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Brexit round-up – week commencing 13 Mar 2017

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. In a speech in Edinburgh it was widely anticipated that Nicola Sturgeon would confirm her plan for a second Scottish Independence Referendum before the UK leaves the EU. However the European Commission has stated that an independent Scotland would have to join a queue of nations seeking membership of the bloc. Theresa May has now stated that, though not ruling out a second referendum, Scotland must wait for such a vote until after Brexit.
  2. The House of Lords Library has published a briefing on the relationship between the UK and Ireland, and the impact the leaving the EU will have on this.
  3. Following the Commons defeat of the ‘meaningful vote’ amendment, former Conservative Attorney General Dominic Grieve has warned Theresa May that failing to follow proper constitutional process will lead to litigation which will slow matters down.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. Prior to the return of the Brexit bill to the House of Commons, The Guardian considered the possible timelines for the triggering of art 50, whilst the Financial Times considered the great unknowns of Brexit.
  2. Prior to the MP vote on the amendments made to the Brexit bill by the Lords, the Financial Times reported that the rebel MPs stated they were unlikely to block the PM from triggering the Brexit process. In line with this, the Commons voted down the amendments and then the Lords passed the Bill, opening the way to triggering art 50.
  3. The Queen has now signed the art 50 bill into law, clearing the way for Theresa May to formally start talks to leave the EU.
  4. The Labour Lords are intending to bring two motions secure greater influence over Theresa May’s Brexit and secure the rights of EU citizens in the UK, including through initiating a new joint committee including Lords and MPs to work out how, when and why Parliament should vote on the final Brexit deal.
  5. The Financial Times has argued that the EU’s antagonistic stance on Brexit divorce bill and conditions does not bode well for negotiations, and risks Brussels’ reputation.
  6. Theresa May will reportedly seek to appease concerns over inclusion of devolved administrations in EU talks and ease tensions with the Scottish Government by touring the UK.
  7. The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee have produced a detailed analysis of what would happen if there were a breakdown in talks.  Donald Tusk has warned that the EU will not be intimidated by threats about the UK leaving with no deal. Meanwhile David Davis has stated that there has been no analysis of the potential economic fallout for the UK from leaving the EU with no deal since he became Brexit Secretary.
  8. A paper written by The Institute for Government and The UK in a Changing Europe analyses the challenges facing the civil service and the capacity requirements that must be managed, over the course of Brexit.
  9. Senior EU diplomats have disclosed that, now that Theresa May intends to trigger art 50 at the end of March, UK-EU negotiations are unlikely to start until June.
  10. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are due to visit Paris as goodwill ambassadors for Britain ahead of the triggering of art 50, whilst Charles and Camilla are also preparing for art 50 diplomacy.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. The House of Commons Library has published a research briefing on Brexit and financial services, considering the responses of financial organisations about the impact of Brexit. Meanwhile, the EU Committee has published a report discussing Brexit and the trade in goods.
  2. The Financial Times has reported on the Office for Budget Responsibility’s warning that the UK is facing a £700m a year tax shortfall by 2020-21 because of Brexit’s impact on higher earners in business and financial services.
  3. The Financial Times has painted the picture of three visions of the UK economy which are taking shape on the verge of Brexit talks, whilst also publishing an article stating that Theresa May is adopting a foolhardy strategy to destabilise the European Investment Bank.
  4. Open Britain has published a background briefing considering the trading relationships between the EU and G20 nations. Meanwhile London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has stated that a lack of an interim EU trade deal could cause ‘colossal damage’ to British businesses.
  5. According to a report by UBS, Eurozone firms consider Brexit to be the biggest risk in causing uncertainty.
  6. Sainsbury’s has warned that the impact of cost pressures from the post-Brexit vote decline in the pound remains uncertain.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

 

Employment

The Times (paywall) has reported that Theresa May’s promise on workers’ rights will not survive Brexit.

New figures published by RICS have revealed that the UK construction industry could lose almost 200,00 EU workers post-Brexit should Britain lose access to the single market.

The House of Commons Library has published a paper considering the implication of Brexit for private pensions.

Health

The Commons Health Committee has heard from health experts on how Brexit is likely to affect people seeking healthcare and the recruitment of health and social care staff.

Immigration

Eastern European politicians have stated that if the UK wanted to let its citizens apply for freedom of movement in line with Guy Verhofstadt’s suggestion it would have to be reciprocal.

Migration Watch UK has published a paper considering the rights of EU nationals in the UK post-Brexit.

Liam Fox and David Davis have indicated that there may not be a formal agreement on the rights of EU citizens living in the UK until the end of the Brexit negotiations.

Human Rights, Equality and Discrimination

According to a TUC poll, one in three BAME people have witnessed or experienced racist abuse since the Brexit vote.

Education

The LSE Brexit blog has discussed the merits of the UK staying in Erasmus post Brexit, for students, and also looking beyond students.

Events

City View is hosting an even entitled ‘British Resilience: Focus on Ireland’ in Canary Wharf on March 29th.