Brexit round up – Week commencing 13 May 2019


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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. Stephen Barclay, Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, has given a speech at the Future of Europe Conference in Sibiu, Romania, stating that he wishes to look beyond the issues caused by Brexit and instead focus on the values and challenges shared by the UK and the EU.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. Keir Starmer has expressed doubts that any cross-party Brexit deal lacking a confirmatory referendum could pass Parliament, warning up to 150 Labour MPs would reject an agreement that did not include one. However Theresa May remains opposed to any form of Brexit referendum. Meanwhile sacked defence secretary Gavin Williamson has warned Theresa May her talks with the Labour party over Brexit amount to a “betrayal”, and Cabinet ministers have argued to scrap formal Brexit talks with Labour and launch a final attempt to secure a compromise in Parliament with indicative votes.
  2. Talks between the Conservatives and Labour to find a compromise over Brexit are set to end without agreement after six weeks. However a leak has revealed Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn discussed a plan to leave the EU on July 31 and avoid a second referendum.
  3. Theresa May has promised to set a timetable for the election of her successor after the next Brexit vote in the first week of June, with the new prime minister to be in post by the Tory party conference in Autumn. Steve Barclay, the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, has outlined the most recent version of the Withdrawal Agreement and what it means for Brexit in an open letter.
  4. MPs are to be given another vote on Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement bill in June; however The Guardian reports that MPs on all sides of the Brexit divide have vowed to vote it down, and the DUP has warned Theresa May that her Brexit plan will suffer a fresh defeat next month unless she manages to secure changes to the Northern Ireland backstop. Number 10 has warned that this Brexit vote will be make or break for Theresa May’s future as prime minister. The Financial Times has discussed why May is likely to face defeat.
  5. PoliticsHome reports that the new Brexit Party led by Nigel Farage is on course to win nearly 50 seats at the next general election after overtaking the Conservatives in a national poll for the first time, with pressure mounting on the prime minster to quit as Tory support falls. A YouGov poll has studied the voting intention figures for the European Parliament.
  6. Jeremy Hunt has argued that the UK must double its defence budget in the decade after Brexit.
  7. For the Centre for European Reform, Charles Grant has discussed the Brussels view of Brexit.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. The Financial Times reports that private equity has cooled on the UK over the Brexit uncertainty.
  2. Blaming Brexit uncertainty, British Steel has asked the Government for tens of millions of pounds in emergency funding as the UK’s second-largest steels producer battles to avoid a collapse that would lead to thousands of job losses.
  3. UK pub group Marston’s has stockpiled £6m of Estrella ahead of Brexit.
  4. UK Finance has published a blog by its director of international and Brexit policy, Conor Lawlor, in which he argues that the EU-level financial services contingency measures for a no-deal Brexit announced so far are a helpful step, but address only limited elements of clearing-related issues and derivative services.
  5. The CBI’s director general, Carolyn Fairbairn, has stated that the continuing political mess over Brexit is a “crushing disaster” for business in Britain with investor confidence at the lowest since the financial crash a decade ago.
  6. Staffline, a recruitment agency that supplies temporary workers to UK food preparation companies and other heavy users of overseas labour, has warned on profits, blaming Brexit uncertainty.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:


Boris Johnson is at risk of prosecution over his Brexit figure claims, with businessman Marcus Bell bringing a private prosecution alleging the former foreign secretary misled the public for saying the UK sends £350m per week to the EU.


UK unemployment figures show the rate has dropped to its lowest level since 1974, showing a tightness in the British job market despite the Brexit impasse.


A study into the potential consequences of the Government’s proposed future immigration system has revealed that illegal immigration could rise due to increased entry restrictions.