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Brexit weekly round up – Week commencing 17 December 2018

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

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. Over the weekend it was reported that the majority of the Cabinet ‘believes Theresa May’s Brexit deal is dead’. However Amber Rudd called for MPs of all parties to ‘forge consensus’ to avoid a no deal Brexit. Meanwhile Nigel Farage told Brexiteers to prepare for a second referendum, whilst May launched a searing attack on Tony Blair for calling for such a second vote.
  2. The Government has published the press statement given by the prime minister at the European Council conference.
  3. Theresa May is to urge MPs not to “break faith with the British people” by demanding a second referendum, as she faces intense pressure to give Parliament a say on Brexit before Christmas.
  4. As a potential route out of the impasse, business secretary Greg Clark has suggested that MPs should be invited to say what Brexit option they would agree if the Commons votes down Theresa May’s deal. In The House Magazine, Hilary Benn has joined calls for MPs to be given a series of so-called “indicative votes” on the various Brexit outcomes to find a resolution to the crisis. Meanwhile Amber Rudd has stated that a second Brexit referendum is ‘plausible’ if Theresa May’s deal fails.
  5. Cabinet ministers are reportedly expected to agree plans to significantly ramp up no-deal planning, allocating money from a £2bn contingency fund to departments such as the Home Office and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
  6. The EU has revealed its no-deal plans, with the European Commission stating that it has started to implement preparations for a no-deal Brexit.
  7. Pro-EU campaigners have lashed out after Government departments were ordered to scrub a claim from dozens of documents that a no-deal Brexit was “unlikely”.
  8. A Cabinet row has erupted after senior ministers lined up to condemn Penny Mordaunt’s call for a “managed no-deal” exit from the EU, with David Gauke stating that “Managed no-deal is not a viable option. It’s not on offer from the EU and the responsibility of Cabinet ministers is not to propagate unicorns but to slay them.”
  9. Former Tory minister Nick Boles has said he will resign the party whip and could help to bring down the Government if Theresa May backs a no-deal Brexit. Meanwhile David Gauke has stated that he will resign from the Cabinet if the Government pursues a ‘managed no deal’.
  10. The European Commission has announced a package of 14 contingency proposals seeking to avoid the worst effects of a cliff-edge exit for the EU, with measures to keep planes flying and retain European groups’ access to the City of London.
  11. The European Commission has adopted legislative proposals for two Council Decisions (here and here) on the signing and conclusion of the withdrawal agreement between the EU and the UK.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. UK aerospace firms including Bombardier and Cobham has applied for EU regulation – moving jurisdiction before a no-deal Brexit.
  2. The UK has lost its crown as Europe’s biggest private equity market by deal value for the first time since 2011, as buyout executives have postponed big investments while they await greater clarity surrounding Brexit.
  3. A rift has emerged between the Treasury and the Department for Transport over the failure of contingency plans to charter ferries to bring in food and medicines, in an indication of broader squabbling over Brexit funding.
  4. Credit Suisse has advised clients to consider moving their assets out of the UK due to the lack of clarity around Brexit.
  5. The UK’s five leading business groups have attacked the idea of a ‘managed no deal’ Brexit.
  6. The chief executive of ABB, which supplies robots to Jaguar Land Rover, has stated that a no deal Brexit will hit UK industry.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Criminal

The Home Office has published its one-year update on the progress of the UK’s anti-corruption strategy, which aims to support national security, prosperity at home and abroad and public confidence in institutions, highlighting that a key aim is strengthening international co-operation as the UK prepares to leave the EU.

Data Protection

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has published guidance of amendments to UK data protection law in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019.

Employment

Businesses are concerned that the Brexit immigration plan will hit staffing due to the ‘draconian’ £30,000 threshold.

Immigration

Sajid Javid is to outline plans to slash immigration from the European Union by up to 80% once Britain leaves the bloc.

The White Paper published by the Home Office sets out the post-Brexit rules for immigration.

The European Commission has urged European governments to take a “generous” approach to protect the rights of 1 million Britons living in the EU if the UK crashes out of Brexit talks without a deal.

The UK has unveiled a temporary visa plan for EU nationals post-Brexit.

Education

UK universities have been told in a circular from Universities UK that they should accelerate EU funding requests and the recruitment of students and staff from the bloc before Brexit on March 29th 2019.