Brexit

The Prime Minister called the June election in order to strengthen her domestic political position before the start of Brexit negotiations. She appears to have achieved the opposite and we now have a minority government. Nevertheless, for the time being the UK Government appears set on continuing with its pre election policy for a “hard” Brexit. It remains to be seen whether this is politically possible.

The two year period in which the UK and the EU will negotiate the UK’s terms of withdrawal from the EU remains unchanged and moves on relentlessly. Formal Brexit negotiations with the EU started on Monday 19 June.

Timeline

If no agreement on the arrangements for the UK’s withdrawal is reached, Brexit will occur on 29 March 2019 unless all Member States unanimously agree otherwise.

The Queen’s Speech, on 21 June 2017, announced eight new bills which relate to Brexit ‘to ensure an orderly withdrawal from the EU’ . This included the Repeal Bill and bills relate to the customs regime, trade policy, immigration, fisheries, agriculture, nuclear safeguards and international sanctions.

On 13 July 2017 the Repeal Bill - now called the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - was introduced into the House of Commons and had its first reading, which is a formal stage when there is no debate. MPs will consider the Bill at the Second Reading but the date of that reading is not yet known. This bill will (i) repeal the European Communities Act 1972 on the day the UK formally leaves the EU; (ii) convert EU law as it stands at the moment of exit into UK law before the UK leaves the EU, so that the first day following exit does not place the UK in a legal vacuum; (iii) create powers to make secondary legislation, including temporary powers to allow corrections to be made to laws that would otherwise no longer operate appropriately once the UK has left the EU and to implement a withdrawal agreement and (iv) maintains the current scope of devolved decision-making powers in areas currently governed by EU law.

The UK’s exit from the European Union does, however, raise crucial issues as to the potential legal consequences and impact on business activities in the UK.

Our Brexit microsite:

Our Brexit team has comprehensive knowledge of the consequences and considerations for businesses of the UK leaving the EU and is available to answer your queries today

We will regularly update the microsite as events unfold and the implications for businesses become clearer.

 

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This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.