Brexit round-up – week commencing 21 Nov 2016


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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. Lord Millett has written an article on the art 50 case, considering its constitutional importance and exploring the ‘real question’ of the appeal. The UK Constitutional Law Association has published an in-depth analysis and defence of the case.
  2. Lord Neuberger has been urged to stand down from the Supreme Court hearing on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union after it emerged his wife had posted a series of anti-Brexit tweets.
  3. The Department for Exiting the EU has published a policy paper on the grounds of appeal on the art 50 challenge to the Supreme Court.
  4. Senior Tories have urged Theresa May to scrap the Government’s appeal against the High Court ruling stating that Parliament must vote on leaving the EU.
  5. Pro-remain Liberal Democrat Peers believe they could insert extra clauses into even the most tightly worded Brexit bill to force Theresa May to tell Parliament more about her negotiating plans before she triggers article 50.
  6. President of the EU’s highest court, Koen Lenaerts, has said that there are “many, many different ways” Britain’s departure from the EU could end up before the CJEU.
  7. The House of Lords has debated the EU Committee’s report on Brexit: parliamentary scrutiny. The House of Commons Library has published a report, Legislating for Brexit: the Great Repeal Bill, considering issues likely to be raised in the Bill based on comments made by senior members of the Government.
  8. The Secretary of State for Exiting the EU has issued a statement on the process for invoking art 50.
  9. John Major has argued that the case for a second Brexit referendum is credible. However, in its answers to some frequently asked questions about Brexit, the Department for Exiting the EU has stated that there will be no second referendum.
  10. Sara Hagemann, LSE, has assessed Parliament’s role in Brexit, and its potential role beyond art 50.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. Though Theresa May has tried to reassure businesses in response to the CBI’s advocacy of a smooth Brexit by saying she wants to avoid a ‘cliff edge’ in Brexit, her aides have denied that this means there will be a transitional deal. In response to criticisms of the Government’s Brexit strategy in PMQs, Theresa May stated that being in or out of the EU customs union is not a binary decision.
  2. Britain’s former top civil servant, Gus O’Donnell, has stated that Brexit is a huge challenge for the civil service. David Penman, general secretary of the FDA, has also warned of the enormity of the task for the civil service.
  3. Boris Johnson’s promises for the Brexit deal have been branded as “intellectually impossible” and “politically unavailable” by the Dutch finance minister, and the British Foreign Minister has also made disparaging remarks about free movement whilst stating the UK will probably leave the customs union. Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta, has stated that EU leaders are not bluffing when they say the UK will be left without access to the single market then it leaves the bloc if there is no free movement of people.
  4. The Centre for European Reform has published a comprehensive review of the stances hardening around Brexit and likely deal negotiations.
  5. However, Brexit Secretary David Davis has described his meeting with the European Parliament’s chief negotiator Guy Verhofstadt as a “good start”.
  6. Tony Barber has argued in the Financial Times that, with the extended membership of Europol and not opposing the budget of the European Defence Agency budget, in some areas Britain’s post-Brexit EU relationship will be closer than many think.
  7. The Department for Exiting the EU has published answers to the frequently asked questions it receives about Brexit.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. Andrew Marr discussed Brexit, the economy and possible deals, with Chancellor Philip Hammond.
  2. Canada’s finance minister has stated that any UK or Commonwealth trade deal is far from his top priorities post-Brexit.
  3. In his Autumn Statement, Philip Hammond has set out his plans, including retracting the commitment to reach an overall budget surplus by 2019-20 due to the uncertainty and likely effects of Brexit. He has pledged to prepare Britain’s economy for leaving the EU by borrowing an extra £23bn over the next five years. The full figures have been analysed in the Financial Times.
  4. Following Brexit, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has stated that real wages will be lower in 2021 than they were in 2008.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Competition and Regulatory

Blackstone Chambers has published an article discussing the changes that are likely in the rules governing jurisdiction in cross-border competition damages claims when the UK leaves the EU.

Data Protection

At the National Association of Data Protection and Freedom of Information Officers Annual Conference, Elizabeth Denham, UK Information Commissioner, gave a speech addressing the next generation of DPOs, including discussion of the impact of Brexit. The key points have been summarised here.


It has been widely reported that the Office of Budget Responsibility has stated that Britain’s net migration will be 80,000 a year lower after leaving the EU. However, this reduced immigration will cost the UK billions of pounds a year, necessitating the borrowing of an extra £16 billion by 2020/21 to make up for the reduced tax intake.

Human Rights, Equality and Discrimination

The Woman and Equalities Committee has considered the impact of Brexit on equality law and related measures in the UK, and possible ways to retain existing protections. They have also launched an inquiry to examine further the implications of leaving the EU on UK equalities legislation and policy.


  1. What future awaits UK-EU relations? The Bertelsmann Stiftung European Forum in association with the Financial Times is taking place in Berlin on 29 Nov 2016.
  2. Brexit, Trade Agreements, the US and the Law. This will be held at Chatham House, 17.30 – 19.00 on 12 Dec 2016.