Brexit weekly round up – Week commencing 29 October 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 LSE Brexit blog Peter Ramsay has argued that left-wing Remainers are stuck in the past and that a fetishism of the supranational and the cosmopolitan is the real problem for the left.
  2. The House of Lords Constitution Committee has launched a consultation seeking evidence on the parliamentary scrutiny of treaties—specifically focusing on how the mechanisms of treaty scrutiny work in other countries’ parliaments and assessing how and when Parliament should scrutinise the government’s handling of treaties post-Brexit.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. At least five Cabinet ministers have reportedly warned Theresa May that her Brexit deal will condemn Britain to becoming a “colony” of the EU. In The Times, Nick Boles MP has argued that an approach to the Brexit deal of ‘Norway for now’ is the best plan, though for Bloomberg, Jacob Rees-Mogg has criticised this idea.
  2. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has been left red-faced after being forced to backtrack on his claim that a deal with Brussels could be struck in less than three weeks’ time.
  3. According to a survey by Conservative Home, one in ten respondents prefer the option of a deal moving from a Norway to Canada arrangement, whilst almost half want “Canada Plus Plus Plus”.
  4. Members of the Lords, including a management board member of Make Votes Count and a former ambassador and UK Permanent Representative to the European Union, have debated the case for a People’s Vote on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. A cross-party group of MPs are reportedly plotting a Commons push for a second Brexit referendum.
  5. The Government has published further technical notices on how to prepare if the UK leaves the EU with no deal, and Lexology has published a discussion of these by Macfarlanes LLP.
  6. EU Brexit negotiators are exploring a compromise on a plan for Northern Ireland that would give the UK stronger guarantees that a customs border would not be needed along the Irish sea. Meanwhile Professor Anand Menon has written an article discussing the complexities of the backstop.
  7. The British public are wrong on key facts around Brexit and the UK’s relationship with the EU, a new study by the Policy Institute at King’s College London, in partnership with Ipsos MORI and the UK in a Changing Europe, has found. Meanwhile David Hannay, member of the House of Lords and former UK ambassador to the EU and UN, has argued that British diplomacy is being marginalised by Brexit and James Kirkup has argued in The Spectator that Cameron’s misreading of Merkel led to Brexit.
  8. Figures released by the Cabinet Office have shown that consultancy firms pocketed £1.6m of taxpayers’ money in a single month from government contracts to help with Brexit preparations.
  9. The Financial Times has considered what the consequences for Brexit will be of Angela Merkel stepping down as leader of the CDU and not seeking a fifth term as chancellor.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. In his budget, Philip Hammond has warned that the end of austerity will depend on the Brexit deal, and increased spending on Brexit preparations by £500m. He has also announced the minting of a new 50p coin to commemorate Brexit.
  2. The EU has provided reassurances to EU groups that they will temporarily be able to continue using crucial derivatives clearing services in the UK even after a no-deal Brexit.
  3. According to Standard and Poor’s analysis, a no-deal Brexit would plunge Britain into a prolonged period of recession, with falling living standards and rising unemployment.
  4. The House of Commons Library has published a report on the effect on the aviation sector of the UK leaving the EU.
  5. The Government has published information for businesses on the role of the CMA after Brexit. Meanwhile a speech by Sarah Rapson has discussed the approach of the FCA to authorisation and the Brexit preparations.
  6. The Cabinet has been thinking how the UK can boost its trading performance post-Brexit, and as part of this Jeremy Hunt has proposed that the UK appoint leading business figures as ambassadors – however the Financial Times has argued that this would not work.
  7. Research has shown that France and Italy are offering the most generous tax breaks to London bankers moving to the European continent post-Brexit.
  8. The Bank of England has stated that it would accelerate rate rises after an orderly Brexit.
  9. For Brexit Central, Andrew Lilico has written an article discussing why the UK economy should grow faster in the short term if there is no Brexit deal.
  10. The pound jumped after The Times revealed that Theresa May has struck a deal with Brussels that would give UK financial services companies continued access to European markets after Brexit. However, this report has been rejected by London and Brussels.
  11. The EU ambassadors have agreed on the draft schedule of tariff rate quotas that the EU will apply after Brexit.
  12. For The Times, Caroline Flint has argued that HMRC will need to step up its preparations for Brexit.
  13. David Davis has stated that the Brexit deal will pass through Parliament as ‘terror [over no deal] will win’.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:


Secretary of State for Justice David Gauke gave a statement to both Houses of Parliament stating that the Government has decided not to opt in to a proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council establishing a Justice Programme as this will happen mainly after the UK has left the EU.

The UK National Crime Agency is investigating Arron Banks, a key pro-Brexit donor in the EU referendum, following a probe into him by the elections watchdog. Meanwhile Ben Bradshaw MP has written to Theresa May over claims she blocked a request to investigate Arron Banks in the run-up to the Brexit referendum.

Competition and Regulatory

The Intellectual Property Office has published guidance regarding the changes to copyright law that will be necessary in the event of a no-deal Brexit.


Private letters and briefing notes seen by The Guardian have stated that a no-deal Brexit could mean cancelled NHS operations, delays in diagnoses and long-term pressure on staffing numbers.

In a move designed to safeguard UK citizens’ healthcare abroad after Brexit, the Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill has been introduced, which would give the Government legal powers to fund and implement healthcare deals after Brexit.


The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee has published the Government response to its report on policy options for future migration from the European Economic Area.

In a legal challenge, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants is claiming that the UK’s post-Brexit residency plan for almost 4m EU nationals living in Britain fails to offer people the certainty that they will be allowed to remain.

Caroline Nokes, immigration minister, has told MPs that employers will be expected to check whether EU nationals have the right to work in the UK during any Brexit transition period, even though it will be almost impossible to assess this, and the nature of the checks remain unknown.


The UK is to introduce a provisional £16-a-tonne carbon emissions tax in the event of a no-deal Brexit as part of contingency plans to replace to EU Emissions Trading Scheme.


Whilst under EU law couples who have links to more than one member state can ask for a divorce in either country with the first country to receive a divorce petition handling the case, post-Brexit Britain will no longer be bound by this regulation and no one appears to know exactly what rules will apply.


  1. One Essex Court and The Times are jointly running The Times Law Awards essay competition for which this year’s question is “Brexit: A threat or an opportunity for UK lawyers and legal London?” and the deadline is 30 November 2018.