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Brexit round-up – fortnight commencing 26 Dec 2016

Matrix’s Legal Support Service provides a weekly round-up of Brexit-related links and news.

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. Jeremy Corbyn has accused Theresa May of behaving like Henry VIII in trying to deny Parliament a vote on the final Brexit deal with Brussels.
  2. The UK ambassador to the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers, has quit amid a row following his statement that the post-Brexit EU trade deal could take a decade to agree. His full resignation email is available here.
  3. There is also emerging discussion of whether EU bodies with organisational presences in London and the UK will be staying in the wake of Brexit.
  4. Nicola Sturgeon has stated that a soft Brexit would remove the prospect of Scottish independence in the short term.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. Reportedly the UK will seek a US-style deal to access Europe’s crime fighting agency after Brexit has been finalised and the Government wants British officials to remain based in The Hague in Europol’s headquarters.
  2. Professor Steve Peers has written a piece critiquing the report published by pro-Leave group ‘Change Britain’ detailing the alleged £24bn worth of benefits that would come from a hard Brexit, arguing that the economics are flawed.
  3. In her New Year message, Theresa May has reassured those who voted for Britain to stay in the EU, stating that she will fight for their interests and calling for unity. However, Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron has referred to these as merely empty words given her previous hardline approach.
  4. In the wake of Sir Rogers’ resignation, Tory MP Peter Lilley has accused many UK diplomats to the EU of trying to keep Britain in the EU, rather than negotiating for its exit.
  5. Sir Tim Barrow has replaced Sir Ivan Rogers as ambassador to the EU.
  6. Lord Wallace of Saltaire has claimed that Foreign Office civil servants are “in despair” about Boris Johnson’s approach to Brexit, for example his alienation of other EU foreign ministers.
  7. Reportedly Theresa May is planning a major speech in which she will say that the Government will give up membership of the single market if it cannot secure a satisfactory deal on immigration and border controls.
  8. The Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, has stated that Britain does not have the key skills for successful trade talks following its long EU membership, and its lack of negotiating experience may therefore lead to a “very hard Brexit”.
  9. Tory moderates and backbenchers are urging Theresa May to set out her stance on the single market and customs union in more detail or risk losing their backing.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. The recent IPPR report on trends in Britain for the 2020s suggests there will be a decade of economic disruption following Brexit.
  2. Liam Fox has stated that the trade department has brought in £15bn foreign investment boost since the Brexit vote, showing a “clear vote of confidence in the UK”.
  3. Banks will decide whether to implement contingency plans to move business out of the UK to ensure they retain access to the remaining 27 EU Member States post Brexit.
  4. Analysis by Change Britain has found that leaving the EU’s customs union and striking trade agreements with eight foreign countries will create nearly 400,000 new jobs in manufacturing and service industries. However this has been criticised by economists including Jonathan Portes, as they state Change Britain’s claims are based on “entirely fictional statistics”.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Competition and Regulatory

Andrea Leadsom, Environment Secretary, has stated that leaving the EU will allow the UK government to slash the “ridiculous” red tape regulating farming.

Immigration

A report by London First has found that maintaining London’s access to skilled EU workers after Brexit is “vital” for the capital’s future prosperity.

Vince Cable has departed from the Lib Dem position, arguing that it is politically necessary to limit immigration from the EU as part of the UK’s Brexit deal.

Education

The House of Commons Education Committee will hold a public hearing at the University of Oxford on 11 Jan 2017 as part of the inquiry considering strategies for universities in handling the impact of Brexit.

Environment

MPs have stated that Brexit will pose a huge risk to UK wildlife and habitats, and a new environmental law will be needed. The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has also said farmers are facing significant income and tariff threats.

Events

  1. KCL is hosting the seminar Brexit and Environmental Law on 10 Jan 2017 at 18:30.
  2. BIICL is hosting an event entitled Dispute Resolution post Brexit – Lessons from Denmark, Switzerland and The Hague on 19 Jan 2017 from 17.00-19.00.
  3. BIICL is also hosting an event called Legal Challenges Post Brexit on 31 Jan 2017 from 9.30-17.30.