Employment law and migration on a deal/no-deal Brexit

The post below was first published on our Employment blog

The last few weeks have seen a flurry of publications providing a slightly clearer picture of the employment and immigration consequences of a Brexit deal or no-deal.  In addition to the final text of the draft Withdrawal Agreement setting out the arrangements for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on 29 March 2019 and the draft Political Declaration on the future relationship between the EU and the UK, the European Commission has published a Q&A on citizens’ rights under the Withdrawal Agreement and a proposed Regulation on visa-free travel while the UK Government has published a policy paper on citizens’ rights in a no-deal scenario and its much-delayed Immigration White Paper.  So where does all this leave employers? Continue reading

EUROPEAN COMMISSION ANNOUNCES “NO DEAL” CONTINGENCY ACTION PLAN FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES

The European Commission has announced that it has started implementing its Brexit “no deal” Contingency Action Plan given the continuing uncertainty regarding ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement in the UK. This follows the Commission’s communication of 13 November 2018 which provided details of the types of contingency measures that it intended to take in a variety of areas, as well as the 78 preparedness notices from Commission departments on how Brexit will change law and policy. Continue reading

HOW WILL THE “MEANINGFUL VOTE” WORK?

There has been much discussion of whether the UK Government’s attempt to have the negotiated withdrawal deal (the legally binding Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration on future relations) approved by the UK Parliament by way of “meaningful vote” will be successful. The present consensus is that it will not, although the final outcome may depend on whether the EU is able to provide clarifications on the Irish backstop to ease the withdrawal deal’s passage through Parliament. Continue reading

UK Government note clarifies “no deal” and data protection

The UK Government has published a “no deal” note to clarify how data protection law will work in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal. The note confirms that separate draft regulations and more detailed guidance will be published in the next few weeks but, in the meantime, it clarifies at a high level a number of key issues for organisations both in the UK and outside but doing business with the UK. Continue reading

Supreme Court rules on legislative framework for powers returning after Brexit and scope of Scottish Parliament’s legislative competence

SUMMARY

The Supreme Court has handed down its decision on the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill (“the Scottish Bill”), in a judgment which will have important implications for legislative powers returning from Brussels upon Brexit and for the UK’s devolution framework.

In preparation for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the UK Houses of Parliament passed the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (“the UK Withdrawal Act“) in order to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 (“the ECA“) and to achieve legal continuity within each of the jurisdictions of the UK. The Scottish Government had objected, amongst other things, to the UK Withdrawal Act’s allocation of areas of EU competence returning upon Brexit to the Westminster Parliament, as opposed to automatic devolution. On the other hand, Westminster emphasised its desire to ensure that legislative and policy divergence across the UK does not compromise stability and certainty and the operation of the UK’s internal market following Brexit. Continue reading

EUROPEAN COMMISSION ANNOUNCES “NO DEAL” CONTINGENCY ACTION PLAN

The European Commission has announced that it has started implementing its Brexit “no deal” Contingency Action Plan given the continuing uncertainty regarding ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement in the UK.  This follows the Commission’s communication of 13 November 2018 which provided details of the types of contingency measures that it intended to take in a variety of areas, as well as the 78 preparedness notices from Commission departments on how Brexit will change law and policy. Continue reading

CJEU UPHOLDS OPINION OF ADVOCATE GENERAL AND RULES THAT UK CAN UNILATERALLY CANCEL BREXIT BY REVOKING ARTICLE 50

The post below was first published on our PIL blog 

In a landmark decision delivered on an accelerated timetable, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU“) has ruled that a Member State can unilaterally revoke its notice of intention to withdraw from the European Union (“EU“) under Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union (“TEU“), upholding the opinion given by the Advocate General last week (see post).

The CJEU, in Wightman and Others v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, held that an Article 50 TEU notification can be unilaterally revoked if (1) the revocation is submitted in writing to the European Council (“Council“), (2) the revocation is clear and unequivocal, (3) no withdrawal agreement has entered into force, or if no such agreement has been concluded, the two year (or extended) period has not expired, and (4) the revocation is made in accordance with the Member State’s constitutional requirements.

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The View from Brussels – Comments on various “Plans B”

The negotiated withdrawal deal comprising a legally binding Withdrawal Agreement and a Political Declaration on future relations is facing significant opposition in the UK and is now unlikely to be submitted for parliamentary approval before January. The situation is confused and expressions of despair are being heard in Brussels as well as in the UK.  We do not seek in the View from Brussels to make predictions about a largely unpredictable process.  There are many other sources of predictions.  Instead we think that there is value in a brief legal commentary on the various alternative ways forward in the event that the negotiated withdrawal deal is rejected. Continue reading

BREXIT LEGAL GUIDE UPDATE: WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT Q&A

With ongoing uncertainty regarding the UK Parliament’s acceptance or rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration on the future relationship between the UK and EU, both endorsed by the EU Council on 25 November 2018, we have updated the Withdrawal Agreement Q&A section of our Brexit Legal Guide to take into account the latest developments.

The updated section is available here.