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Brexit round up – Week commencing 22 July 2019

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. A cross-party group of parliamentarians is set to bring a high profile legal challenge in the Scottish courts over whether the next prime minister can advise the Queen to suspend Parliament in order to pursue a no-deal Brexit. The pre-application letter can be read here.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. Theresa May has refused to sack the rebels in her Cabinet after four senior ministers refused to vote with the Government against a bid to block a no-deal Brexit.
  2. Keir Starmer has announced plans for a cross-party alliance with Cabinet ministers on the verge of quitting the Government in a bid to stop the next Prime Minister from pursuing a no-deal Brexit.
  3. Both Philip Hammond and David Gauke have confirmed that they will resign from the Government on Wednesday if Boris Johnson wins the race to be Prime Minister. Meanwhile Sir Alan Duncan has resigned as foreign office minister firing the starting gun of what is expected to be a string of resignations among critics of Boris Johnson – his resignation letter is here.
  4. Getlink, the Channel tunnel operator, has said that a no-deal Brexit is becoming ‘very likely’ as uncertainty continues over whether the UK will reach any deal with the EU by 31 Oct.
  5. As predicted, Boris Johnson won the Conservative leadership race, and now, as reported in the Financial Times, he has 100 days to deliver Brexit.
  6. David Gauke followed through on his pledge and resigned following Boris Johnson’s victory in the leadership contest.
  7. In his first speech as prime minister, Boris Johnson re-stated his commitment to ensuring that the UK leaves the EU on 31 October 2019 and promised to unite the UK, end the ‘unfounded self-doubt’ and promote ‘a new spirit of can-do’ to achieve a successful Brexit. He also formed his Cabinet, giving many high profile roles to leading Brexiters. The Financial Times has argued that this sends a no-deal message to Brussels.
  8. Boris Johnson has been accused by the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator of laying down ‘unacceptable’ terms for talks on a new exit deal, setting the scene for months of bruising clashes between Brussels and the new British prime minister.
  9. The new prime minister has ordered Michael Gove to ‘turbo-boost’ no-deal Brexit planning.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. In its latest report, the Committee on Exiting the EU warns that a ‘no deal’ Brexit would lead to severe disruption, pose a fundamental risk to the competitiveness of key sectors of the UK’s economy and put many jobs and livelihoods at risk.
  2. According to the CBI, the next prime minister needs to act fast to set out a pro-business strategy for the UK to repair the damage caused by Brexit stalling progress in the economy over the past three years.
  3. Business Secretary Greg Clark has claimed that the next Conservative prime minister could unleash a ‘wall of investment’ if he resolves Brexit with a deal but risks plunging the British economy into uncertainty if he allows the UK to crash out of the EU.
  4. Due to Brexit uncertainty leading the pound to tumble, nervous UK importers are entering into complex currency transactions as they scramble to avoid higher costs; however some consultants have warned that this could expose them to significant losses.
  5. Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison has stated that Australia could agree to a trade deal with the UK ‘within weeks’ of Brexit as Canberra targets a goal of restoring market access for farm products that it lost when Britain joined the EU almost half a century ago.
  6. The UK’s markets regulator, the FCA, has extended by six months a grace period intended to allow the financial sector to comply with rules that would come into force in the event of a no-deal Brexit in 98 days’ time.
  7. The Bank of England and the Prudential Regulation Authority have published consultation paper 18/19, UK withdrawal from the EU: Changes following extension of Article 50 (CP18/19).

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Environment

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has published guidance on regulating persistent organic pollutants if there’s no Brexit deal.