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Brexit weekly round up – Week commencing 25 September 2017

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. Sir Paul Jenkins QC (Hon) will speak at the EU Withdrawal Bill Summit on Tuesday 21 November, on the practical implications of the Great Repeal Bill.
  2. The House of Lords Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee has issued a highly critical report of the Government’s plans for legislating around the UK’s departure from the EU stating that, as drafted, the Bill gave ministers “excessively wide legislative powers beyond what is necessary to ensure UK law works properly when the UK leaves the EU”.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. The House of Lords EU Select Committee has launched an inquiry considering the key components of any transition deal, as well as the implications of a ‘no-deal’ scenario.
  2. The Telegraph reports that the Brexit rift between Boris Johnson and Philip Hammond has deepened, with the Chancellor warning that the Brexit transition period may need to be extended until after the next election. The Foreign Secretary has demanded a series of assurances, including that Britain does not adopt any new EU rules and regulations after it formally leaves in March 2019. At the launch of think-tank, the Institute for Free Trade, Johnson stated that implementation period should be kept short, so Britain can strike new trade deals – in defiance of Theresa May’s Brexit strategy.
  3. Prompted by Theresa May’s Florence speech, the House of Lords EU Select Committee is reportedly to examine the legal basis for, and potential costs to the UK of, a time-limited Brexit transitional period. Following the end of the fourth round of talks, EU Chief Negotiator Barnier praised that ‘new dynamic’ brought by the Florence speech, but warned that obstacles remain. The European Parliament’s draft resolution states that the progress on the EU priorities – safeguarding EU and UK citizens’ rights, clarifying the UK’s financial commitments and resolving the Republic of Ireland/Northern Ireland border issue – has not been sufficient so far, with Barnier warning that Brexit talks could take months to progress into the next phase and Commission President Juncker ruling out any chance that EU leaders will decide next month to unlock the next stage of the Brexit talks.
  4. Brussels has rejected the UK’s calls for speedy talks on the transition deal, though following the Florence speech, British negotiators are reportedly aiming to translate the constructive approach into a breakthrough in this round of talks.
  5. According to analysis by UKTPO, as negotiating a bespoke transitional deal will be almost as complex as negotiating full Brexit, the only practical approach is to remain within the EU for the transitional period, effectively extending the 2 year negotiation period. In a speech, Theresa May has warned against creating “needless” barriers to trade with the EU, but has recognised that the UK cannot keep the benefits of the Single Market without its obligations.
  6. The Financial Times reports that around twenty civil servants are set to leave the Brexit department and follow Oliver Robbins to the new Cabinet Office unit.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. Northern Ireland farmers have called for a five-year post-Brexit transition, as the Livestock and Mean Commission has found that WTO rules will have a heavy impact on trade.
  2. According to a survey by Nottingham and Stanford universities of 2,500 companies, businesses are afraid that Brexit will impact sales. Meanwhile Sir Martin Donnelly has stated that having no access to the single market would be a huge threat to British jobs as British businesses will no longer be on a level playing field.
  3. The FCA has cautioned against post-Brexit changing of investment rules, stating that altering the rules governing asset managers could in fact be detrimental to Europe. Meanwhile Denmark intends to woo London-based asset managers to move to the Scandinavian country post-Brexit.
  4. Andrew Opie for the UK in a Changing Europe has argued that it is essential that the Brexit negotiations prioritise food trade.
  5. The Independent has reported that the European Parliament is to call for Northern Ireland to stay in the Single Market and Customs Union in order to protect the integrity of the EU’s borders.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Employment

The EurWORK annual review for 2016, Developments in working life in Europe, includes consideration of the potential impacts of Brexit.

Immigration

Guy Verhofstadt has written to Amber Rudd stating that the UK treatment of foreign nationals “could colour” MEPs’ view on Brexit.

Theresa May has met German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a summit in Estonia in a bid to push for progress in Brexit talks, with both leaders agreeing on the importance of settling the issue of EU citizens’ rights as soon as possible.

Tens of thousands more UK citizens applied for citizenship in other EU countries in the 12 months after the Brexit vote than in the previous year, according to data obtained by the BBC.

Environment

For the Centre for European Reform, Sir Philip Lowe has written that if Britain quits the EU’s single energy market, it will have to invest more in electricity generation, pay higher prices and accept a bigger state role in the energy sector.