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Brexit weekly round up – Week commencing 24 September 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 UK Constitutional Law Association blog, Colin Murray has written an article considering Brexit and the ‘constitutional integrity’ of the UK.
  2. Sir Mike Rake, the former head of the CBI, has warned that the UK is on the verge of constitutional and financial chaos due to the disastrous state of the Brexit negotiations.
  3. Three articles have recently been published discussing the implications of another referendum: Vernon Bogdanor has argued that the Brexit impasse renders another referendum necessary; Philip Johnston has argued that we should not have another as “the drift toward direct democracy will be difficult to arrest”; and Neal Lawson has argued that a second referendum could inflict terrible damage on the British political system.
  4. For the UK Constitutional Law Association blog, Robert Brett Taylor and Adelyn L M Wilson have written an article considering seeking and implementing a referral on the revocability of art 50 notice following the actions of Andy Wightman MSP.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. Jeremy Corbyn is resisting pressure to back a second EU referendum, despite a new poll of Labour members suggesting 86% want a ‘People’s Vote’, preferring a general election. However Keir Starmer has been forced to reaffirm that Labour has not ruled out a referendum that could cancel Brexit, after John McDonnell appeared to insist the party could only back a vote on the deal itself. Nonetheless, Jeremy Corbyn has said he will work to avoid the “national disaster” of a no-deal Brexit as he travelled to Brussels for meetings at the request of Michel Barnier and Martin Selmayr.
  2. The Department for Exiting the EU has published its third tranche of technical notices as guidance for how to prepare for Brexit if there’s no deal.
  3. Tory Eurosceptics David Davis and Jacob Rees-Mogg have backed a Brexit plan that calls for the UK to begin legal action against the EU in the WTO unless Brussels cedes in the negotiations.
  4. For the Centre for European Reform, Sam Lowe and John Springford have written an article considering how to salvage the Brexit negotiations after Salzburg.
  5. Bruno Le Maire, France’s finance minister, has insisted that the Chequers plan is unacceptable as it undermines a central tenet of the EU and would spell ‘the end of Europe’.
  6. Brussels is reportedly making plans to pass emergency rule changes to cope with a no-deal Brexit in as little as five days, a fast-track process that allows the EU to leave big decisions on contingency measures until a late stage.
  7. Leaked Government documents have revealed that Northern Ireland faces blackouts and drastic electricity price rises in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  8. Being interviewed by Robert Peston on ITV, former Home Secretary Amber Rudd MP has said that a ‘People’s Vote’ would be preferable to a no-deal Brexit, and Hugo Dixon for In Facts has argued that this is significant as previously Amber Rudd supported Theresa May’s position.
  9. In The Telegraph, Boris Johnson has outlined his plan for a “better Brexit”, against the Prime Minister’s Chequers proposal.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. Research from trade economists Jonathan Eaton and Samuel Kortum has found that geography matters almost as much to trade in finance as it does in goods, meaning Brexiters’ confidence in the services trade may be misplaced.
  2. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has refused to rule out dropping Theresa May’s controversial Chequers economic plan for Brexit in favour of a ‘Canada-style’ free trade deal. However Theresa May has insisted that no Brexit deal would be better than a Canada-style deal; meanwhile the UKTPO has written a piece discussing the disadvantages of the Canada-plus deal some view as an alternative to Chequers.
  3. The Institute for Economic Affairs has unveiled its comprehensive, alternative framework for future trade relationships between the UK and EU, and with the rest of the world.
  4. Revolut, the UK’s fastest-growing technology company, has started the process of applying for a licence in Luxembourg to cope with the potential disruption of Brexit. Meanwhile Irish companies are moving to stockpile goods in Britain to safeguard supply chains as deadlock between the UK and EU pushes them to sharpen plans for a no-deal Brexit. Next has become the first retailer to offer full details of how it has prepared for Brexit and the impact on its prices and finances.
  5. According to the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, customs delays of thirty minutes will bankrupt one in ten firms. Meanwhile under an FOI, Highways England has confirmed that the Government’s Brexit contingency plans to manage lorry traffic in Kent would take 14 days to implement, spelling misery for local businesses and communities in the event of a disorderly exit from the EU.
  6. The National Farmers Union has warned of “catastrophic” consequences for the industry if there is no Brexit deal, after being warned by the EU that the UK faces a six-month wait to be certified as an approved third-country supplier.
  7. Steve Schwarzman, Chief Executive of the world’s largest private equity firm, Blackstone, has warned Theresa May about worries for when the UK leaves the bloc, stating that he feared Brexit could lead to a change of UK Government. Meanwhile the British Chambers of Commerce has found that nearly two-thirds of businesses have yet to do any risk assessment of a no-deal outcome in the Brexit negotiations as “Brexit fatigue” sets in.
  8. According to Frans Timmermans, Brexiters have been left “flabbergasted” by the EU’s refusal to back down in divorce talks because the UK has never understood that the single market is seen as vital to the political, as well as economic, stability of the continent.
  9. France has warned that legal hurdles might hinder the relocation of Europe’s top banking watchdog, the EBA, to Paris after Brexit, causing the agency to miss out on securing its planned premises in the French capital.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Criminal

The CJEU has ruled that the notification, by the UK, of its intention to withdraw from the EU does not have the consequence that execution of a European Arrest Warrant issued by that Member State must be refused or postponed.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has delivered a speech in Madrid on the future security relationship between the UK and EU.

Health

Brexit fears have eased over the supply of UK drugs to Europe after Brexit, though the EMA has warned that 40 products may still be at risk.

Immigration

Theresa May’s cabinet has agreed a post-Brexit immigration system that will offer visas to immigrants in a tiered system based on skills and wealth.

Science and Technology

Mills and Reeve’s technology law update has addressed the issue of what will happen to trademarks and designs if there’s a no deal Brexit.