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Brexit weekly round up – Week commencing 24 July 2017

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. For the Financial Times, Wolfgang Munchau has explained that any request to revoke Article 50 notice would be complex, and require consent from the European Council.
  2. The House of Lords International Relations Committee has launched its inquiry into the UK and the Balkans, with a particular focus on the UK’s approach to the region beyond Brexit.
  3. The Scottish Government has stated that Scottish and Welsh ministers are to discuss Brexit, arguing that changes need to be made to the EU Withdrawal Bill. Meanwhile the Irish Prime Minister has stated that the Irish Government will not design a border for Brexit.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. The International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, has stated that, whilst the cabinet is prepared for a transitional period, the Brexit deal should not ‘drag on’ until after the next election. However, Isobel Hardman in The Spectator has argued that Cabinet agreement on Brexit does not equate to Tory harmony. Meanwhile Philip Hammond has confirmed multiple reports that the cabinet has agreed to seek a transitional period of around three years, ending before the next election due in 2022.
  2. The OUPblog has considered what will happen to international litigation post-Brexit, whilst the Lord Chief Justice has stated that, as the negotiations for Britain’s withdrawal from the EU are under way, it is important to emphasise the unique strength of English law and dispute resolution in the UK. He also warned that failure to ensure mutual recognition of court judgments in the UK and EU in advance of Brexit will threaten British business and the status of English law. Meanwhile, nearly 40% of litigation solicitors are reportedly predicting a “significant flight of work from the UK” once the country leaves the EU.
  3. For the LSE Brexit blog, Anna Tsiftsoglou has explained why the CJEU is such a vital issue in the Brexit negotiations.
  4. The European Policy Centre has published an article considering how the Brexit negotiations are viewed from the other side of the Channel. Meanwhile Professor Anand Menon has argued that no deal will bring a ‘chaotic Brexit’ to the fore.
  5. Parliament’s Informal Brexit Liaison Group has held its first meeting, considering the issues of transferring the European Union acquis and ensuring good regulation of financial services in the UK.
  6. Guy Verhofstadt and the Brexit Steering Group of the European Parliament have issued a statement following the second round of negotiations between the UK and EU.
  7. The UK has been urged by individuals including William Hague and former Spanish foreign affairs secretary, Ann Palacio, to formally propose a role for itself in the EU’s foreign policy after Brexit by taking up observer status at the twice-weekly meetings of diplomats that shape the bloc’s relations with the rest of the world. However, Brexit is raising questions over Britain’s future role in European defence projects, with the UK notably absent from France and Germany’s plans for closer defence cooperation and development of the EU’s next generation fighter jet.
  8. The Local Government Association has called for more certainty from ministers to guarantee that regeneration projects will not lose out when the UK leaves the EU bloc in 2019.
  9. Whilst Jeremy Corbyn states that a Labour Government would leave the Single Market, but seek a tariff-free deal. In addition, he claims the party has “not decided on whether Labour’s policy should be to remain in the customs union”, the party’s trade spokesman, Barry Gardiner, has stated that remaining in the customs union post-Brexit would be a “disaster”, demonstrating divisions in Labour.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. Liam Fox is launching a fresh attempt to boost the UK’s trade relationship with the US, arguing that the commercial ties could be worth an additional £40bn in the decade following Brexit. He has also demanded a meeting with the BBC’s director general in a letter where he complains that the corporation consistently runs negative stories about the economic effects of Brexit.
  2. A prominent group of Conservative MPs has reportedly called on cabinet ministers to accelerate the preparation of Britain’s ports for Brexit in order to prevent “gridlock” for the British economy.
  3. Greg Clark, Britain’s business secretary, has stated there will be no post-Brexit protectionism as he steps up his campaign with Philip Hammond to keep borders open.
  4. Liam Fox, Boris Johnson, and David Davis are pursuing discussions for post-Brexit trade and relationships in tours in Australia, the US and Mexico, and Germany.
  5. For the HuffPost Blog, Conservative MP Suella Fernandes has argued that Brexit is a chance to reignite Britain as a vibrant trading nation, but that for this we need to leave the internal market and customs union. Labour’s trade spokesman, Barry Gardiner, has stated that remaining in the customs union post-Brexit would be a “disaster”.
  6. Michel Barnier has stated that the lack of clarity from the UK means that early talks on a post-Brexit trade deal in the autumn are ‘increasingly unlikely’.
  7. Analysis by think-tank Centre for Cities has found that cities with large, high-skilled service sectors – mainly in the south of England – will be hardest hit by the likely downturn in trade post-Brexit, but are also best-placed to adapt to the economic shocks ahead.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Criminal

The House of Lords EU committee has published a report considering Brexit and the judicial oversight of the European Arrest Warrant.

Competition and Regulatory

The House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee has launched an inquiry into UK competition policy post-Brexit, whilst the Lords EU Financial Affairs Sub-Committee has begun a new inquiry into the future of financial regulation and supervision following Brexit.

Employment

According to the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, businesses are finding that London workers are already beginning the Brexit exodus.

The EU has reassured more than 1,000 British staffers who work for the EU Commission that they can stay in the institution after Brexit though Gunther Oettingerm, the HR and EU budget commissioner, has warned that the workers may not be able to stay in their current posts due to potential conflicts of interest.

Immigration

Amber Rudd has written an opinion piece for the Financial Times arguing that the new approach to immigration must achieve sustainable levels of net migration whilst ensuring the needs of UK businesses and wider society are met.

The Home Secretary has also asked for a major investigation and analysis of EU migration, though many argue that, coming a year after the referendum, this is too late.

However, the immigration minister Brandon Lewis has stated that freedom of movement will end as soon as Britain leaves the EU.

Sport

The House of Lords Library has published a briefing considering the impact of leaving the EU on professional sport.

Environment

Michael Gove has set out his vision for delivering a green Brexit.
However he has also warned that the Welsh food and farming industry is in danger of “being put back decades” when the UK leaves the EU.

A House of Lords report has warned that farmers will be pressured by imports from countries that use cheaper methods to produce food post-Brexit.

Ireland is considering options for increasing its energy security after the UK leaves the EU, including a €1bn electricity link with France and a €500m import terminal for liquefied natural gas.