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Brexit weekly round up – Week commencing 30 Apr 2018

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. Arlene Foster, the leader of the DUP, has said the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator “does not understand” the unionist history or position in Northern Ireland.
  2. Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of “scaremongering” after she claimed UK Government proposals to resolve the dispute over post-Brexit powerswould “completely demolish” the principle of the devolution settlement.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. David Davis is reportedly on the brink of quitting the Cabinet if Theresa May does not shelve her plans for a post-Brexit ‘customs partnership’ with the EU. This is linked to warnings that Theresa May will face a ‘very swift and violent reaction’ from Tory backbenchers if she continues to take advice, including on the ‘customs partnership’ from Olly Robbins, her top civil servant. Meanwhile Liam Fox has stated that a customs union with the EU is not acceptable as it would put Britain in a worse position than it is now.
  2. The FT reports on the 30-page document sent to Downing Street by the European Research Group arguing against the idea of a customs partnership. Meanwhile Eurosceptic Tory Cabinet ministers have revolted against Theresa May’s hybrid solution, branding it unworkable.
  3. The Government has tabled further amendments to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, supported others and published a further supplementary delegated powers memorandum.
  4. The Financial Times has considered the options available to solve the Irish border dilemma, considering proposals including hybrid models and fallback measures for the UK as a whole. However Michel Barnier has stated that the Brexit negotiations are at risk of collapse over the Irish border. The EU chief negotiator has urged the British Government to put forward new proposals to avoid a hard border with Ireland as Brussels and Dublin increase pressure on Theresa May to break the deadlock in Brexit talks.
  5. In another blow for Theresa May, peers voted by 335 to 244 in favour of an amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill which would hand Parliament the power to decide what happens next if MPs reject the deal she strikes with the EU. This has led Liam Fox to accuse peers of trying to ‘thwart; the will of the people on Brexit; meanwhile Theresa May has threatened to defy the Lords.
  6. The Financial Times has considered the implications for Brexit of the appointment of Sajid Javid as the new Home Secretary.
  7. Sixty Conservatives MPs have warned Theresa May her Government will collapse unless she shelves Number 10’s preferred plan for a post-Brexit customs system.
  8. The Law Society has published a paper considering the options for the future UK-EU dispute settlement mechanism. Meanwhile peers have warned that Britain’s EU withdrawal agreement could be unenforceable unless an UK-EU dispute resolution is established.
  9. Ministers have been ordered to preserve the frictionless border between the Republic and Northern Ireland as the House of Lords inflicted a tenth defeat on the Government’s flagship Brexit bill.
  10. The House of Commons Library has published a discussion of where European defence is heading post-Brexit.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. The European Commission and HM Treasury have asked the European Central Bank and the Bank of England to convene a technical working group on risk management in the period around 30 March 2019 in the area of financial services.
  2. London and Brussels have said they will work together on a plan to minimise turmoil in the financial markets should the UK crash out of the EU without a deal.
  3. The European Commission has published a notice to stakeholders considering the withdrawal of the UK and the EU rules in the field of in institutions for occupational retirement provision.
  4. In an escalation of the dispute over UK participation in Galileo after Brexit, Philip Hammond wants to sabotage the EU’s €10m Galileo satellite navigation project by attempting to disrupt the transfer of sensitive encryption technology from Britain.
  5. The UKTPO has published an article by Ilona Serwicka and Charlotte Humma stating that, though the customs union is very important politically, it is merely a small step for the economy.
  6. Trade Minister, Greg Hands, gave a speech at the Royal Society to business and third-sector stakeholders, discussing business certainty and trade beyond the Customs Union.
  7. Industry experts have warned that the British Government’s ambitious proposals to patrol territorial waters for foreign fishing vessels after Brexit are ‘posturing’ that could result in significant extra costs for taxpayers.
  8. George Osbourne has warned that his predictions about the economic impact of Brexit are starting to come true.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Competition and Regulatory

The House of Lords Library has published a briefing providing an overview of food safety law in the UK, and the bodies involved in overseeing and regulating food safety, examining the possible implications of the UK’s departure from the EU.

Immigration

British negotiators are reportedly drawing up plans to allow EU citizens “very similar” access to the UK as they enjoy under current free movement rules.

For The UK in a Changing Europe, Dr Michaela Benson has published an article considering how to help expats through ‘Brexit no man’s land’.

The European Parliament has published a press release discussing the concern MEPs have voiced in a letter to the UK Home Office over the EU citizens’ registration process.

The EU Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, has urged Belgium to grant citizenship to British EU staff worried about their post-Brexit status.

Environment

The Committee on Radioactive Waste Management has produced advice to the Government on the potential radioactive waste management implications following withdrawal from Euratom and the EU.

Events

  1. Politeia is hosting an event at BPP considering commercial law and EU law after Brexit on 23rd May 2018 as part of its 2017-18 Justice Series with BPP University.