Brexit weekly round up – Week commencing 7 May 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 have published an article arguing that the Irish border is not the insoluble obstacle to Brexit negotiations that it has been made out to be and the UK can leave the Single Market and Customs Union while preserving a frictionless border in Ireland.
  2. On their Brexit Blog, Bircham Dyson Bell comment on the first and second 3 days of the Lords’ Report Stage on the EU (Withdrawal Bill).

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. The UK and EU negotiating teams have jointly published the topics for discussions on the future framework for the relationship between Britain and the bloc.
  2. PoliticsHome reports that Theresa May is risking sparking Cabinet outrage amid reports she is planning to make a fresh attempt to push a controversial plan for post-Brexit customs ties with Brussels. She has reportedly warned her warring ministers to fall in line behind her favoured plan for close customs ties with the EU or risk being pushed into a full customs union by MPs. However Boris Johnson has attacked the Prime Minister’s ‘crazy’ post-Brexit customs plan.
  3. On their Brexit Blog, Bircham Dyson Bell comment on the first and second 3 days of the Lords’ Report Stage on the EU (Withdrawal Bill).
  4. Rebel Conservative MPs reportedly believe they have the numbers needed in the Commons to keep Britain in the Single Market after Brexit.
  5. The Times reports that the Government is investigating ways to ban technology companies from transferring sensitive information to Europe if Brussels carries out its threat to block the UK from the Galileo satellite navigation system. Meanwhile David Davis has warned that lives will be put at risk if the UK is shut out of the €10bn space satellite project as Britain would be unable to help tackle threats from countries like Russia if it is unable to share data with the Galileo scheme.
  6. Labour MPs from Brexit-supporting party heartlands have piled pressure on Jeremy Corbyn with a fresh demand for a second EU referendum.
  7. Labour has accused the Government of  “effectively subverting democracy” after an announcement of coming Government business gave no timings for the return of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill from the Lords, or any news on three other key Brexit-connected bills.
  8. Theresa May has split her Cabinet ministers into two groups in a bid to heal their deep divisions over the UK’s future trading links with Europe.
  9. A new poll by the People’s Vote campaign has found that a majority of the British public are in favour of having a vote on the final Brexit deal.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. Liam Fox’s Department for International Trade is set to axe hundreds of officials who promote British exports to countries such as China and Brazil, in cuts that will undermine the Government’s claim to be building ‘a global Britain’. To rectify this, the Treasury is to make an emergency cash injection of £10m into the department to prevent the loss of hundreds of trade promotion jobs across the world.
  2. In its latest report, the Public Accounts Committee has warned that the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and the Department for International Trade are still unprepared for Brexit and are facing an ‘unprecedented challenge’ in their preparations.
  3. The Financial Times reports that Brexit and bankruptcies will raise the price of UK trade credit insurance.
  4. According to the managing director of Airbus, a potential €200m contract between the European Space Agency and Airbus in Portsmouth will be moved to the continent because of Brexit.
  5. The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee has published its report on the potential impacts of Brexit on the price and availability of food for UK consumers, warning that there is “no doubt” food prices will rocket after Brexit if the UK fails to secure a free trade deal.
  6. Ministers have been told that the post-Brexit customs plan being pushed by Boris Johnson and David Davis would damage hundreds of thousands of companies.
  7. HM Treasury has published a letter from 27 April 2018 to the Treasury Select Committee concerning the financial services risk management technical working group in relation to Brexit.
  8. The European Consumer Association has published a consumer checklist on the EU-UK relationship after Brexit, aiming to secure positive outcomes for consumers and stating that regardless of what sort of deal and transition period emerges, the starting point is an integrated market where EU and UK consumers enjoy a comprehensive and harmonised legal, supervisory and enforcement framework.
  9. For Brexit Central, Catherine McBride has argued that a mutual recognition agreement in financial services is in both the UK’s and EU’s best interest.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:


Claude Moraes, the British Labour MEP who chairs the European parliament’s justice and home affairs committee, has raised the prospect of criminals hiding on the ‘Costa del Crime’ because of difficulties and delays in agreeing a post-Brexit extradition treaty with the EU. 


Business Secretary Greg Clark has warned that thousands of jobs will be at risk post-Brexit without frictionless trade.


Former head of the Home Office, David Norrington, has said that he is ‘very worried’ about the scale of the task of registering the 3m EU citizens living in the UK, warning that the process could take years after Brexit.

Alex Massie has argued in The Times that the leave vote in the Brexit referendum has placated the public on immigration.


The Government has published its response to an Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee report on how a potential Brexit trade deal could affect farmers, food processors and consumers. The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee publishes its report on the potential impacts of Brexit on the price and availability of food for UK consumers.

The Guardian has reported that leaked documents reveal a secret UK plan to weaken key EU climate laws before Brexit which would undermine the bloc’s Paris commitments to cut its energy use by 20% by 2020.

According to a report published by the Institute for European Environmental Policy, the UK faces several challenges to maintaining high environmental standards post-Brexit.

Science and Technology

The Government has published a response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee report on the UK fostering the strongest possible partnership with the EU on science and innovations.