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On 4 September 2019, the House of Commons passed a Bill (327 in favor to 299 against) that requires the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to seek an extension from the EU if he cannot obtain a withdrawal agreement by 19 October. The extension would effectively preclude a “no-deal” Brexit and ensure continuity. The House of Lords passed the Bill on a voice vote on 6 September 2019, after defeating an amendment (283-28) that would have…

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the department of the UK Government with primary responsibility for enforcement of export controls, has recently submitted written evidence to an inquiry being conducted by the UK Committees on Arms Export Controls. The written evidence (available here) provides a helpful summary of HMRC’s approach to export controls enforcement. The written evidence includes details on: Factors influencing whether criminal prosecution or another type of enforcement will be pursued (e.g. awareness raising, warning…

The UK government has introduced a new national control on the export of submersible vessels and related equipment, software and technology to Russia, which enters into force on 14 August 2019. The additional control has been introduced for reasons of national security and as a result of Russia developing its capabilities to track, access and disrupt undersea communication cables. Exporters may apply for export licences for controlled items, which will be assessed on a case-by-case…

Upon the request of France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Iran, the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) held an extraordinary meeting on 28 July 2019. The talks were held in the context of rising tensions in the Persian Gulf, following the seizure of tankers and Iran’s admitted breach of the terms of the JCPOA restricting its production of enriched uranium. The parties reaffirmed their commitment to preserving the JCPOA, however…

The High Representative of the European Union and the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom released a joint statement today (see here for the full statement) following Iran’s announcement yesterday that it would withdraw from certain commitments as agreed as part of the 2015 nuclear agreement (see our post here on this). The statement urged Iran to continue to implement its commitments under the nuclear agreement, stating that Iran’s compliance would be…

President Hassan Rouhani has announced that Iran will withdraw from certain commitments agreed in the 2015 nuclear agreement; this announcement comes a year after the agreement was abandoned by the US, leading to the re-imposition of US sanctions against Iran. In his 8 May 2019 announcement, Hassan Rouhani declared that Iran will stop exporting its surplus enriched uranium. This decision is contrary to the agreement, under which Iran is required to sell its surplus enriched…

On 15 May 2019, the Federal Council announced that it had opened consultation proceedings on the trade agreement with the United Kingdom and on an additional agreement extending the provisions of the trade agreement to the Principality of Liechtenstein. The agreements are intended to ensure to a large extent the continuation of existing trade relations after the UK’s departure from the European Union. The consultation will end on 5 September. The Federal Council will submit…