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The Medicines and Medical Devices Bill: the impact and opportunity

On the 2nd March 2020, the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill 2019-20 went through its second reading in parliament. It has been one of the first pieces of domestic legislation to be introduced since the Queen’s Speech in December 2019 and represents a critical area of post-Brexit regulatory change. The Bill is politically uncontroversial. It passed first and second readings unopposed by the Labour Party and is more about the need for legislation to return regulatory powers to...

David Laws’ take on the cabinet reshuffle

“Some reshuffles are about changing policy directions. Others are about chopping out the Cabinet “dead wood”. This one was about control – specifically, increasing the control over government from 10 Downing Street, including Boris Johnson’s powerful adviser, Dominic Cummings. Out went some senior ministers who Number 10 didn’t consider to be sufficiently “on side”. But the most significant move to “take control” was the insistence that Chancellor Sajid Javid should either...

How important are select committees and their new chairs?

As we wait for both Labour and the Liberal Democrats to complete their respective leadership elections, some other significant elections have taken place within the House of Commons recently. The chairs of the Commons select committees – the prominent cross-party groups of MPs that scrutinise the activity of each government department and other political issues – were confirmed at the end of last month. Alongside frontbench opposition MPs, committee chairs are some of the highest-profile...

The New Conservative Government: the current political landscape

The 2019 general election has led to several big changes in how Parliament and Government will do business over the next five years. What are they, and what do they mean for businesses affected by policy and regulatory change who want to make their voice in Westminster and Whitehall? The Conservatives’ victory in December – securing them the largest parliamentary majority of any single-party government for more than a decade – means that the way in which businesses engage with...

How the Conservative majority will change political risk for investors

The Conservatives’ majority of 80 seats has removed one of the biggest political risks to investors. A hung parliament, let alone a Labour administration, will remain a distant possibility. The Prime Minister no longer needs to tread carefully to win votes in the Commons. Yet, the actions of this single-party government – the first significant majority in the UK for over a decade – will be more complex to forecast. The dynamics of Parliament and politics have changed...

When government policy provides value creation opportunities

Across the spectrum of due diligence there is, understandably, a focus on risk identification and assessment. This is also true for political, policy and regulatory due diligence, with PE deal-teams interested in whether and how Brexit or a Corbyn government could pose risks to an asset’s business model or key markets. But private equity and their companies are increasingly interested in how political and regulatory changes can drive market opportunities. Our due diligence is moving away...

Four Top Tips for Government Affairs’ Teams in 2019

The long list of challenges facing businesses in 2019 may seem overwhelming to many business leaders and their Boards. Brexit, quite aside from a challenging economic climate, provides a huge amount of uncertainty, creating huge unknowns from trade and customs, people and the movement of labour and governance and reporting to the regulation of goods and innovation and assumed increases in the cost of doing business. Businesses are doing their best to plan for all scenarios, but there is...