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Brexit weekly round up – Week commencing 11 June 2018

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. For the Financial Times, Jonathan Powell has argued that the Irish border question has brought to an end the question of hard Brexit.
  2. Jack Simson Caird has published a piece for the House of Commons Library analysing the implications of the Lords’ amendments to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill on which the Commons are due to vote.
  3. For the UK Constitutional Law Blog, Jack Simson Caird has also considered the constitutionally unprecedented situation which will arise if either the Lords’ ‘meaningful vote’ amendment or the Government’s ‘amendment in lieu’ is enacted, and the Commons uses its veto to reject the Withdrawal Agreement.
  4. In The Times, Rachel Sylvester has argued that there will eventually be an Iraq-style independent inquiry into the handling of Brexit that will be ‘damning about the incompetence, self-indulgence and failure of political accountability during this process’. Meanwhile the Institute for Government has published a report considering how ready Whitehall is for Brexit, in which it argues that the political decisions are creating a culture of secrecy.
  5. The High Court has refused permission for a crowd-funded bid to bring a judicial review over the legality of the article 50 notice.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. Theresa May has stated that the detailed plan in the White paper for Brexit will not be published until after the crucial EU summit later this month.
  2. The EU has spelt out why it rejected the UK’s Irish backstop plan, stating that its proposal remains the only workable solution.
  3. Coverage of this week’s votes on the Bill, the key battles and what to expect next are covered by The Guardian. It has been reported that two-thirds of voters believe Theresa May making bad job of Brexit.
  4. Though potential Tory rebels in the end largely voted with the Government, against the Lords’ amendments, following last-minute concessions, they have warned Theresa May that she must stand by the assurances she gave or the Lords may bring a new amendment for rebels to back. On Friday, Dominic Grieve called Government backtracking on the compromise to give Parliament a real say on the deal, “a slap in face“. He said ministers had changed the wording of an amendment drawn up after talks with him, at the last minute.
  5. Bircham Dyson Bell detail the week’s developments in Parliament on their Great Repeal Bill blog here.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. Brexit-supporting lawyers have criticised Theresa May’s ‘backstop’ plan as being legally worthless and likely to kill off trade deals.
  2. The UKTPO has published an article considering how the UK can persuade the EU to accept an all-UK backstop.
  3. The Financial Times has reported that Barclays and HSBC, two big UK banks, have shifted some euro clearing from London to Frankfurt, underlining the foothold Deutsche Borse has established in the market.
  4. Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of CBI, has warned that business leaders must speak out and tell MPs about the job losses that would result from the UK leaving the EU without a customs deal.
  5. The Financial Times has queried why there is not a greater focus in the Brexit negotiations on trade in services, particularly the unanswered questions on regulation of financial services that are crucial to the City.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Criminal

A prominent Labour MP has called for a police probe into Russian links to Brexit after it emerged the boss of the Leave.EU campaign held previously undisclosed meetings with top Moscow officials.

Competition and Regulatory

The UK is to apply to stay in the European standards system for industry products and services after Brexit following warnings that creating British-only benchmarks would be ‘an isolationist move’.

Immigration

Theresa May is facing a new round of Brexit turmoil as ministers clash over plans for the UK’s future migration system.

The Equality Commission is investigating allegations of racial profiling by Northern Ireland immigration officials, brought by a black British lawyer on the eve of a key Brexit vote on border checks in the region.

Environment

The Green Alliance has published a paper on protecting standards in UK food and farming through Brexit.

The UK Environment Governance team at the UK in a Changing Europe has published an article arguing that the way Parliament votes on two of the Lords’ amendments will provide a strong indicator of how green Brexit will be.

Science and Technology

Sam Gyimah, UK science minister has written to the EU internal market and industry Commissioner, Elzbieta Bienkowska, appealing for the EU to defer procurement of the next batch of satellites for the Galileo navigation system as Britain fights to retain a role in the programme post-Brexit.