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Brexit weekly round up – Week commencing 9 Apr 2018

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

Brexit and the UK constitution

  1. The Times claims that the UK has enacted more than 700 laws arising from the need to comply with EU directives and regulations since the Brexit referendum.
  2. The Government is reportedly preparing to head to the Supreme Court to challenge the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill – passed by the Scottish Parliament in a bid to prevent a ‘power grab’ by Westminster.
  3. Vote Leave broke spending limits on industrial scale, according to a third whistleblower, a former staffer.

The UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU

  1. Brexit Secretary David Davis has argued that MPs will need detail of UK-EU relationship before Brexit, as without a ‘substantive’ idea of the future picture, they could veto a final Brexit deal. He reportedly clashed with Whitehall over this demand as splits emerged over how ambitious the UK should be in seeking a trade and relationship deal between now and October. Nonetheless, David Davis won the internal battle, sending a letter to Whitehall official urging them to come up with key Brexit goals ahead of an intense summer of talks with the European Commission.
  2. According to PoliticsHome, Spain’s foreign minister Alfonso Dastis has stated that he hopes for a deal with the UK on Gibraltar by the summer.
  3. Speaking in the wake of celebrations of 20 years of the Good Friday agreement, Tony Blair has argued that it is essential to avoid the disaster of a hard Irish border.
  4. Guy Verhofstadt has stated that it is in the interests of everyone to make Brexit work, as the European Parliament seeks clarity on the future relations with the UK.
  5. As the European Commission and EU Member States begin discussions to develop the next set of cohesion policy programmes, the Government has published a position paper on the future of cohesion policy.
  6. The Financial Times reports that plans have begun to gather materials for the creation of a Brexit Museum, creating a ‘centre for European disintegration studies’.

Impact of Brexit on the economy

  1. The European Commission has issued a notice stating that the common fisheries policy rules will cease to apply in the UK from the 30 March 2019 (the withdrawal date), unless other arrangements are settled in a withdrawal agreement.
  2. Deloitte has found that UK CFOs have become ‘less pessimistic’ about the short-term effects of Brexit following the transition announcement, with weak growth replacing Brexit as a top concern.
  3. The IoD has published a policy report Going global: Trends in trade, recognising the emphasis Brexit is putting on our trading arrangements with the rest of the world.
  4. HMRC is so busy preparing for Brexit that it has reportedly been forced to cancel or delay many of its projects designed to modernise the service for taxpayers.
  5. The CBI report entitled Smooth Operations suggesting that there will be greater costs than opportunities arising if the UK moves away from EU rules and regulations has been criticised by John Longworth, writing for Brexit Central, who has argued that the report seeks to undermine the Government’s negotiating position just as the Brexit technical talks are about to commence in earnest.
  6. For the Centre for European Reform, Sam Lowe has argued that a future UK-EU customs union should not be ruled out.
  7. Lawyers from Hogan Lovells have warned that even minor tinkering with the wording of former EU legislation in the Brexit transition process could affect British business “dramatically”.
  8. The Financial Conduct Authority has stated that it has had to postpone several projects and cut back on some of its ‘non-critical’ operations as it will need to focus on the ‘particularly challenging year’ ahead of Brexit, and spend an extra £16bn over the next 12 months.

Brexit as it affects Practice Areas:

Employment

The Centre for London has published research finding that London’s workforce considers that jobs and businesses will be most affected by Brexit, as well as automation, migration and wage pressures.

Immigration

The Migration Observatory has found that domestic abuse victims, elderly people and children in the UK are all at ‘greater risk’ of becoming illegally resident after Brexit, as they are more likely to struggle to secure ‘settled status’.

Environment

The Institute for Government has published a paper considering devolution after Brexit in relation to the management of the environment, agriculture and fisheries.

The UK in a Changing Europe has published a paper on art 50 one year on as related to the environment.