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Brexit weekly round up – Week commencing 19 November 2018

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. Policy Exchange has published its argument to the Supreme Court that Scotland’s highest court was wrong to refer to senior European judges the issue of whether Britain can unilaterally cancel its Article 50 Brexit notice.
  2. For the Centre for European reform, Charles Grant has discussed what may happen if Parliament rejects Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
  3. The Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal the decision of the Court of Session to refer to the CJEU the question of whether the UK can unilaterally revoke the art 50 notification.
  4. Robert Craig has discussed what will happen constitutionally if the Draft Withdrawal Agreement is voted down.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. Theresa May is to promote her Brexit deal with a defiant speech to business leaders, even as critics in Westminster are scrambling to trigger a no-confidence vote in her leadership.
  2. Jo Johnson is to throw his weight behind a bid to force the Government to publish economic forecasts that compare its deal with remaining in the EU.
  3. Chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has suggested that the Brexit transition period could be extended to 2022, allowing two extra years for negotiation, though costing billions and enraging Tory Brexiters.
  4. Stepping up efforts to show it has an alternative to Theresa May’s approach, Jeremy Corbyn is to set out Labour’s “good Brexit plan”, saying that leaving the EU must be the catalyst for a “radical programme of investment and real change”, though Corbyn has admitted he does not know how he would vote if the country faced a second EU referendum. Meanwhile Keir Starmer has declared that Labour will work with MPs from other parties to stop the UK falling “off a cliff” by crashing out of the EU without a deal.
  5. Theresa May has written an article in The Spectator rebutting the points against her Brexit deal made by Mr Steerpike. Meanwhile Ian Dunt has written for Politics.co.uk blog that Theresa May’s deal is a humiliation.
  6. In what they say is a warning shot over Theresa May’s ‘broken promises’ on Brexit, the DUP have abstained in several Budget votes.
  7. Ministers will be forced to publish a report on the impact of Theresa May’s Brexit plan after a Tory rebellion forced a Commons climbdown.
  8. Theresa May is to travel to Brussels to finalise the Brexit deal in a meeting with the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker. Meanwhile France and Spain are pushing for extra EU demands on Brexit, with Paris seeking a declaration on fishing rights and Madrid wanting assurances on Gibraltar. However John McDonnellhas said Labour should form a minority government if Theresa May fails to get her Brexit deal through the Commons, as the prime minister prepares to travel to Brussels to attempt to strike a final agreement.
  9. The DUP has stated that it will ‘of course’ vote against Theresa May’s Brexit deal in Parliament and activists are set to vent their fury about the deal at their annual conference. Meanwhile Caroline Bell for the Briefings for Brexit blog, has argued that Theresa May’s claims about the withdrawal agreement are not borne out by the text, and leaked Cabinet meeting notes reveal that Jeremy Hunt told the prime minister that her deal was a ‘Turkey trap’.
  10. The Conversation blog has published a post considering the option of a ‘Ukraine-plus’ Brexit deal which could solve Theresa May’s problems.
  11. According to a leaked document on future relations due to be approved at a summit on Sunday, Britain and Brussels have agreed a draft political declaration that pledges an ‘ambitious, broad, deep and flexible partnership’.
  12. Pro-EU MPs are wrangling over the best time to table a Commons vote on a second Brexit referendum with a growing split over whether to wait until after Theresa May’s deal has been rejected.
  13. The Commons Library has published a research briefing containing a list of commonly-used terms and acronyms in the Brexit talks.
  14. Theresa May is to turn to Britain’s business leaders and the public to sell her Brexit deal, after the political declaration failed to win over Conservative Eurosceptic MPs.
  15. Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez has warned that he is ready to torpedo a draft Brexit agreement between the UK and EU over concerns about the future status of Gibraltar.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. The president of the CBI, John Allan, is to endorse Theresa May’s draft European Union withdrawal agreement, arguing that while not perfect it opens “a route to a long-term trade arrangement”. However other senior financiers are advocating a ‘people’s vote’.
  2. Lisa O’Carroll has reported in The Guardian that Britain is running out of food warehousing space as retailers and manufacturers rush to stockpile amid growing fears of a no-deal Brexit.
  3. PoliticsHome reports that ministers have resurrected an ambitious plan to use technology to maintain an open border in Ireland after Brexit.
  4. Labour is to seek to exploit Conservative divisions over post-Brexit fishing policy as the Government’s flagship Fisheries Bill heads back to the Commons.
  5. Theresa May is preparing to use an economic assessment of her Brexit deal to try to win over sceptical MPs, ahead of the parliamentary vote on the withdrawal agreement.
  6. Germany is relaxing its labour laws to increase its allure for London-based lenders relocating to Europe because of Brexit, meaning it will be easier to fire highly paid senior staff.
  7. The Financial Times has discussed how Brexit will redraw Europe’s financial infrastructure.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Criminal

DPP Max Hill QC has stated that a no-deal Brexit would boost the costs of extradition.

Meanwhile the Bar leadership has warned that a no-deal Brexit will trigger problems for criminal, family and personal injury law specialists as well as lawyers practising in competition and other EU law fields.

Rebecca Niblock, Partner at Kingsley Napley, has written a post discussing the transitional arrangements for the European Arrest Warrant in the Brexit withdrawal agreement.

Employment

For the UK Constitutional Law Association Blog, Ciaran White has argued that the Draft Withdrawal Agreement – in seeking to create a literal and notional ‘customs space’ applicable to NI alone – has offered up a number of features which will have the effect of entrenching some EU-derived labour law rights as they apply in NI.

Health

The Financial Times reports how Pharma is planning for all Brexit scenarios, with the risk that its stock will have to be thrown away in March as no longer EU licence compliant when the UK leaves the EU, whilst producing more products to ensure the UK is not left with a shortage after leaving the bloc.

Immigration

Theresa May is facing a backlash after she said EU workers would no longer be able to “jump the queue” after Brexit.

Thinktank Global Future has published a report suggesting that ministers should introduce electronic identity cards stating the right to live, work, claim benefits and use public services in Britain to address the concerns of leave voters about immigration.

Election

The official pro-Brexit campaign group, Vote Leave, has lost a judicial review aimed at trying to get an Electoral Commission ruling that it breached spending limits thrown out.

Environment

Bloomberg has reported that the UK’s coal pollution will surge if there is a no-deal Brexit.

Professor Andy Jordan and Brendan Moore have discussed whether the withdrawal agreement passes the green Brexit test.