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We have considered what a "soft brexit" means (here) and in this article, we look at a "hard brexit" also known as a "no deal brexit."

This week, some Conservative Party MPs delivered, in sufficient number, a letter to the party's managing committee, the 1922 Committee. It expressed that they had no confidence in the Prime Minister and that the party should replace her. The timing, many have said, was a mistake, that those seeking her removal, should have waited until after the Brexit vote and attack her then, if she lost. That, it is here opined, would have defeated the purpose of this week's supposed rebellion.

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It would be far more sensible if the UK scrapped its money laundering laws, wrote something comprehensible and properly structured and kept it all in one place. But no, that would make life far too simple. So, we have the latest Act that has to be read in the light of, and which makes amendments to, other legislation. But it's important and so no one can simply say "stuff it" and delete it. As it comes into force, there is a hint as to at least some of the priorities in relation to international financial crime.

This is not about money laundering. It's about how the UK is de-EU-ing law and regulation ready for "exit day." The UK's draft statutory instrument called "The Money Laundering and Transfer of Funds (Information) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018" is an object lesson in technical documentation. It has no life of its own and can only be read alongside other UK law and Regulations. It is of extraordinary importance not because of what it does but because of what it demonstrates. This is an indication of the clerical complexity of withdrawing from the EU even when the principles, as they will in relation to the Money Laundering Directives, will remain as now.

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No-deal Brexit would hit south-eastern European economies hardest among EBRD regions, says the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in a surprising counter-point to the position espoused by the EU generally .

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Long, long ago we wrote about a distasteful case where a male customer had ordered a cake bearing a slogan that was a) illegal and b) offensive to the owner of the bakery. He refused, backed with public money, the customer alleged discrimination. Starting with a tribunal and running through The case, incredibly, has ended up in the Supreme Court where, on Tuesday, an outbreak of legal reasoning produced the only judgment that true reason could have conceived of.

The position relating to PEPs has always been complex but Unexplained Wealth Orders are about to take that complexity to a level previously unthought of.

The UK's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been made aware that two UK laboratory supply companies have supplied schools and potentially other users with gauze mats which contain asbestos. The metal gauze mats are designed for use over Bunsen burners.

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This really is a story about money laundering. Stay with us: first, it's not at all a done deal that whatever happens in Brexit, UK lawyers will lose out for any reason except sentiment. Yes, long term, international recognition may be more complex but that could well turn out to be to the advantage of English (specifically, but perhaps one or two South Wales firms might be included) lawyers as their gene pool becomes less diluted. But everyone acknowledges that there should be some kind of hedge against that risk and so large firms are putting in place measures to be, in effect, dual citizens (not legally accurate, of course). Now Theresa May, in need of a win, has done something that will both assist UK lawyers and really, really get up the nose of those Eurocrats who are trying to frustrate the will of the UK people. And there's a not-to-well hidden benefit for British businesses outside the legal sector, too.

So, it's simple: you attach an electronic signature to an electronic document and off it wings by e-mail. Job done, right? Apparently "some businesses are still unsure if electronic signatures would satisfy legal requirements," says The Law Commission. But instead of just saying "of course, in the absence of fraud or some other frustrating or negating matter, that's a validly executed document" the Law Commission has produced "proposals." So, not simple at all, then.

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When the USA passes laws relating to offshore income and assets, it's big news and around the world US citizens and those providing services to them get into something of a flap. But when the UK introduced, in November last year, a requirement for "anyone who has undeclared UK tax liabilities that involved offshore matters or transfers to disclose the relevant information about this non-compliance" there was barely a ripple. There should have been a storm because penalties are potentially devastating.

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One of the basic principles of UK company law was for generations that there is a public register of the officers of companies and that that register includes the "Usual Residential Address" of directors and secretaries, with that information being maintained, and publicly accessible, for both current and historical data. That was then and this is now.. and surprisingly it's nothing to do with GDPR.

The announcement of a new consultation begs a question: if the register will apply to those who own "land," i.e. real estate, what about those who own property in long leases (i.e. personalty and not land) in the great estates of London which are, after all, some of the most expensive property in the world. WMLR digs into the proposed Bill to investigate this and other issues.

Consultation: https://www.gov.uk/government/...
Announced 23 July 2018 Closes 17 September 2018

On Friday 13th July 2018, the UK's Serious Fraud Office obtained, from a Magistrates' Court, a warrant for the arrest of Benedikt Sobotka has been issued over his failure to appear for questioning in an ongoing corruption investigation into ENRC and related companies. Failure to appear when required to do so is itself a criminal offence, independent of the allegations under investigation.

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