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Brexit round-up – week commencing 27 Feb 2017

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. Speaking to BBC Scotland ahead of her speech at the Scottish Conservative conference, Theresa May has stated that the SNP has “tunnel vision” when it comes to independence, though Nicola Surgeon has stated that this is necessary in light of the UK Government’s “obstinacy and intransigence” in dealing with the devolved administrations ahead of triggering Brexit.
  2. UCL’s Constitution Unit has published a discussion of whether, with the UK’s withdrawal, this is an opportune moment for the EU to be restructured along (con)federal lines.
  3. Alex Peplow, on the UK Constitutional Law Association blog, has written a piece discussing whether the Supreme Court decision in the Article 50 case affects the way in which the UK could withdraw from the ECHR.
  4. Also on this blog, Thomas Horsley has argued that what will replace the European Communities Act 1972 in the Great Repeal Bill is a critical issue and will be a political decision.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. The House of Commons Library has produced Legislating for Brexit: the Great Repeal Bill, considering issues likely to be raised in the bill in light of comments made by senior members of the Government.
  2. Claude Moraes, a Labour MEP for London, has warned that the UK should not seek to use its intelligence ties as a bargaining chip in Brexit negotiations, with cooperation on security and defence benefitting both sides.
  3. The sittings of the Committee in the House of Lords to discuss the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill have begun, and all stages of the Bill can be found here.
  4. It was widely predicted that the Government would be defeated in the House of Lords over the issue of securing the rights of EU citizens living in the UK. The voting breakdown shows the Government were defeated in the Lords by approximately one hundred votes. Peers are now urging Tories in the Commons to back the amendment, and despite Theresa May having vowed to overturn it, members of her Cabinet appear to back it.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. In discussing the trade deal and other Brexit matters in a speech to the British Chambers of Commerce, Boris Johnson has lashed out against the “prognostications of gloom”.
  2. The House of Lords European Union Select Committee has published a paper discussing the impact of Brexit, and particularly of leaving the Single Market, on Gibraltar and its economy.
  3. Luis González García was interviewed by Pinsent Masons, discussing the trade element of the Brexit negotiations, arguing that this will be very complex due to the necessity of the UK defining many of its own policies at the same time as negotiating the future trade relationship.
  4. Paul Drechsler, President of the CBI, has warned that leaving the EU in two years without a new trade deal would open up a Pandora’s box for Britain’s businesses.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Criminal

The House of Commons Library has published a paper discussing the implications of Brexit for policing and criminal justice cooperation.

Immigration

Government sources have indicated that there will be no announcement of a ‘cut-off date’ for EU nationals to register their right to live in Britain until negotiations on reciprocal rights of Britons living in other EU countries are concluded.

Human Rights, Equality and Discrimination

The Independent reports on Liz Truss’ announcement that the Conservative’s ‘British Bill of Rights’ to replace the Human Rights Act has been put on hold until after Brexit, as there should only be one constitutional change at a time.

Parliament has published a paper entitled ‘Ensuring strong equalities legislation after the EU exit’.

Environment

Policy Exchange has written a paper discussing the development of a new approach to waste policy following Brexit.