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Brexit round-up – week commencing 13 Feb 2017

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. On the UK Constitutional Law Association blog, Tobias Lock and Tom Gerald Daly have discussed the constitutional complexity of Brexit and the British Bill of Rights, whilst the UK Law Societies’ Joint Brussels Office has published an article clarifying the UK’s constitutional requirements to start Brexit.
  2. (Lord) Dick Taverne has written a piece in The Times (paywall) arguing that no decision should ever be irreversible in a democracy.
  3. Advice commissioned by Bindmans, the Three Knights Opinion (Sir David Edward QC, Sir Francis Jacobs QC, and Sir Jeremy Lever QC – as well as Helen Mountfield QC and Gerry Facenna QC), states that the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill does not disable Parliament’s “constitutional handbrake on Brexit”, and in fact a further Bill will be necessary to authorise the actual withdrawal.
  4. In an interview on Radio 4, Supreme Court president Lord Neuberger stated that the media attacks on the judiciary, and politicians’ failure to stand up for judges, after the Brexit court challenge “undermined the rule of law”.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. Following the announcement of Theresa May’s position of a ‘take it or leave it’ vote for the Commons on the Brexit agreement, an ICM survey has found that leaving the EU without an agreement with the other states would only be supported by 35% of the British public. David Davis has stated that he expects the Brexit bill will be subject to parliamentary ‘ping pong’, but that Article 50 will still be triggered in March.
  2. Warning that the UK is heading for “Brexit at any cost”, Tony Blair has made a speech seeking to persuade voters to change their mind about leaving the EU. He is reportedly casting himself as the leader of the Brexit resistance. However, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has hit back, stating that none of the arguments Blair is raising are new.
  3. Guy Verhofstadt has stated that a transitional deal between the UK and EU post Brexit will lock Britain into the CJEU. However, reportedly European lawmakers have warned that a transitional deal could be impossible under the EU’s governing rules.
  4. Justice minister, Sir Oliver Heald, has rejected a suggestion that the UK’s legal system will ‘fall down the rankings’ post-Brexit, despite concerns that Germany and the Netherlands are creating English-language commercial courts to compete with the UK for disputes.
  5. The conflict between the UK and Spain over Gibraltar has emerged as a serious threat to the UK preserving access to Europe’s skies in the Brexit deal, with Spain arguing that an EU agreement with the UK on aviation cannot apply to the airport of Gibraltar as this would imply recognition of the legal right of the UK to it.
  6. For Chatham House, Richard Whitman has published a research paper considering the impact of Brexit on devolved external affairs.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. Acritas has published a paper on the impact of Brexit, considering the percentages of global organisations which will change their structure or strategy as a result of Brexit.
  2. The House of Lords EU Committee Report, Brexit: Financial Services has been published.
  3. The Journal of International Banking and Financial Law has published an article considering the future of cross-border business, and the potential licensing issues post Brexit. (Lexis subscription needed)
  4. The CBI and Clifford Chance have published a guide for UK businesses for the future of trade in the run up to the Brexit negotiations and beyond.
  5. The finance ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have stated that the UK Government has failed to provide devolved administrations with necessary information or clarity on how exiting the EU will impact their economies and budget.
  6. The Financial Times considers what trade with the EU might look like post-Brexit by looking at the border with Turkey.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Criminal

There has been a record number of hate crimes since the EU referendum.

Competition and Regulatory

The Journal of International Banking and Financial Law considers whether the UK will still be bound by state aid rules in relation to banks after Brexit. (Lexis subscription needed)

The Journal has also considered some possible consequences of Brexit as regards the EU and investment treaty arbitration. (Lexis subscription needed)

Blackstone Chambers’ Competition Bulletin discusses the implications of Brexit for UK merger control, considering CMA’s workload and what not to do.

Employment

A survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has found that over a quarter of employers believe EU staff are considering leaving their jobs, and the UK, in 2017.

Bindmans has discussed the position of employers and the rights of EU nationals post-Brexit.

Immigration

The Telegraph has reported that the Government’s pension advisor, John Cridland, has warned that Brexit migration cuts could push the state pension age up.

The Guardian has obtained a document suggesting that British nationals living on the continent could expect a backlash as a consequence of the government’s treatment of foreigners since the EU referendum.

Net migration from the EU to the UK may have peaked, and this may be causing ‘Brexit-induced tremors’ in the labour market.

Human rights

In They’re your rights: Fight for them, 89Up considers the wider political and legal domain of human rights within the process of Brexit.

Environment

The House of Lords EU Energy & Environment Sub-Committee has published a report highlighting key actions that are necessary to ensure environmental protections are not eroded by Brexit.

Events

  1. UCL is hosting an event entitled The constitutional implications of the Miller judgment on 22 February 2017.
  2. LSE is hosting an event entitled Brtain, Brexit and the EU: was this a love affair gone wrong or always an unhappy marriage of convenience? on 6 March 2017.
  3. The Constitution Unit is hosting a discussion of Brexit at Westminster: can Parliament play a meaningful role? on 13 March 2017.