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Brexit round up – Week commencing 15 July 2019

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. In The Times, Lord Sumption has proposed that the Queen must be kept out of Brexit controversy by establishing an inner privy council to advise her on proroguing parliament, and has warned that legal challenges to prevent Boris Johnson from suspending parliament to push through no-deal would prove futile.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. Philip Hammond has warned Boris Johnson that Britain ‘can’t control’ the impact of leaving the EU without a deal. Meanwhile the Chancellor has ‘told staff’ he will fight no-deal Brexit from Tory backbenches.
  2. Speaking in her Downing Street flat, Theresa May has told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg of her ‘frustration’ at ‘entrenched’ Brexit views as she prepares to depart Number 10.
  3. EU sources have stated that Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt’s Brexit plan to axe the Irish border backstop from the withdrawal agreement will be rejected outright by the European Union.
  4. Jeremy Hunt has refused to say that the UK would be out of the EU by 2020 if he becomes Prime Minister.
  5. Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has stated that it was ‘essential’ for the Government to end its pause on working age benefits when it comes up for review next year regardless of whether or not the UK has left the EU with a deal.
  6. The House of Lords has passed an amendment by a majority of 103 to ensure Parliament will sit in the weeks leading up to the 31 October deadline due to growing fears that Boris Johnson could prorogue or dissolve Parliament in order to allow the deadline to pass without MPs interfering. MPs have also passed a backbench amendment seeking to block any attempt by a future Government to prorogue parliament to ensure a no-deal Brexit. This has caused a setback to Boris Johnson’s threat to take Britain out of the EU without a deal.
  7. The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has stated that Theresa May never threatened a no-deal exit during more than two years of negotiations with Brussels. Meanwhile Frans Timmermans has claimed that British ministers were ‘running around like idiots’ at the start of the Brexit negotiations.
  8. According to the Financial Times, civil servants are concerned that they will be blamed if things go wrong under a deal or no deal Brexit under Boris Johnson.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. Leo Varadkar has warned that Brexit will lead to ‘decades of economic decline’ for UK.
  2. The international trade secretary, Liam Fox, has said a post-Brexit trade arrangement with the US may take longer to agree than some people hope, after reports that Boris Johnson would make this a priority if he becomes prime minister. Philip Hammond has also warned that a speedy US trade deal after Brexit is doubtful.
  3. The EU Internal Market Sub-Committee has discussed prospects for regional State aid after Brexit with Professor Steve Fothergill, from the Industrial Communities Alliance.
  4. The Office for Budget Responsibility has warned that a no-deal Brexit would plunge Britain into a recession, meaning a £30bn-a-year hit to UK public finances.
  5. The UK management consulting sector expanded at its second fastest rate in a decade last year, as companies and Government departments sought help with their Brexit planning.
  6. The political turmoil caused by Brexit has put two of the world’s leading central bankers off applying for the Bank of England governorship, according to two people close to the appointment process.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Immigration

EU citizens who have been in the UK for fewer than five years and apply to remain in the UK after Brexit face further uncertainty because of a flaw in the Home Office phone app.

Election

Lawyers for the pro-Brexit campaigner Darren Grimes have accused the UK’s elections regulator of errors and irregularities in its decision to fine him for breaking referendum spending laws.