Brexit Basics 7: update 20th August

Another of our occasional updates of news and comment on Brexit.

The UK Dimension

  • Ana Bobic and Josephine van Zeben, UK Constitutional Law Association: Negotiating Brexit: Can the UK Have Its Cake and Eat It?: in a word, “No”: the authors conclude that “Any agreement with the EU must deal with the free movement of persons while attempting to maintain free trade in services and goods … this bodes ill for an EEA-light option (without free movement of goods) and makes the WTO route appear more realistic.” [2 August]

  • Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, Constitution Unit, UCL: What does ‘Brexit means Brexit’ mean (if anything)?: suggests that “there are no legal or political reasons why Brexit negotiations must take any particular direction. The electorate voted only to leave the EU, not for any particular exit agreement.” [16 August]
  • Carl Emmerson,  Paul Johnson &  Ian Mitchell, Institute of Fiscal Studies: The EU single market: the value of membership versus access to the UK, Report (R119): “If the UK were able to join the European Economic Area (EEA), we would enjoy near-full membership of the Single Market but likely be obliged to accept EU regulations and free movement of people and make a budgetary contribution. Obtaining membership of the Single Market without meeting these conditions would be unprecedented.” [10 August]
  • Robin Niblett, The World TodayPreparing for the UK’s Brexit Negotiation: the Director of Chatham House on the need for “a simultaneous, cross-referenced, multi-layered negotiation, however difficult and complex this process would be”. [5 August]
  • BBC: EU citizens ‘left in limbo’, says Vote Leave MP Gisela Stuart: report that Gisela Stuart is to head a cross-party research project for centre-left think tank British Future on how to protect the rights of EU citizens resident in the UK after Brexit. She is quoted as saying that EU citizens in the UK have been “left in limbo” since the referendum. So no surprise there, then – perhaps she should have thought of that before advocating withdrawal in the first place. [16 August]
  • Oxford Public Law International: Updated Debate Map: Brexit: indexes analysis of and information about the legal consequences of Brexit, focusing specifically on the mechanics of leaving the EU and the impact on EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU – as well as on trade, the environment, and human rights protection in the UK. The map also includes analysis of treaty withdrawal generally under international law and the extent to which obligations, particularly in the fields of human rights and trade, can be said to continue even after a state’s exit from a treaty. [9 August]

And for a bit of light relief…

UK Parliaments and the courts

  • The House of Commons and the House of Lords are in recess. Both Houses will next sit on Monday 5 September.
  • House of Commons Library, Research Briefing: Referendum campaign literature During the EU referendum campaign there were complaints about the claims put forward in campaign literature and calls for an independent body to oversee the truthfulness of claims made during political campaigns. [8 August]
  • Home Affairs Committee: Europe-wide failure to anticipate and tackle “colossal” migration crisis “After a year-long inquiry, the Home Affairs Committee says EU action to address a crisis it should have foreseen has been ‘too little, too late’, with the EU-Turkey agreement a partial solution at best which raises serious humanitarian, human rights, logistical and legal concerns.” [3 August]
  • The Department for Exiting the European Union has been given hour-long oral question sessions: the first is on Thursday 20 October. It has also published an organogram of its senior management team.

Legal action 

  • The Queen on the application of Hardy v Prime Minister And First Lord Of The Treasury [CO/3527/2016]. The Government must file a detailed response to the claim by 2 September: the two-day hearing will start 15 October.
  • Raymond McCord lodged an application for judicial review at the Northern Ireland High Court on 11 August, contending that it would be unlawful to trigger Article 50  without a vote in Parliament and that withdrawal would undermine the UK’s domestic and international treaty obligations under the Good Friday Agreement and damage the Northern Ireland peace process: his first application for legal aid was turned down, but that decision was overturned on appeal. [17 August]

  • Northern Ireland cross-community group: the BBC reports that Jones Cassidy Brett Solicitors has lodged papers at the Northern Ireland High Court on behalf of a cross-community group including Green Party leader Steven Agnew, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, Sinn Féin’s John O’Dowd, former leader of the PUP Dawn Purvis, disability rights activist Monica Wilson and the Committee on the Administration of Justice human rights group. [20 August]
  • The “People’s Challenge”The Independent reports that “Theresa May’s timetable for negotiating Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union could be derailed by a High Court challenge in October”: pro-EU campaigners who claim that Parliament must approve the start of formal talks have raised £32,000 towards their £50,000 initial legal costs through crowd-funding. [20 August]

The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish (and Crown Dependency) dimensions

  • Paul Bowen QC, Brexit LawBrexit and Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man: “It remains moot whether and at what stage the Brexit process would require the UK to seek the views not only of the governments but also of the legislative assemblies of each of the Crown Dependencies.” [3 August]

Earlier posts on Brexit:

7 thoughts on “Brexit Basics 7: update 20th August

  1. The rejoicing (outside of elite metropolitical circles) over Brexit is intense tho the funny people n dark forces will attempt to mobilisise heaven n earth to defeat it

    • Whilst we attempt to stay with the legal issues and avoid commenting on the politics &c, it seems to the FT and others that a major problem with the delivery of Brexit is the turf wars between the Brexit ministers.

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