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.
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, announced eight new bills which relate to Brexit ‘to ensure an orderly withdrawal from the EU’ . This includes the Repeal Bill which will (i) repeal the European Communities Act 1972 on the day the UK formally leaves the EU and simultaneously convert all EU law into UK law, so that the first day following exit does not place the UK in a legal vacuum; (ii) give the government temporary powers to make secondary legislation to allow corrections to be made to laws that do not operate appropriately once the UK has left the EU and to allow changes to be made to domestic law to reflect the content of any withdrawal agreement under Article 50; and (iii) replicate the common UK frameworks created by EU law in UK law, and maintain the scope of devolved decision-making powers immediately after exit. The other Brexit bills relate to the customs regime, trade policy, immigration, fisheries, agriculture, nuclear safeguards and international sanctions.
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.
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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.