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Brexit round up – Week commencing 24 June 2019

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. For the Financial Times, Tony Barber has argued that the most startling aspect of the ruling Conservative party’s leadership contest is the almost total absence of serious discussion about the dangers posed by Brexit to the UK’s territorial unity and constitutional order, with the risk that Scotland will leave.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. Cabinet ministers have blasted Boris Johnson’s plan for no-deal Brexit, dismissing it as not a ‘credible’ strategy. Meanwhile Boris Johnson has acknowledged that there could be no transition period under a no-deal Brexit without the help of the EU.
  2. Nicky Morgan and Greg Hands have suggested ‘alternative arrangements’ to avoid using the so-called Irish backstop but have admitted these depend on extremely close co-operation between London, Dublin and Brussels. Boris Johnson has stated that, if he becomes Prime Minister, every member of his Cabinet must sign up to Britain leaving the EU on 31st October, deal or no deal. However, Jeremy Hunt has accused Boris Johnson of trying to mislead people about the potential impacts of a no-deal Brexit.
  3. Although, Boris Johnson has refused to rule out suspending Parliament to make sure MPs cannot stop Brexit from happening on 31 October, a cross-party group of MPs have threatened to shut down the Government if the next Prime Minister tries to ignore Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit.
  4. Labour splits on Brexit have erupted again after Unite, the party’s biggest union backer, warned Jeremy Corbyn not to support staying in the EU.
  5. Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, issued a statement following the Euro summit meeting outlining the Council’s position on Brexit, and reaffirming the desire to avoid a disorderly exit and that the Withdrawal Agreement cannot be renegotiated.
  6. The Times has published a sector-by-sector break down of what could happen if the UK leaves the EU without a deal at the end of October.
  7. Elmar Brok, long-time associate of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has predicted that Britain will ask to rejoin the European Union in a decade.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. In his 2019 Mansion House dinner speech, Philip Hammond laid out the future plans for fintech, financial services and the potential impact of Brexit on British prosperity.
  2. The car industry has warned that a no-deal Brexit would deliver a ‘knockout blow’ to the competitiveness of Britain’s automotive sector and could cost it more than £70m a day due to delays at the border.
  3. With analysts blaming Brexit, foreign investment into the UK has fallen to its lowest level in six years.
  4. Mark Carney has warned that a no-deal Brexit makes an interest rate cut ‘more likely’.
  5. According to EY, UK financial services companies have racked up a Brexit bill of close to £4bn as they prepare to shift people and capital to the EU.
  6. French carmaker PSA has committed to manufacturing its next Vauxhall and Opel Astra cars in the UK, but only if the country’s relationship with Europe is secured after Brexit.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Employment

The Irish finance minister, Paschal Donohoe, has stated that Ireland faces 85,000 potential job losses and a sharp economic slowdown if the UK crashes out of the EU in October.

Health

According to an independent report commissioned by the British Generic Manufacturers Association from Oxera, generic drugs in the UK are far cheaper than in much of the rest of Europe, saving millions for the NHS, but this well-functioning market could be undermined by Brexit.

Human Rights, Equality and Discrimination

Ministers have been accused of ‘ignoring’ the effect of a no-deal Brexit on people with disabilities, as it emerged that no formal impact assessment on the issue has yet been carried out.