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Brexit round-up – week commencing 6 Feb 2017

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. The Tax Journal has published an analysis of Brexit, Article 50 and the separation of powers following the decision of the Supreme Court.
  2. Philip Allott has written an article considering the legal fallout from the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017. On the back of the Commons voting the bill through with a large majority, Simon Witney discusses whether the legal challenge in the Supreme Court was a waste of time and money, or a landmark ruling for constitutional law.
  3. On the EU law analysis blog, Professor Steve Peers has analysed the white paper released by the Government on Brexit.
  4. The Scottish parliament has voted for a symbolic motion rejecting the UK Government’s expected decision to trigger Article 50 notice, following the dropping of Nicola Sturgeon’s plans to put down a more formal legislative consent motion opposing art 50 due to the Supreme Court’s ruling that Holyrood does not have the legal authority to reject it.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. The Guardian reported that Theresa May is unlikely to concede to any demand to change the terms of Parliament’s vote on the final Brexit deal. Ken Clarke has spoken out against Brexit following his vote defying the Government against art 50.
  2. Labour MPs were told to cancel leave and prepare for a three-line whip as the party entered another difficult week pushing for a series of amendments before a final vote on the Brexit bill. The Article 50 bill passed through the Commons without a single amendment, though 52 Labour MPs voted against the whip and Clive Lewis resigned. Amendments are expected in the House of Lords.
  3. Theresa May has announced that Parliament is to get a ‘take it or leave it’ vote on the ‘final draft’ of the Brexit agreement, covering withdrawal from the EU and a new trade deal following the two year negotiations, stating that this vote will be on the agreement before it goes to the European Parliament. However, Sir Keir Starmer has stated that May will not let the UK crash out of the EU if MPs reject the deal.
  4. UK Citizens in Europe have published a paper entitled Towards an Alternative White Paper on the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, whilst The Conversation UK has published a summary of the Government’s white paper, written by academics.
  5. The Centre for European Reform has considered the €60bn exit bill the UK will reportedly have to pay to the EU upon leaving.
  6. The prime minister of France and the president of the European commission have warned Britain that the terms of any Brexit deal cannot be superior to full membership.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. According to an Ipsos Mori survey, 58% of senior executives from more than 100 of the 500 largest UK companies consider the Brexit referendum vote to already be having a negative effect on their business.
  2. With promises of tax breaks and flexible redundancy rules, Paris is targeting bankers, stepping up its drive to woo those uprooted from London by Brexit.
  3. Plans to boost the EU securitisation market and make lending easier have stalled over Brexit.
  4. The LSE Brexit blog has published a piece stating that a hard Brexit, and leaving the single market, could slow down the UK’s creative industry – one of its most consistently growing sectors over the last decades.
  5. Equally, Brussels thinktank Bruegul, which has close ties to the European Commission, has stated that Brexit will cost the UK 30,000 finance jobs.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Data Protection

UK digital minister, Matt Hancock, gave evidence to the House of Lords Home Affairs sub-committee stating that it is likely the UK will mirror the major part of EU data protection law.

Immigration

According to the Financial Times, Theresa May has backed the right of EU citizens to stay in the UK, praising their “vital contribution to our society and economy” (whilst Conservative MPs voted down amendments to the Bill in the Commons).

Human Rights, Equality and Discrimination

Oxford Human Rights Hub hosted A Conversation on Brexit’s Impact on Human Rights in the Oxford Law Faculty, which can now be viewed online.

Environment

Damien Dussaux and Maria Carvalho have argued that the UK need will need a free trade agreement with the EU that incorporates low-carbon technologies post Brexit, as without one, the cost of climate change mitigation in the UK will increase.