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Brexit weekly round up – Week commencing 16 Apr 2018

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. The House of Commons Library has published a research briefing on the devolved Governments’ objections to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.
  2. The Supreme Court is being asked to rule on whether Brexit legislation passed in Scotland and Wales is constitutional and within devolved powers. The Financial Times reports that this legislations stems from the deepening constitutional dispute over who should have the final say in policy areas such as fishing and farming.
  3. Voting on Brexit, a report by the Institute for Government, suggests that Parliament’s ‘meaningful vote’ on the Brexit deal will be more than a yes-or-no choice. A major push for a “people’s vote” on the final Brexit deal between Britain and the EU has been launched by a cross-party group of MPs.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. As London hosts a summit of Commonwealth leaders for the first time in 20 years, Theresa May is to pledge to put the 52 nations at the heart of a global Britain post-Brexit, offering funding to work towards common standards.
  2. The Financial Times has reports that the Lords are likely to vote in favour of the UK staying in the customs union post-Brexit, with PoliticsHome reporting that the Government is braced for a number of humiliating blows from the Lords’ votes. David Hannay has written for In Facts, identifying the amendments which give the Lords eight ways to improve the Bill.
  3. Peers backed amendments to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, forcing the Government to explain what it has done to pursue remaining in a customs union, by 348 votes to 225, and limiting the power of ministers to slash red tape without the approval of Parliament, by 314 votes to 217, defeating the Government. However Hugo Dixon, for In Facts, has argued that this defeat will help Theresa May with the difficulties over the Irish border.
  4. A major push for a “people’s vote” on the final Brexit deal between Britain and the EU has been launched by a cross-party group of MPs.
  5. Brussels is to issue many legal proposals on Brexit in the coming weeks, with the legal measures aimed at preparing the EU for a hard Brexit, partly by giving emergency powers to the bloc’s institutions.
  6. David Davis, Brexit Secretary, is urging Theresa May to get ahead of the EU by publishing detailed proposals for the future UK-EU relationship ‘as soon as possible’ rather than waiting for Brussels to lay down its terms.
  7. For the Financial Times, David Allen Green has discussed the ten factors he considers will now shape Brexit. Meanwhile Colin Talbot has written for The Times, considering how Brexit could break Whitehall.
  8. The Dutch Government launched an appeal against a ruling from an Amsterdam court to refer the case, in which five Britons are seeking clarification of their rights as EU citizens, to the Court of Justice of the EU.
  9. Dealing a major blow to Theresa May, the EU has rejected the Government’s proposals for avoiding a hard border in Ireland after Brexit.
  10. Theresa May is to face a show of defiance from MPs fighting to keep the UK in a customs union with the EU after 10 select committee chairs tabled a motion aimed at forcing a vote on the issue.
  11. Huw Evans, director-general of the Association of British Insurers, has told the Committee on Exiting the EU that the British Government is taking too long to agree the details of the future UK-EU relationship.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. The House of Commons Library has published a research briefing on the effect of the UK leaving the EU on tourism and the creative industries.
  2. The chief executive of the Channel tunnel operator, Jacques Gounon, has spoken of his optimism over the Brexit negotiations, stating plans to increase the previous estimate of the company’s earnings.
  3. The Financial Times reports that the pound has reached its highest level since the Brexit vote ahead of the start of the EU-UK trade negotiations this week.
  4. Analysis by Global Future has found that each of the Government’s four Brexitscenarios, including a bespoke deal, would leave Britain poorer and cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds each week, finding that Theresa May’s preferred bespoke deal would cost £615m a week.
  5. The UK Government has published a draft statutory instrument — Financial Regulators’ Powers (Technical Standards) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 — to help inform parliamentary scrutiny of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, and to provide Parliament with as much detail as possible on HM Treasury’s proposal to allocate responsibility for ‘onshored’ EU financial services regulation to UK authorities.
  6. The EU External Affairs Sub-Committee has launched a new inquiry into future customs arrangements after Brexit.
  7. The Bank of England is now more optimistic about the immediate effects of Brexit on City of London jobs, revising down earlier estimates of how many roles would migrate to the EU when the UK first leaves the bloc.
  8. Thompson Reuters has undertaken research finding that UK law firms expect a long term decline in work in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.
  9. According to the National Audit Office, the cost of the Brexit divorce bill for the UK could be billions higher than the £35bn-£39bn figure put forward by Theresa May.
  10. In the Financial Times, John Dizard has argued that Brexit will cause problems for America whether or not London keeps its euro derivatives clearing.
  11. The European Investment Bank has reduced its deals with UK venture capital and private equity groups by more than two-thirds following the Brexit vote, putting strain on technology start-ups who rely heavily on its capital for fundraising.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Health

The Guardian reports that the Government is preparing a climbdown in the House of Lords over clinical trials in its key Brexit bill, keeping EU clinical trial regulations which aim to streamline clinical trials across the EU, allowing drugs firms to submit a single cross-EU application – and making it easier for pharmaceutical companies to conduct cross-border trials.

Immigration

The Financial Times argues that the implications of the controversy over the treatment of the Windrush generation are wider than first apparent, with concerns being raised that the Home Office might act similarly toward the EU nationals currently living in the UK who have been promised the right to remain post-Brexit.

The Migration Policy Institute has published a report considering the next steps of implementing a Brexit deal for UK citizens living in the EU-27.

The Financial Times reports that the EU-27 have not thought through future systems for UK citizens living in their countries and will not be able to process the British expats.

The Dutch Government launched an appeal against a ruling from an Amsterdam court to refer the case, in which five Britons are seeking clarification of their rights as EU citizens, to the Court of Justice of the EU.

Election

The Information Commissioner’s Office is investigating Leave.EU and its donor Arron Banks over possible breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Environment

Michael Gove is reportedly facing a backlash from ministers over his plans for a ‘Green Brexit’, as his Cabinet colleagues fear there will be an increase in red tape.