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Brexit weekly round up – Week commencing 14 August 2017

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. The Department for Exiting the European Union published a position paper on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Bircham Dyson Bell’s Great Repeal Bill blog looks at the powers of the devolved bodies in a post-Brexit world.
  2. In comments reported in the Observer, former Government legal adviser, Sir Paul Jenkins, has said: “If the UK is to be part of something close enough to a customs union or the Single Market to remove the need for hard borders, it will only work if the rules are identical to the EU’s own internal rules”.
  3. A collection of key texts, official publications and commentaries relating to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, from Prof Mark Elliot’s Public Law for Everyone

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. Brexit Minister, Robin Walker has updated the Crown Dependencies on the UK Government’s progress on EU exit, providing reassurance that the UK will continue to engage with the Crown Dependencies through negotiations with the EU and beyond.
  2. The European Parliament has published a paper discussing the legal implications of Brexit.
  3. In a joint statement Philip Hammond and Liam Fox have stated that the UK will not remain in the EU ‘by the backdoor’, clarifying Government position that the UK would not remain in the customs union during the transitional period. However, this has led to Hammond being accused of ceding ground to cabinet Brexiters. Meanwhile David Davis has suggested that Britain may have to pay the EU to participate in a temporary customs union after leaving the bloc.
  4. The president of the Court of the European Free Trade Association, Carl Baudenbacher, told The Times (paywall) that his court could oversee a future partnership between the UK and the EU. The Times reports that Prof Baudenbacher’s proposal will form part of a position paper on judicial oversight due to be released in the coming week. Former Government legal adviser, Sir Paul Jenkins told the Observer that the Prime Minister’s policy on the legal implications of Brexit was “foolish”. He insisted that if the UK wants to retain close links with the Single Market and customs union it will have no option but to observe EU law “in all but name”.
  5. According to civil servants and ministers there are fears that Brexit decisions are being “rushed through” in order to quash concerns of a lack of action by the Government.
  6. Gina Miller has written an article arguing that a transitional arrangement for exiting the EU will not be sufficient and we must instead seek to extend the exit timetable.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. As reported in the Financial Times, the UK’s position paper on the customs union has stated that the UK wishes to remain in the union for at least the estimated three years of transition after the March 2019 exit. However the EU has rebuffed the proposal, reasserting that the terms of the divorce must be settled before there can be any discussion of future relations.
  2. The Guardian reports that “Britain may not start negotiating its future trade relationship with the EU until the end of the year, ministers are admitting privately.”
  3. The IEA has published a report, A trade police for a Brexited Britain, which argues that the Government should “walk away” if a “bad deal” is offered at the end of talks with the EU.
  4. Removing tariffs “could mean £135bn annual boost to economy”, according to pro-Brexit economists, the Economists for Free Trade group. They foresee an uplift of some £80bn a year from removing tariffs, with another £40bn coming from “cutting red tape”. However, lead author Professor Patrick Minford said the “ideal” solution would be a set of trade deals, including with the EU.


Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

            Employment

According to head hunters Morgan McKinley, Brexit is causing a decline in the number of job vacancies in the City and a drop in applications for key posts compared with last summer.

Unite the Union has claimed that its Brexit research “exposes opportunistic employers”.

            Immigration

Financial advisers have stated that British retirees are rushing to settle in European countries such as Spain, Portugal and France before the Brexit deadline.

“EU citizens will not need visas to visit UK after Brexit, say sources”.

            Human Rights, Equality and Discrimination

The Guardian has suggested that, following Brexit, disability rights currently safeguarded by EU legislation may become under threat, and that grant funding could be withdrawn without replacement.