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Brexit weekly round up – Week commencing 28 August 2017

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. The Government published the programme for the third round of negotiations with the European Commission.
  2. Some lawyers are predicting that Government proposals for cross-border co-operation in civil law disputes signal recognition that an Efta-like arrangement will be needed, depending on just how close the UK wants to remain to the EU’s single market and customs union. The Financial Times considers that the UK is attempting fudge its approach to the CJEU ‘red line’.
  3. Stating that there is an enormous number of issues needing to be settled before the EU will move onto the trade deal phase of the UK-EU future relationship, Comission President Juncker has stated that none of the Government’s Brexit policy papers were ‘satisfactory’. Meanwhile EU’s chief negotiator Michael Barnier has warned the UK to start negotiating ‘seriously’ and EU diplomats who were briefed by a senior UK official have stated that the promise of greater clarity on Brexit bill is not being kept by London. However, the UK negotiating team is reportedly exasperated by what it considers to be an inflexible approach by Brussels.
  4. British negotiators have reportedly asked EU officials about the legal principles Brussels believes should be used to calculate exit bill, seeking legal clarification over the settlement. Meanwhile Liam Fox has insisted the UK will not be “blackmailed” into paying an excessive amount for its ‘divorce bill’ from the EU.
  5. The UK has issued technical notes identifying the supply of nuclear material and the question of spent fuel and radioactive waste as issues to be addressed in the withdrawal discussions.
  6. John Connolly, for the LSE Brexit Blog, has argued that the impact of Brexit on management of cross-border threats within the EU and the implications for the UK’s influence on relevant EU policy-making must be given more attention.
  7. Jean-Claude Juncker and Tony Blair are set to have talks in Brussels next week, amid claims that Blair could try to undermine the UK negotiations on the Brexit deal.
  8. The Financial Times has reported that leave voters in Staines are frustrated by confused messages from the Government, the complexity of the talks, and the slow Brexit process. The Centre for European Reform’s Charles Grant has argued that the problem with the Brexit talks is that there are hardliners on both sides . . .

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. Theresa May has stated that the UK is looking to replicate the EU’s trade deals after Brexit, before recasting its own agreements in the future.
  2. Disappointingly for May, Japanese officials have signalled that they would not rush into free trade talks with Britain. Shinzo Abe, the Japanese Prime Minister, has expressed concerns about the Brexit process, stating that many Japanese companies invested in the UK as a gateway to the EU and requesting reassurances about whether similar arrangements will continue in the future.
  3. Following Labour’s announcement that it would keep the UK in the Single Market during the transitional period, Theresa May is reportedly facing renewed pressure from her own party. A cross-party group of pro-European MPs is urging the Government to keep Britain in the EU customs union to avoid a “Brexit bureaucracy bombshell” for UK firms.
  4. EU officials reportedly believe there will have to be a ‘standalone’ Irish border deal post-Brexit, dismissing the UK customs waiver proposal.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

 Education

UK university vice-chancellors have warned that, as Europeans living in the UK worry about their future rights, European universities are using the opportunity to headhunt the brightest and best academics.

Environment

The UK Government has guaranteed EU funding for another year for Scottish farmers and crofters, meaning that around 11,300 farmers will benefit from a £42 million funding extension.