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Brexit weekly round up – Week commencing 10 December 2018

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. The CJEU has handed down judgment in the case of Wightman & Ors v Secretary of State for Exiting the EU (C-621-18), holding that the UK can unilaterally revoke the notification of its intention to withdraw from the EU under art 50, TEU, and that if it does so, it will remain in the EU under the same terms as it currently enjoys.
  2. The Supreme Court has held that the whole of the UK Withdrawal from the EU (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill would not be outside the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament, though several provisions are.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. Despite ministers such as Gove assuring that the Commons vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal would go ahead, the prime minister then postponed the crunch Commons vote on her Brexit deal in the face of overwhelming opposition from her own MPs.
  2. Despite postponing the vote, few MPs think Theresa May can win major changes to the withdrawal agreement from the EU. Jean-Claude Juncker has stated that there is ‘no room whatsoever’ to tweak the agreement, and EU leaders have rejected the idea of putting a 12-month limit on the unpopular Irish backstop.
  3. Brexit has fallen into chaos as Tory MPs have triggered a vote of no confidence in Theresa May. She won by 200 votes to 117. Jeremy Corbyn has resisted calls to launch a vote of no confidence in May as he fears Labour’s fudged position of Brexit may unravel.
  4. Eurosceptic Conservatives have put Theresa May on notice that they would vote down her Brexit deal if she failed to secure meaningful concessions from the EU. However EU leaders are divided on how much Brexit aid to give to Theresa May.
  5. According to The Sun, Theresa May’s Commons vote on her Brexit deal has been pencilled in for January 14th.
  6. Theresa May has insisted that her plan to seek clarification from the EU to help get her Brexit deal through Parliament is still on track, hours after an apparent row with Jean-Claude Juncker over whether her proposals were too “nebulous”.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. A report by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has stated that after taking evidence from business in recent weeks, it could not find even one company that thought that Theresa May’s deal is better than the status quo.
  2. Economists have warned that the UK would struggle to avoid a recession next year if it crashes out of the EU.
  3. The Financial Times has argued that the EU-Japan deal offers a model for post-Brexit trade talks. Meanwhile The UK in a Changing Europe has published a post considering the options for the UK’s trading relationship with the EU after Brexit.
  4. BNY Mellon has shelved its search for a new London office ahead of Brexit, instead seeking to extend the lease on its current premises.
  5. UK homeowners are rushing to remortgage amid Brexit uncertainty, with the number of people refinancing at its highest for nearly 10 years.
  6. European business leaders have expressed growing concern about the political turmoil in Westminster, urging politicians to row back from the brink of a no-deal Brexit.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has launched a consultation on foreign solicitor qualification criteria in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Lord Burnett of Maldon has stated that courts in England and Wales are making emergency preparations for an influx of claims and actions likely to be triggered by Brexit.

Criminal

Doughty Street Chambers have written a post considering what the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement means for the European Arrest Warrant.

Health

The UK Government has warned drug companies and the health service to prepare for up to six months of ‘significantly reduced access’ at UK borders in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Human Rights, Equality and Discrimination

In The Times, Jonathan Cooper has argued that the chief reason to reject May’s deal is the fact that she has made it easier to ravage the UK’s commitment to human rights.