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Brexit round-up – week commencing 23 Jan 2017

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. By a majority of 8-3, the Supreme Court holds that the Government cannot trigger notice to leave the EU under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty without Parliament authorising that course by Act of Parliament. On the devolution issues, unanimously the UKSC holds that there is no requirement for the consent of the devolved administrations in giving Article 50 notice. The UK Constitutional Law Association Blog covers the decision in detail. Elizabeth Prochaska told Prospect Magazine that the legal wrangles involved in the triggering of article 50 are only just beginning.
  2. Another challenge to Brexit has begun in the Irish courts, with NI Green Party leader Agnew seeking a referral to the CJEU on the question of the revocability of any notice given under Article 50.
  3. The Telegraph reporteded that there were four draft Bills authorising the giving of Article 50 notice “circling Whitehall” if the Government lost their appeal in the Supreme Court. The published European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill 2016-17 is expected to have its Second Reading debate on Tuesday 31 January, with conclusion of Second Reading on Wednesday 1 February 2017. The Bill is then due to be considered in Committee on Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 February 2017, concluding in Committee on Wednesday 8 February 2017 when the remaining stages are also due to take place. See here for the Bill, and in due course, links to the Parliamentary debates.
  4. Government lawyers reportedly warned the Government against putting a single-clause bill to MPs, voicing concern that failure to include sufficient detail could lead to further legal appeals.
  5. The British Government has said that Gerry Adams’ claims that Brexit will destroy the Good Friday Agreement are unfounded.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. In an analysis of Theresa May’s Brexit speech, The Economist considers how far her rhetoric hides the extent to which she is actually pursuing the vision she set out. Theresa May has stated that her plan for Brexit will be set out in a White Paper. The Article 50 bill contains a note stating that the UK wants to leave Euratom, the EU agency responsible for nuclear safety and security, upon Brexit.
  2. The Lord Chancellor, Liz Truss, has claimed that a bold and bright future awaits the UK’s world-leading legal services as we prepare to leave the EU.
  3. The First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones and leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood have published a Comprehensive plan for Wales as the UK moves towards negotiations on leaving the EU, calling for maintained access to the Single Market.
  4. The Conversation has considered the implications of leaving CJEU jurisdiction following Brexit.
  5. Spain’s foreign minister has backed early trade talks in Brexit negotiations, stating that there is no plan to impose a punitive agreement which would weaken the City.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. The ECB has suggested that  EU oversight of UK euro clearing may increase following Brexit.
  2. The German finance minister, Schäuble, has stated that a post-Brexit trade deal with UK can be done quickly, though he stuck to his view that leaving the EU will damage the UK economy. SThree, the UK recruitment agency, has warned of a slowdown in UK hiring because of uncertainty following the vote to leave the EU, which has shifted its business toward overseas markets.
  3. Theresa May is set to visit China soon in a bid to bolster trade relations, believing the Chinese President, Xi Jinping could be a useful ally following Brexit.
  4. The Financial Times reports that the Prime Minister’s visit to the US will “focus on trade and terrorism”.
  5. Andrew Bailey, CEO of the Financial Conduct Authority, has suggested that UK financial firms that conform to “global standards” should be allowed access to the EU Single Market.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Competition and Regulatory

Blackstone Chambers has published the first of three posts considering the implications of Brexit for UK merger control on its Competition Bulletin.

Members of COMBAR have published a series of papers explaining the potential effects of Brexit on a range of commercial legal practice areas: Conflicts of Laws and Jurisdiction; Banking; Financial; International Arbitration; and Competition.

Data Protection

An article by Ross McKean, partner at DLA Piper, considers the implications and uncertainties for data protection law resulting from Brexit.

Employment

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee is conducting an inquiry into the expected impact of Brexit on the UK labour market and is seeking the views of UK businesses and experts.

Immigration

The House of Commons Library has published a paper considering the impact of Brexit on those currently exercising free movement rights.

The European parliament is to investigate the British Government’s treatment of EU nationals living in the UK who have applied for citizenship or permanent residency since the Brexit vote.

Events

  1. Reminder: BIICL is hosting an event called Legal Challenges Post Brexit on 31 Jan 2017 from 9.30-17.30