Brexit round-up – week commencing 12 Dec 2016


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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. David Davis has admitted that he does not know whether the UK could revoke Article 50 once it has triggered it, but has stated that the Government’s Brexit plan will not be published before February.
  2. The Telegraph reports that campaigners are planning to write to the Government to say that they are going to launch a High Court action to keep Britain in the single market. The Government could face a second legal action in the wake of Brexit.
  3. Lord Kinnock has raised security concerns over the historic Supreme Court Brexit decision expected in January, asking whether the police have appropriate safe-guarding plans in place.
  4. The UK’s departure from the EU creates “an opportunity to reduce the complexity of the Union”, the European Parliament committee dealing with Brexit has stated.
  5. Taylor Wessing has considered some issues arising the in the Brexit negotiations, and predictions for the future.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. The Joint Committee on Human Rights has issued an interim report, stating that fundamental rights should not be used as a bargaining chip. The Committee calls on the Government to give an undertaking to protect the residency rights of EU nationals in the UK.
  2. Following Michael Barnier’s comments last week, Thomas Cole has argued that the EU has signalled that it wants to conclude Brexit as fast as possible and therefore that the UK will have to move quickly to secure favourable exit terms.
  3. The 27 other Member States of the EU met without Theresa May to discuss their Brexit negotiation plans (May told EU leaders that she wanted an early deal in Brexit negotiations on the status of Britons in Europe and EU citizens in the UK, before leaving while they discussed their approach to Brexit).
  4. The outgoing president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, has threatened a potential veto of any Brexit deal by MEPs if they are shut out of negotiation talks.
  5. The LSE Brexit Blog has considered the eight big challenges facing negotiators in the UK-EU negotiations, and the EU’s chief negotiator has stated that Britain faces a £50bn divorce bill after Brexit (a figure the Government rejects).
  6. The House of Lords European Union Select Committee has published a report on the UK’s options for trade following Brexit. This suggests the Government must establish a “game plan” for a transitional arrangement before it triggers the two-year formal negotiations over its exit from the bloc.
  7. Civil servants have reportedly complained that they are being asked to draw up departmental and budget plans for 2019 before there is any clear picture of Britain’s Brexit deal.
  8. The Bar Council has published a Brexit plan in The Brexit Papers, stating that the public interest should be at the heart of the Government’s strategy.
  9. The Times (paywall) has reported that all important decisions on Brexit have been deferred until next year as members of the European Union Exit and Trade committee are struggling to reach agreement. However, MPs have accused ministers of “gross negligence” for refusing to answer questions about its contingency planning in case the UK fails to secure a deal with the EU within the Article 50.
  10. The House of Lords EU Committee has also published a report calling on all parties to the forthcoming Brexit negotiations, including the UK Government and the EU institutions, to give “official recognition to the special, unique nature of UK-Irish relations”.
  11. Open Britain has argued that UK businesses will face a huge amount of paperwork if Britain leaves the customs union as it departs the EU.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. Lord Gus O’Donnell, former cabinet secretary, has criticised Theresa May’s decision to set up a separate Department for International Trade after the Brexit vote.
  2. A survey has found that nearly 40% of American firms are considering moving their British office to the EU, and 2/3 have said the Brexit vote is impacting their investment choices.
  3. Lloyd’s of London has become one of the first major City businesses to put a timetable on plans to move part of its operations to the EU in preparation for Brexit.
  4. The House of Lords EU Select Committee has published a report on Brexit and financial services.
  5. Japanese banks including Nomura have demanded clarity in the UK’s approach to Brexit or they will begin relocating jobs to Europe.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Competition and Regulatory

Professor Jonathan Harris QC considers whether the core freedom to choose the English courts and English law to govern contractual disputes is likely to be preserved in cross-border litigation post-Brexit.


A report by British Future has concluded that EU nationals already living in the UK when article 50 is triggered should be guaranteed the right to settle here permanently, but that those who arrive after the article is triggered should not be.
The Home Secretary has stated that EU nationals in post-Brexit Britain will need some ‘form of ID’.

Helena Kennedy QC has advised EU nationals to compile documents proving their residency here since before the Brexit referendum.

Theresa May has headed to Brussels for an EU summit in which she will promise that Britain will play a full role in tackling migrant flows from north Africa to Europe, even after Brexit. Here, she made an overture to EU leaders, requesting an “early” deal to protect expats’ rights after Brexit.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published a study finding a wider narrative of voters being increasingly motivated by emotion, rather than economic choices, and that poorer voters’ worries on immigration helped to fuel the Brexit vote.


Kings College London is hosting a lecture called Post Brexit: Escape from the Economised Society. This is free, on 24 Jan 2017 from 18.15 until 19.30.

LSE Works: Department of Methodology is hosting The Brexit debate through social media: deliberative discussion, or deliberate dysfunction?. This is on 25 Jan 2017 from 18.30 until 20.00.