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Brexit weekly round up – Week commencing 3 July 2017

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. The Supreme Court annual report has called the hearing of the Government’s appeal against the decision that it did not possess the power to trigger Brexit without Parliament ‘truly exceptional’. The report says R (Miller & Anor) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2017] UKSC 5 has helped draw attention to the judicial system and underline its place in the British constitution.
  2. The Lord Chief Justice has urged the Government to reach early Brexit agreement on legal judgments, criticising the “many months” of delay, meanwhile Lord Neuberger has suggested that Brexit could boost London as a world legal centre.
  3. Baroness Eluned Morgan has told the National Assembly for Wales that there could be a ‘technical flaw’ in the way art 50 was triggered, rendering it vulnerable to a challenge in court.
  4. A paper by the Institute for Government, Brexit and the European Court of Justice, argues that ministers have left fundamental questions unanswered on the status of CJEU decisions after the UK leaves the EU, meaning Parliamentary clarification is required.
  5. A Policy Exchange report has considered whether Ireland will be next to exit the EU following the UK’s departure.
  6. Ian Blackford, the new SNP leader at Westminster, has warned that Theresa May needs a ‘reality check’ on Brexit, stating that legislation will require the consent of the Scottish Parliament.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. NatCen has published the 34th British Social Attitudes survey, A kind-hearted by not soft-hearted country which has considered two popular explanations for the Brexit vote.
  2. The Government Legal Department’s annual report has stated that preparations for leaving the EU will be the “single biggest challenge” for the Government and its lawyers in the coming years.
  3. The Times (paywall) has reported that the Brexit debate has united City law firms, with senior partners agreeing that ‘the worst’ outcome would be a hard Brexit.
  4. Jeremy Hunt has been photographed holding a briefing note which says that a ‘hard Brexit means people fleeing UK’.
  5. Henderson Chambers have published a paper considering the future of dispute resolution post-exit.
  6. According to Michel Barnier, Britain is does not yet fully understand the consequences of leaving the EU, and in his speech at the European Economic and Social Committee he stated that the UK will become a third country post-Brexit. Meanwhile European leaders are questioning whether Theresa May will survive long enough to negotiate the UK’s exit, and the Financial Times has argued that a diminished Britain must be realistic about the Brexit talks. However, The Spectator has argued that a good deal is looking likelier than ever.
  7. Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer has called on Theresa May to drop her ‘red line’ over the CJEU in the hope of retaining access to key EU groups including the medicines agency. Equally, an open letter to the Financial Times from ministers Jeremy Hunt and Greg Clark has stated that the UK wants to continue to work with the EU on medicines. This is discussed in the Financial Times.
  8. Senior civil servants have stated that the cabinet is deeply divided over Britain’s aims in the Brexit negotiations, and there is a turf war with ministers competing to shape the process. Meanwhile Government insiders have reported a change of mood at DExEU, with growing Treasury influence helping force ministers to choose between prioritising economic interests or sovereignty.
  9. Chairman of Open Europe, Lord Wolfson, has argued that less haste and a more open attitude can make a success of Brexit; delivering an economic renaissance for the UK if managed in the right way.
  10. The House of Lords EU External Affairs Sub-Committee has explored the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy post-Brexit in a double evidence session. Meanwhile The Lords also questioned David Davis on the Brexit negotiations.
  11. Anthony Costello, for the LSE Brexit blog, has argued that £1bn in extra public spending is unlikely to compensate for the effects of Brexit on Northern Ireland: a region which is heavily dependent on agriculture and which has benefited greatly from EU funds.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. The Chancellor’s speech at the CBI President’s dinner sought to reassure businesses of a smooth Brexit.
  2. A City of London delegation is heading to Brussels with a secret blueprint for a post-Brexit free trade deal on financial services, aimed at assuaging concerns about damage to employers if they had to move operations to the continent.
  3. Andrew Bailey, head of the FCA, has stated that the UK’s financial watchdog has already been shut out of certain Brexit talks with its EU counterparts.
  4. The Financial Times has suggested that the EU-Japan trade deal poses risks for post-Brexit UK, with big consequences for the car industry and customs union.
  5. Warning against damaging uncertainty, the CBI is pushing to stay in the single market until the Brexit deal is sealed, and the push for a long transition period is set to be at the forefront of a reception at Chevening hosted by David Davis for the UK’s most senior business figures.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Data Protection

According to the Information Commissioner’s International Strategy report for 2017-21, it plans to make the UK the leading data protection authority post-Brexit.

Health

Pharma industry leaders have warned that Brexit must not be allowed to disrupt the development of new medicines to treat cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Immigration

British citizens living in the Netherlands have raised a number of concerns about their futures post-Brexit.

Nick Clegg has argued that the door is open to a Brexit deal on freedom of movement, as the view that to curtail freedom of movement requires losing access to the single market is “self-serving nonsense”.

According to the Financial Times, British businesses are lobbying for a visa system that allows unrestricted entry into the UK for talented overseas entrepreneurs and tech experts post-Brexit.

Campaign groups British in Europe and the3million have said that the UK proposal over EU citizens would severely reduce the rights enjoyed by Britons living in Europe.

Environment

Lawyers are reportedly planning to stop the UK dropping EU rules on the environment post-Brexit.

Meanwhile the UKELA has highlighted the challenges facing environmental law following the UK’s exit from the bloc.

Herbert Smith Freehills has discussed how the UK could navigate the post-Brexit energy market.

The House of Lords has published a paper on Brexit and fisheries, whilst the UK begins to withdraw from the London Fisheries Convention.