protections
The U.K. is the latest G-8 nation to propose enhanced protections against certain types of foreign direct investment. A proposed law before Parliament comes amid the U.K.'s separation from the EU. The breadth of businesses intended to be covered, without a number of the typical safe harbors, makes the new U.K. scheme broader in scope than any other foreign direct investment regulatory system of a major economy, including the U.S.

Impact of Brexit on UK and EU Sanctions Frameworks
The U.K. adopted an autonomous financial sanctions regime post-Brexit. The U.K. and EU have both stated that they intend to coordinate sanctions policy as much as possible. And with the U.K. having historically played a role in shaping EU sanctions policy, we expect it to continue to take a proactive approach under the new regime.

Post-Brexit, a More Demanding UK Merger Review Process
On January 1, 2021, the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority became a merger regulator independent of the European Commission. The CMA promises to be a competition authority to watch in global M&A in 2021.

Coming Soon: A Brexit-Focused Insights

On December 24, 2020, the United Kingdom and the European Union concluded one of the largest trade deals in history, the EU-U.K. Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). While the TCA regulates a number of important areas, it does not address in any detail significant aspects of the U.K. economy, including in particular the services sector, which represents the largest portion of the U.K. GDP. In our forthcoming publication Insights Special Edition: Brexit, we will discuss key areas of the TCA of relevance to our clients, such as antitrust and state aid, tax, digital and intellectual property, and the framework for future dispute resolution. The special edition will also identify important issues that remain largely unregulated by the TCA, including financial services and contractual enforcement, and new and evolving topics of note to public company boards.