Matrix’s Legal Support Service provides a weekly round-up of Brexit-related links and news.
Brexit and the UK constitution
- The EU’s General Court has ruled inadmissible a court challenge over the legality of the EU’s Brexit negotiations brought by a 97-year-old war veteran and 12 other emigrant Britons, reported in The Guardian. However the plaintiffs intend to appeal to the Court of Justice.
- Despite a unanimous resolution by the Commons, No. 10 is refusing to publish the full Brexit legal advice.
- The European Court of Justice is considering whether British MPs have the power unilaterally to pull the plug on the Brexit process.
The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU
- Labour is arguing for an art 50 extension if the Brexit deal is voted down in Parliament. However Diane Abbott has stated that the UK would vote for Brexit again if a second EU referendum were held tomorrow.
- Arlene Foster has stated that Theresa May’s Brexit deal poses a greater threat to the United Kingdom than a Government led by Jeremy Corbyn.
- Theresa May has been accused of “cronyism” after handing a knighthood to a Tory Brexiteer just weeks before a crunch Commons vote on her EU deal. Meanwhile Gavin Barwell, Theresa May’s chief of staff, has begged Labour MPs to back her Brexit deal in a bid to avoid a humiliating Commons defeat on 11 December.
- PoliticsHome reports that Theresa May’s hopes of getting her Brexit deal through Parliament has suffered yet another blow as Labour MP Lisa Nandy, who was open to backing the agreement said it was now “inconceivable” she would vote for it whilst ex-defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon has stated that the deal is “doomed” and must be renegotiated.
- Theresa May has begun a campaign, calling for a “national debate” on her Brexit deal, as she launched a PR blitz to prevent a humiliating Commons defeat next month. Meanwhile Labour has said Jeremy Corbyn would “relish” a TV debate with Theresa May after it emerged she is ready to go head-to-head with the opposition leader over her Brexit. However, Theresa May favours the BBC, whilst Corbyn favours ITV for the debate. The Prime Minister took her publicity blitz to Scotland.
- Charles Grant has written a piece for the Centre for European Reform discussing what will happen if Parliament rejects Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
- In The Spectator, Martin Howe QC has responded to No.10’s ‘rebuttal’.
- Nicholas Boles MP has suggested the ‘Norway Plus’ plan as a way to save Brexit, and this has attracted the unlikely alliance of Amber Rudd and Michael Gove.
- The Department for Exiting the European Union has published a set of materials aimed at supporting public and parliamentary assessment of the draft Withdrawal Agreement.
- MPs have stated that the Foreign Office faces ‘considerable challenge’ to ensure it has the skills required for European diplomacy post Brexit.
- The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has published a report on the Department of Transport’s implementation of Brexit, warning that the Department still has to implement IT systems and test contingency plans to keep goods flowing if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal.
- Theresa May has stated that the Government would have to reopen negotiations with the EU on the Brexit deal if it sought to extend art 50 to allow for a second referendum on the plan. She has also ruled out any plan B involving a Norway-style compromise deal with the Labour party in order to deliver a parliamentary consensus on Brexit.
- Theresa May has said she will only take part in a TV debate against Jeremy Corbyn and not any hard Brexiter such as Boris Johnson or any campaigner for a second referendum, saying the country had moved on from the leave versus remain argument.
- International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is to urge MPs to “set aside our differences” and back the Brexit deal Theresa May clinched with Bru Meanwhile the prime minister has called on Tory MPs to ditch their misgivings about her Brexit deal and support it for the good of their constituents.
- Top MPs from across the political divide have launched a bid to prevent the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal.
- The prospects for a People’s Vote are reportedly growing, with John McDonnell supporting it, as well as former Tory ministers Jo Johnson, Justine Greening and David Willetts, and three former Labour foreign secretaries. Meanwhile May has stated that she is not ruling out a second MPs’ not on the deal.
Impact of Brexit on the economy
- Scottish Secretary David Mundell is facing fresh calls to resign amid a brewing standoff over European access to Britain’s fishing waters after Brexit.
- The National Institute of Economic and Social Research has found that May’s deal with the EU will hit the UK economy to the tune of £100bn a year by the end of the next decade.
- Donald Trump has warned Theresa May that her Brexit deal could make it difficult for the UK to trade with America after it quits the EU.
- Chancellor Philip Hammondhas said that the UK will be worse off “in pure economic terms” under all possible Brexit outcomes – including the prime minister’s own deal – stating that the UK economy could be up to 3.9% smaller after 15 years under the PM’s Brexit plan, whilst a no-deal Brexit could deliver a 9.3% hit. Meanwhile new research by the Centre for Economic Performance has modelled the economic and fiscal consequences of Brexit. The Bank of England’s Mark Carney has also given a poor economic forecast for Brexit.
- The Financial Conduct Authority has published a further consultation on its approach to the UK’s exit from the EU setting out additional proposals to prepare for the possibility the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without an implementation period.
- The Governor of the Bank of France, François Villeroy de Galhau, has given a speech on the consequences of Brexit for the French and European financial sectors.
- New Zealand is consulting on a new free trade agreement with the UK, reinforcing existing commitments by both countries to begin negotiations for a future trade deal after the UK has left the EU.
- The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a Public Statement to address the risks of a no-deal Brexit scenario in the area of central clearing.
- The Treasury Committee is planning to take evidence on the Withdrawal Agreement and the joint Political Declaration, and has issued a call for evidence on the economic analysis of both documents.
- Londonwill lose up to €800bn in assets to rival financial hub Frankfurt by March 2019 as banks start to transfer business to the German city before Brexit day.
- Despite Donald Trump stating that Theresa May’s Brexit plan could hurt the UK-US trade deal, Woody Johnson, the US Ambassador to London, has reassured, stating that the UK will be first in line for a US trade deal once Britain takes back control of trade. Meanwhile the US and UK are reportedly close to finalising an open skies aviation agreement, which falls short of current EU arrangements but will protect British carriers from ownership problems post-Brexit.
- Theresa May is to sell her Brexit deal to world leaders at the G20 summit, pushing the UK as a promoter of global trade amid rising protectionism.
Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:
The Chair of the Justice Committee has written to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Lucy Frazer QC, expressing continued serious concerns over the Government’s lack of clarity on the implications of Brexit for the justice system.
The Home Secretary confirmed that a new UK-France Coordination and Information Centre has opened in Calais as part of the ongoing co-operation between the UK and France to tackle criminality at the border.
Competition and Regulatory
David Gauke has confirmed that ministers are pressing for the UK to join two conventions that will retain the recognition of English commercial court rulings across the EU after Brexit.
According to the CBI, nine in ten businesses say Brexit has affected their ability to recruit and train staff this year.
Theresa May has admitted she was wrong to say European Union citizens “jump the queue” under current migration rules, following a backlash from opponents.
Sajid Javid has stated that immigration plans may not be published before the Brexit vote.
The BBC reports that the number of EU citizens moving to the UK has continued to drop, but more people coming from elsewhere means the overall migration rate is unchanged.