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These Brexit highlights bring you a summary of the latest Brexit news and legislation updates from across a range of LexisNexis® practice areas, collated on 15 May 2020.
This section contains key overarching Brexit news headlines.
On 15 May, following the delayed third round of talks on the future UK-EU relationship, UK Chief Negotiator David Frost issued a statement, reporting ‘very little progress towards agreement on the most significant outstanding issues’. EU Chief negotiator Michel Barnier made a similar assessment in his statement. In the remarks, both sides thanked negotiating teams for their continued work and determination to make the talks work remotely, however despite a ‘good understanding’ of each side’s negotiating positions and proposed legal texts, there remain strong disagreements. The UK insists that the EU must change its ‘ideological approach’ towards level playing field requirements and fisheries if a mutually beneficial agreement is to be reached. The EU calls on the UK to ‘change its strategy’ and ‘be more realistic’ if it wants to strike a deal. The UK plans to publish its draft legal texts next week. The next round of talks are scheduled for the week commencing 1 June 2020.
See: LNB News 15/05/2020 62.
Negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship resumed on 11 May 2020. Prior to the latest round of talks, UK chief negotiator, David Frost, took to Twitter on 9 May 2020, to announce that the UK team had shared a 'complete draft Free Trade Agreement' (FTA) with the EU negotiators, as well as a set of agreements on a range of related issues including transport, energy and civil nuclear co-operation, law enforcement and fisheries (among others). The proposed texts have not been published, but are said to cover the 'full ground' of the negotiations and set out the legal terms of the government's approach outlined in February 2020.
See: LNB News 11/05/2020 72.
The Lords European Union Committee (EUC) has published correspondence with Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Cabinet Office Minister, Michael Gove, responding to queries regarding the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on UK negotiations with the EU and preparations for the end of transition, in view of the government’s position ‘set out in statute, that the transition period must not be extended’.
See: LNB News 14/05/2020 3.
The European Commission has published a notice containing guidance on citizens' rights under Part 2 of the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU. The guidance note is for information purposes and provides a detailed outline of the key provisions, and their intended purpose, meaning and application to aid Member States with domestic implementation. Publication of the guidance is timely, coinciding with correspondence from the UK government highlighting several local 'instances' of 'misapplication' and 'misunderstanding' of the Withdrawal Agreement within the EU.
See: LNB News 14/05/2020 90.
This section contains Brexit news headlines relating to Brexit-related primary legislation and legislative preparation for Brexit generally.
The Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA) has published a briefing on the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, ahead of its second reading in the House of Commons on 18 May 2020.
See: LNB News 14/05/2020 63.
This section contains updates on the latest final and draft Brexit SIs laid in Parliament, plus updates on proposed negative Brexit SIs laid for sifting.
SI 2020/504: This enactment is made in exercise of legislative powers under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EU(W)A 2018) in preparation for IP completion day. This enactment amends one retained EU legislation in relation to public passenger transport services in order to address failures of retained EU law to operate effectively and other deficiencies arising from the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. It comes into force on IP completion day.
See: LNB News 13/05/2020 41.
SI 2020/Draft: This draft enactment is laid in exercise of legislative powers under the EU(W)A 2018 in preparation for IP completion day. This draft enactment is proposed to amend three pieces of UK secondary legislation and one retained EU legislation in relation to INSPIRE legislative architecture in order to address failures of retained EU law to operate effectively and other deficiencies arising from the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. It comes into force partly immediately before IP completion day, and fully on IP completion day.
See: LNB News 14/05/2020 38.
The Commons European Statutory Instruments Committee (ESIC) and the Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee (SLSC) are responsible for the sifting process under the EU(W)A 2018. These committees scrutinise proposed negative Brexit SIs and make recommendations on the appropriate parliamentary procedure before the instruments are laid in Parliament. This bulletin outlines the latest updates and recommendations, collated on 15 May 2020.
See News Analysis: Brexit SI Bulletin—latest drafts and sifting committee reports, 15 May 2020.
Under the EU(W)A 2018, before certain statutory instruments are formally laid in Parliament, they have to go through a preliminary sifting process to determine the appropriate parliamentary procedure. The latest draft Brexit SIs laid for sifting are outlined here. Subjects covered include amendments to legislation in the field of environmental protection. The effect of these amendments is to allow the Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs and Welsh Ministers in devolved areas to continue to exercise powers under the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999 to regulate activities capable of causing environmental pollution, post-IP completion day.
See News Analysis: Brexit SI Bulletin—drafts laid for sifting on 13 May 2020.
Under the EU(W)A 2018, before certain statutory instruments are formally laid in Parliament, they have to go through a preliminary sifting process to determine the appropriate parliamentary procedure. The latest draft Brexit SIs laid for sifting are outlined here. Subjects covered include amendments to legislation in the field of maritime pilotage and port services. The effect of these amendments is to ensure that related domestic legislation and retained direct EU legislation will continue to function effectively post-IP completion day.
See News Analysis: Brexit SI Bulletin—drafts laid for sifting on 7 May 2020.
This section contains key Brexit news hand-picked by Lexis®PSL lawyers from their own practice areas.
