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Brexit round-up – week commencing 9 Jan 2017

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. Sir Ivan Rogers reportedly criticised Theresa May’s approach to Brexit during talks with her predecessor weeks before quitting as the UK’s ambassador to the EU.
  2. The Prime Minister has stated that the UK will not keep bits of the EU, such as the single market, despite Nicola Sturgeon’s threat of a second independence referendum.
  3. UCL European Institute has published a paper discussing a constitutionalist reading of Brexit and art 50.
  4. Reportedly, senior Government figures are convinced that seven of the eleven Supreme Court judges will uphold the high court’s demand that Theresa May secure that consent of MPs and peers before triggering art 50.
  5. The New Statesman has published an article discussing the new divides in British politics, arguing that the EU referendum, following the 2015 general election, has shown that the left-right axis is no longer the most important division.
  6. There are to be further legal challenges to Brexit in the coming weeks: a case in Dublin seeking referral to the ECJ to consider the revocability of art 50; and a case in London regarding membership of the EEA.
  7. Theresa May has stated that the Northern Ireland political crisis will not delay art 50.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. Michael Gove has urged Theresa May not to accept a “fake Brexit” by remaining in the single market and customs union.
  2. Sir Tim Barrow is reportedly inheriting a “demoralised and depleted team” as ambassador to the EU, and there are concerns that the UK is heading for a “train crash Brexit” with the demands of Britain and the remaining 27 being too far apart to strike any deal.
  3. RUSI Publications has released a paper making recommendations for UK foreign and security policy post-Brexit.
  4. Following Brexit the UK must not become a “bargain basement economy”, and high skilled jobs and trade must be protected outside the EU according to Jeremy Corbyn speaking to the BBC.
  5. Boris Johnson has claimed Britain is “first in line” for a post-Brexit trade deal with the US, following meetings with Republican congressional leaders.
  6. A paper published by the German SPD has stated that the top priority in Brexit negotiations for the EU-27 must be to hold the bloc together, even if this means suffering one-off economic hits.
  7. Theresa May will reportedly lay out plans for Brexit in a speech on Tuesday that will be closely scrutinised in financial markets and by other European leaders.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. The Free Enterprise Group has published a paper discussing the UK’s free trade opportunities, suggesting a reconnection with the Commonwealth.
  2. Foreign takeovers of UK companies fell following the Brexit vote despite the devaluation of the pound due to the political instability.
  3. Foreign traders have stated that the latest slide in the value of the pound is due to the lack of clarity from Theresa May, not fear by the markets of a ‘hard Brexit’, as reported by the Financial Times.
  4. The head of the London Stock Exchange has stated that a move by the Eurozone authorities to repatriate euro clearing to the continent after the Brexit vote would impose a system of ‘de facto’ currency controls in the continent.
  5. City of London bosses have called for a three-year delay to Brexit to let companies adjust to new trading arrangements between the UK and EU and to avoid the risk of systemic crisis in the multi-trillion dollar derivatives market.
  6. Head of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has stated that Brexit is no longer the biggest threat to UK stability as policymakers warn over ‘extremely rapid’ credit growth.
  7. The Economist has stated that for the UK to become an independent member of the WTO post-Brexit could be a difficult process.
  8. The Financial Times has written a piece on UK trade following Brexit from a New Zealand perspective.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Criminal

The House of Commons Justice Committee has discussed the implications of Brexit for criminal justice, with Francis FitzGibbon, QC stating that links with the EU on counterterrorism and criminal justice should be ringfenced from ‘bargaining chip’ Brexit negotiations.

 

Immigration

Labour MPs have urged Jeremy Corbyn to back two-tier EU immigration controls, protecting EU workers whilst still recognising the UK’s migration concerns.

The immigration minister has stated that the Government is seriously considering imposing a £1,000-a-year levy on every EU skilled worker recruited by British employers after Brexit.
However, Downing Street subsequently moved to distance itself from this proposal.

Human Rights, Equality and Discrimination

Stammeringlaw has written a piece considering the consequences of Brexit for disability discrimination under the Equality Act.

Environment

In a letter to environment secretary Andrea Leadsom, four major environmental institutions have urged wholesale land management reform to safeguard the environment after Brexit.

Events

  1. BIICL is hosting an event entitled ‘The article 50 ‘Brexit’ appeal: The rule of law after Miller’ on 6 Feb 2017 from 17:30-19:30 at Jones Day, 21 Tudor Street, London, EC4Y 0DJ.