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Brexit weekly round up – Week commencing 23 October 2017

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. In a podcast for the FT, Siona Jenkins has examined questions of the legitimacy of the Brexit process and the impact on our democracy of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill currently going through Parliament.
  2. The British Academy and Royal Irish Academy has considered the Good Friday agreement, Brexit, and rights.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. The Select Committee on Exiting the EU has considered oral evidence on the progress of the UK’s negotiations on EU withdrawal.
  2. The European commission president’s chief of staff has denied being behind leaks of conversations at Theresa May’s recent dinner meeting in Brussels, which described May “begging for help” and appearing “anxious”, “tormented”, “despondent and discouraged”. Meanwhile Theresa May is set to update MPs about Brexit talks amid a row over the alleged leak, and she has told MPs that she is waiting for the EU to decide what future relationship it wants with the UK. However Donald Tusk has stated that the future of Brexit is up to the UK.
  3. Stefanie Walter, for the LSE Brexit Blog, has argued that Europeans are supportive of the EU’s hard line in the Brexit negotiations.
  4. The EU External Affairs Sub-Committee is taking evidence from Sir Alan Duncan MP, Minister for Europe and the Americas, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as part of its inquiry, Brexit: sanctions policy.
  5. Michael Bloomberg, billionaire media mogul and former mayor of New York, has stated that Brexit is the “single stupidest thing any country has ever done” apart from the election of Donald Trump as US president. Meanwhile Theresa May is planning to bring in the head of the Brexit referendum campaign to overhaul the Tory machine and reassure Leave-supporting MPs and activists.
  6. The Attorney-General, Jeremy Wright QC, has stated that he is privileged to work on Brexit and has denied offering to resign after the successful Miller case in the Supreme Court.
  7. Following David Davis’ suggestion that MPs could vote on the Brexit deal after March 2019, Dexeu has issued a statement clarifying that Parliament will vote on the deal before the UK’s departure from the bloc.
  8. It has been reported that Labour has identified twelve amendments backed by rebel Conservative MPs to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill that it will support if ministers reject the opposition party’s demands for changes to the legislation. The Lib Dems have offered to support the Bill if the Government agrees to a number of Liberal Democrat amendments, on: maintaining EU nationals’ rights; ensuring the Good Friday Agreement is not undone; and a referendum on the final deal.
  9. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has suggested that a second Brexit referendum could be possible if Parliament reject the deal eventually struck between the Government and the EU-27 (although this is not a position supported by the Labour leader, it was confirmed subsequently). EU president Donald Tusk reportedly still thinks Brexit can be reversed.
  10. Politico has written an article arguing that the Brexit negotiations will become even harder when the trade discussions begin.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. The Commons Treasury Select Committee has launched an inquiry into the UK’s economic relationship with the EU. Meanwhile the Lords Select Committee has heard evidence from TheCityUK regarding prospects for a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
  2. Liam Fox has sought to narrow the focus for a post-Brexit US trade deal to the services sector, amid growing concerns regarding an accord on goods and agriculture.
  3. Five major lobby groups have written to David Davis to urge him to quickly establish a Brexit transition deal that mirrors existing arrangements or risk losing British jobs and investment.
  4. The Managing Director of the Loan Market Association, Nicholas Voisey, has written to the Lords European Union Select Committee to submit evidence to the ‘Brexit: deal or not deal’ Inquiry.
  5. The National Audit Office has published a paper considering the issues and challenges to the Government’s management of the border in light of the UK’s planned departure from the EU. Meanwhile the Treasury Committee has heard oral evidence on the UK’s economic relationship with the EU.
  6. Nicola Sturgeon has demanded that Theresa May urgently clarify her plans for a Brexit transition deal, stating that she is deeply concerned that businesses will soon start implementing contingency plans that would be ‘deeply damaging’ for the Scottish economy.
  7. The UK Trade Policy Observatory has considered the impact of Brexit on cross-channel trade and the practical challenges facing the UK economy post-Brexit.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Competition and Regulatory

The House of Lords Select Committee on the EU Internal Market has published the transcript of the uncorrected oral evidence it received in its consideration of Brexit and competition.

Immigration

The Commons Scottish Affairs Committee has considered how well the immigration system meets Scotland’s needs, particularly examining how easy it will be for non-UK citizens to move to Scotland after Brexit.

The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has been warned by a cross-party group of MEPs that her plans to force EU nationals to add their names to a register in the transition period immediately after Brexit would be illegal and unacceptable to the European Parliament.

Migration Watch UK has stated that movement between the UK and the EU should remain largely unhindered except for those who wish to work for whom a number of specific schemes should be made available.

Boris Johnson has stated that EU nationals’ rights will be protected “whatever happens”.

Education

Jo Johnson, Universities Minister, has criticised a fellow Conservative MP for sending a controversial letter asking all UK universities for details of who taught their students about Brexit.

Events

Chambers and Partners is hosting an a seminar on Brexit 29 November 2017.