Brexit Bulletin—UK targets ‘ambitious’ FTA with Japan
The Department for International Trade (DIT) has published its negotiating objectives for a free trade agreement (FTA) between the UK and Japan, building on the existing EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, as part of its plan to seek FTAs with ‘like-minded democracies’. While the Prime Minister’s Task Force Europe focuses on the UK-EU future relationship, the DIT is focusing efforts further afield. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU, the UK may negotiate trade deals with third countries, provided those arrangements do not come into effect until after the transition period ends (unless otherwise agreed by the EU).
See: LNB News 13/05/2020 86.
For further updates from Commercial, see: Commercial weekly highlights—overview.
Recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters in the UK post-Brexit
The UK Law Societies’ Joint Brussels Office has published a paper about the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. It highlights that the Brussels I Recast Regulation 1215/2012 and the 2007 Lugano Convention provide together the legislative framework which governs the recognition and enforcement of judgments on civil and commercial matters until the exit of the UK from the EU, currently scheduled for 31 December 2020. The UK has shared its intention to accede to the Lugano Convention, which must be approved by all signatories. Meanwhile, the development of ‘another broadly similar international framework, the 2019 Hague Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgements in Civil and Commercial Matters (the Judgements Convention)’ might offer other benefits for the UK if multiple countries ratify it. One of the expected consequences of the Judgements Convention is the enhancement of ‘access to justice for citizens and businesses engaging in international activity’, which, according to the UK Law Societies’ Joint Brussels Office, could 'lead to an increase in the number of international transactions'.
See: LNB News 13/05/2020 97.
For further updates from Dispute Resolution, see: Dispute Resolution weekly highlights—overview.
FMLC highlights areas of uncertainty in proposed overseas fund regime
The Financial Markets Law Committee (FMLC) published its response to HM Treasury’s March 2020 consultation on a proposed ‘overseas funds regime’ (OFR) aimed at allowing investment funds domiciled overseas to access the UK market once the post-Brexit implementation period has ended. In its response, the FMLC highlights a number of uncertainties around the criteria, timing and process of the equivalence assessments under the proposed OFR regime, and calls for clarification.
See: LNB News 12/05/2020 12.
For further updates from Financial Services, see: Financial Services weekly highlights—overview.
Over 3.5 million applications made to EU Settlement Scheme to date
The Home Office has announced that, by 14 May 2020, it has received over 3.5 million applications to the EU Settlement Scheme. Minister for Future Borders and Immigration, Kevin Foster, stated: ‘EU citizens are part of the fabric of our society. They are our friends, family and neighbours, enriching our culture and community. I am therefore pleased we’ve already had more than 3.5 million applications, with over a year left until the deadline.’
See: LNB News 14/05/2020 21.
For further updates from Immigration, see: Immigration monthly highlights—overview.
Brexit Bulletin—ESC publishes supplementary correspondence with government departments on a range of Brexit queries arising in the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
In correspondence published by the European Scrutiny Committee (ESC), government departments have been asked to provide an update on aspects of the UK position post-Brexit and the future UK-EU relationship, particularly in relation to 'the EU's cumulative financial response to the coronavirus crisis, and [its] potential implications for the UK and the British taxpayer during the post-Brexit transition period and beyond'. Issues covered include EU funding programmes, the Temporary Framework for State aid, the Global Margin for Commitments, the 'SURE' loan facility, the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, the authorisation procedure for export of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), EU recommendations and communications on a contact tracing app, trade preferences for developing countries, the Proposal for a Regulation as regards specific measures to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in the fishery and aquaculture sector and the Proposed Council Decision on EU/ASEAN comprehensive air transport agreement negotiations.
See: LNB News 12/05/2020 54.
Updated briefing paper on Sewel Convention published
The House of Commons Library has published an updated briefing paper, exploring the origins of the Sewel Convention, its development under the UK devolution settlements, its application to Brexit legislation and proposals for reform.
See: LNB News 14/05/2020 45.
For further updates from Public Law, see: Public Law weekly highlights—overview.
LexTalk® is an online community forum which gives Lexis®PSL subscribers the opportunity to post questions, hold conversations, participate in discussions and share best practice. It has been designed to provide a secure place for legal professionals to discuss legal developments, offer and receive peer support, and gain a sense of up-to-date market practice and advances in real-time. You can access and post questions on all of the dedicated practice area forums, including a dedicated community for Lexis®PSL Brexit.
There is also a LexTalk® community for legal practitioners to ask coronavirus (COVID-19) questions. The current trending discussions include:
● How can I keep up to date on the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) legislation?
Click here to sign up and meet like-minded community members, create a profile, connect, share, and start participating today! Alternatively, you can access LexTalk® on the key resources tab on your Practice Area home page.
Here is a sample of recent Brexit journal articles available subject to subscription:
● Analysis—State aid under the Northern Ireland Protocol: In this article, George Peretz and Alfred Artley, putting the Northern Ireland Protocol’s State aid provisions under the microscope, gauge their importance not only for Northern Ireland, but also for the UK as a whole in light of the added complexity to ‘any attempts…to set up an independent WTO-style anti-subsidy regime in future’. See: Tax Journal, Issue 1487, 11
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