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Brexit Round-Up: April

Posted on 04 May 2018

Brexit Round-Up: April

This month's collection of Brexit news continues to be as diverse as ever - think music, divorce bill and the Institute of Directors.

Experts at the National Audit Office have described the Government's approximation of the cost of the Brexit divorce bill as "a reasonable estimate" but said a lot of uncertainty remains.

The Government believes it will cost the UK between £35bn-£39bn to leave the EU depending on a range of factors, such as the exchange rate, the UK's economic performance and how much the UK will have to pay into the EU pension pot.

The UK has agreed to continue to pay into the EU's annual budget until December 2020 and to cover its share of outstanding commitments and liabilities.

According to an article on the BBC, the largest liability - the pension scheme for EU officials - is likely to mean payments continuing until at least 2064, although about 60 per cent of the financial settlement is expected to be paid by the end of 2021.

Meanwhile the Institute of Directors has said ministers will need to boost trade with both the EU and the rest of the world to make their "global Britain" ambitions a reality, according to an article in The Guardian.

The business lobby group, which has more than 30,000 members, said the UK should not prioritise making trade deals around the world at the expense of Europe.

According to recent statistics, in 2015 - 44 per cent of the UK's goods and services were exported to the EU, while 53 per cent of our imports came to the UK from the EU.

Members of the Institute of Directors have said that the EU has provided stronger growth for British firms selling goods overseas than Asia or North America over the past two years.

Next up was some interesting debate about how Brexit could impact the music industry, particularly UK artists touring festivals and gigs across Europe. The BBC's Newsbeat spoke to musicians about their concerns including extra paperwork, costs and delays.

Three of the five top-selling albums in the world in 2017 were released by UK acts according to IFPI, which monitors music consumption around the world.

"We want to make sure that our artists continue to travel all around the world - particularly Europe," says Gennaro Castaldo from the BPI.

In April, Trade Minister Greg Hands spoke to a business audience in Manchester about the EU Exit and promoting trade. The Trade Minister talked about the importance of 'service' imports and referred to a campaign launched last October in Singapore called Legal Services are GREAT.

For a bit of light hearted Brexit relief, check out the BBC's Brexit jargon buster? It's a glossary to demystify commonly used EU-related terms including 'cake and eat it' 'cherry picking' and 'cliff edge'.

And, if that's not enough, listen to the BBC Radio 4's impressions show, Dead Ringers, which imagines some of the vital voicemails being left for the key political Brexit players...

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