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Brexit round-up – week commencing 12 June 2017

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. In the fallout from the General Election, Gisela Stuart has argued that a failure by Parliament to implement Brexit would show it to have failed as a democratically representative body.
  2. Following a suggestion reported in The Telegraph that Article 50 had not actually been triggered due to a lack of formal decision to invoke it, an article by Kenneth Armstrong on Brexit Time has now considered, and rejected, this argument.
  3. On the UK Human Rights Blog, Rosie Slow has considered that, though politically problematic, reversing Brexit would be legally possible.
  4. The Guardian reports that Emmanuel Macron has stated that the door to remain in the EU is open to Britain, but time is of the essence if the decision is to be reversed. However, Guy Verhofstadt has made clear that, whilst the UK could change its mind, it would have to give up special perks including the hard-fought budget rebate.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. David Davis, Brexit Secretary, originally stated that, though formal Brexit talks will begin next week, this may not be on 19 June as planned as this is the date the Government will put its Queen’s Speech to Parliament following the election. However, following pressure from Brussels, Theresa May subsequently confirmed that the talks would being on 19 June in accordance with the initial plan. Keir Starmer has written to David Davis urging him to re-set the Brexit strategy, encouraging the Government to drop its ‘belligerent and reckless’ approach.
  2. For the Financial Times, Wolfgang Munchau has argued that the General Election is, in fact, almost entirely irrelevant to Brexit. Meanwhile Simon Tilford and John Springford for the Centre for European Reform have considered how the EU should react.
  3. Meanwhile Nicola Sturgeon has called for Theresa May to pause the negotiations as the election has left the Government weak, and a cross-party approach is required. David Cameron has stated that Theresa May will face pressure for a softer EU exit, and that she will need to listen to other parties moving forward to the negotiations.
  4. In naming Damien Green as First Secretary of State, it is hoped he will be a powerful advocate of a ‘softer’ Brexit. However Kevin Featherstone for the LSE Brexit blog has argued that only Boris Johnson has the political capital to make the compromises a less destructive Brexit requires.
  5. Senior EU sources have stated that Theresa May is to be warned that it would take twelve months to draft a new mandate for Michel Barnier if she insists on discussing a future trade deal and divorce bill at the same time, hugely delaying negotiations. Meanwhile EU leaders have warned that the outcome of the British General Election will complicate Brexit talks and Jean-Claude Juncker has ruled out extending the two year deadline for the negotiations. In an interview with the Financial Times Michel Barnier has put pressure on the UK stating that he can’t negotiate with himself.
  6. The European Commission has published a paper considering the future of European defence post-Brexit.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. Research by the British Property Federation has found that three quarters of MPs think that Brexit will adversely affect UK business investment.
  2. Following the General Election result, Jonty Bloom has analysed the options for Brexit, considering the differences between free trade area, single market and customs union.
  3. In a report by the former shadow chancellor Ed Ballsand Peter Sands, senior fellows at Harvard University’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, have considered how to make Brexit work for British businesses, finding that a bad deal could be disastrous. Meanwhile the Law Society has stated that a collaborative Brexit is vital to the UK economy.
  4. Greg Clark, business secretary, summoned leading business groups following the election result in an attempt to coordinate a business voice in favour of a softer Brexit; however business views remained split. Some have, though, called for a softer approach to Brexit with a survey showing that political instability has driven a huge drop in confidence.
  5. London’s biggest clearing house, LCH, has stated that it will accept more direct oversight from Brussels, as this direct registration would offer a way to comply with post-Brexit rules.
  6. Professor Winters, for the UK Trade Policy Observatory, has written an article to disentangle the Brexit trade politics and policies. Meanwhile the OECD has published the UK’s economic forecast, predicting that the economy will slow in 2017 and 2018 due to uncertainty over the Brexit negotiations.
  7. Philip Hammond is increasing fears of UK infrastructure providers that they fact being cut off from access to EIB financing post-Brexit as he was due in his Mansion House speech only to guarantee access whilst the UK remains and EU member. Meanwhile, Ruth Davidson has drawn a red-line for negotiations, telling Theresa May that the Government must not trade away any fishing rights in the talks.
  8. The Financial Times has broken own the EU’s Brexit bill, considering the final amount the bloc could accept.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Employment

The majority of EU citizens working in skilled jobs in Britain are likely to quit the country because of Brexit, according to Baker McKenzie, pointing to healthcare, technology and financial services as the most vulnerable business areas.

The Financial Times has reported that many UK business schools are finding their academics are quitting to return to their home country or work in other EU countries.

Health

PoliticsHome reports that there has been a 96% drop in nurses joining the NHS since the referendum vote.

Immigration

Free Movement has written an article considering whether the Tier 2 immigration system is ‘Brexit-ready’.

Germany’s statistics office has reported a 361% rise in applications from Britons seeking German citizenship amid Brexit fears about the future ease of living and working in the EU.

A paper published by Migration Watch UK discusses the need to preserve the rights of EU citizens in the UK post-Brexit.

Oxfam have published a paper discussing Brexit and the refugee crisis.

UK Brexit Secretary David Davis will open Brexit negotiations with a ‘very generous offer’ on the rights of the three million EU citizens living in the UK.

Civitas has published a paper considering immigration policy in the UK post-Brexit.

Environment

Negotiators are considering continuing to give the UK farm aid for two years after Brexit in order to solve problems caused by the UK leaving the bloc before the end of the seven year budget.

The Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board has published a paper considering post-Brexit prospects for farming, particularly considering the need to export surplus grain.

The House of Lords Library has published a briefing considering the impact of leaving the EU on the UK’s climate change policy.

Events

  1. Maastricht University is hosting an event considering The law and policy of Brexit on 30 Jun 2017 from 10.30-17.30.