Brexit round-up – week commencing 5 Dec 2016


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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. In the Supreme Court’s Article 50 challenge, the Government has argued that the High Court should have afforded more weight to the Brexit referendum outcome. The UKSC blog has been live-tweeting the hearing, and the Supreme Court has published the parties’ written arguments and daily hearing transcripts. Robert Craig has written a summary of the ‘statutory basis’ argument seen in the art 50 challenge.
  2. Theresa May is confident that MPs “will not dare” to defy the referendum result and vote against the triggering of art 50 if the Government lose their appeal.
  3. The Supreme Court has been urged to throw out the case, with Downing Street lawyers claiming Parliament’s support for exiting the EU was conclusively demonstrated this week.
  4. Michael Zander QC has questioned whether the Sewel Convention could prevent Brexit.
  5. A group of Conservative MPs have warned that they could lose the next general election if Theresa May pursues a ‘hard’ Brexit.
  6. The Law Society has responded to the Justice Select Committee’s inquiry into the impact of Brexit on the justice system. The Financial Markets Law Committee have published a paper on issues of legal uncertainty arising from Brexit, considering the application of English law, the jurisdiction of English courts, and the enforcement of English judgments.
  7. The Lords’ EU Committee Chairman has visited Cardiff to discuss Brexit with devolved legislatures.
  8. A crowdfunded case is to go before Irish High Court to determine whether art 50 is revocable – seeking a reference to the CJEU.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. Theresa May has now agreed to set out her Brexit plans before triggering article 50, also claiming she wants a “red, white and blue Brexit” with an ambitious deal. In the Commons vote, MPs have supported the Government’s plan to start formal talks on Brexit by the end of March next year, and the Labour motion calling for Parliament to “properly scrutinise” the Government’s proposals for leaving the EU.
  2. The chief EU negotiator, Michel Barnier, has urged Britain to be realistic about what new EU trade terms can be agreed in Brexit talks compressed into 15-18 months, stating that the UK will have less than two years to agree its exit in a tough negotiating timetable set by the bloc. However Andrew Tyrie MP, Chairman of the Treasury Committee, has responded stating that such comments are “calculated to raise the political temperature”.
    The Independent has claimed that Ministers believe that legal disputes may have to be settled by European judges even after Brexit.
  3. It is doubtful, according to The Conversation, that Britain will be as easily able to find post-Brexit trade partners in the Commonwealth as Theresa May has suggested.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. Philip Hammond and David Davis have promised a “smooth and orderly transition” post-Brexit in a meeting with high-profile financial services chiefs.
  2. The Financial Times reports that Brexit fears have kept London’s FTSE 100 behind global peers.
  3. According to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research the British economy will see its growth hampered by a fall in immigration from Europe following the Brexit vote, though low-paid workers in some sectors will see a “modest boost” to their income.
  4. The International Trade Minister, Lord Price, and Australia’s Minister of Trade, Steven Ciobo, have met in Australia for the inaugural meeting of the Australia-UK Trade Working Group, where the early priorities for the Group and the future of a free trade agreement following Brexit were discussed.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Competition and Regulatory

Blackstone Chambers has published articles considering the issues likely to be encountered in claimants establishing English jurisdiction where there are causes of action based on foreign laws, and more broadly what will happen to the UK’s competition law regime.

Bird & Bird have discussed the competition law implications of Brexit.

John Holland and Catherine Robert have forecast the implications of Brexit for financial crime regulation in the New Law Journal (pay-wall).


The Law Society of Ireland has revealed it has admitted a record 810 English qualified solicitors to the roll by this year as leading UK firms rush to secure a second jurisdiction for their lawyers in the wake of the Brexit vote.


The Legal Action Group has highlighted some key immigration law issues that are likely to arise when the UK leaves the EU.

According to the European Parliament’s chief negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt, British people will be offered the chance to individually opt-in and remain EU citizens as a proposal in Brexit negotiations.