Skip to content

Brexit round-up – 11/09/20

Welcome to this, our latest Brexit round-up. Each week we provide a succinct round-up of the latest news surrounding the Brexit process, so you can keep abreast of the issues which are likely to affect your organisation.

Deadline of 15 October 2020 for Brexit deal, says PM

On 7 September 2020, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a short statement ahead of the eighth round of negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship starting on 8 September 2020, in which he said that there needs to be an agreement by the time of the European Council meeting on 15 October 2020, if it is to be in force by the end of 2020. He said that if an agreement is not reached by then, then both sides “should both accept that and move on”, and that there would then be a “trading arrangement with the EU like Australia’s.” He said that there was still time for an agreement to be put in place but that “we cannot and will not compromise on the fundamentals of what it means to be an independent country to get it.”

For more information please click here.

Internal Markets Bill

On Monday, the Government introduced the Internal Markets Bill. The new bill sets out rules for the operation of the UK internal market – trade between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – after the end of the Brexit transition period in January. It proposes that there be no new checks on goods moving from Northern Ireland to the rest of Great Britain and gives UK ministers powers to modify or “disapply” rules relating to the movement of goods that will come into force from 1 January if the UK and EU are unable to reach an alternative agreement through a trade deal. It also provides powers to override previously agreed obligations on state aid. The bill explicitly states that these powers should apply even if they are incompatible with international law. Despite facing a basklash of criticism over the Internal Markets Bill, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is urging MPs to support the bill. Mr Johnson said that the bill would “ensure the integrity of the UK internal market” and hand power to Scotland and Wales.

For more information please click here.

Internal Markets Bill breaks international law

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis has said that the UK Internal Market Bill which will amend the UK’s Brexit deal with the EU will “break international law in a very specific and limited way.” The Government introduced the bill on Monday which will affect post-Brexit customs and trade rules in Northern Ireland but Downing Street said that it would only make “minor clarifications in extremely specific areas.” However, the Government are facing criticism that it is an attempt to change the withdrawal agreement which became international law when the UK left the EU in January. Irish Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, said “Any unilateral departure from the terms of the withdrawal agreement would be a matter of considerable concern and a very serious step.” Former PM Theresa May warned the change could damage “trust” in the UK over future trade deals with other states. The European Commission had requested a meeting as soon as possible to clarify what the legislation means for the Brexit deal.

For more information please click here.

EU threatens legal action over Internal Markets Bill

Following emergency talks between Cabinet Office Secretary Michael Gove and European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic, after it was revealed that the Internal Markets Bill will breach international law, by amending the withdrawal agreement, the EU has threatened the UK with legal action if it goes ahead with the bill. The EU said the bill “seriously damaged trust between the EU and the UK” and EU Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič stated that if the bill were to be adopted, it would constitute an extremely serious violation of the withdrawal agreement and of international law. He urged the Government to withdraw the bill “by the end of the month” and “reminded the UK Government that the withdrawal agreement contains a number of mechanisms and legal remedies to address violations of the legal obligations contained in the text – which the European Union will not be shy in using”. Boris Johnson continues to defend the bill and the UK Government said its Parliament is sovereign and can pass laws which breach the UK’s treaty obligations.

For more information please click here.

If you have any questions about any of the issues which are raised, or would like to discuss your own organisation’s options during the Brexit process, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

This page may contain links that direct you to third party websites. We have no control over and are not responsible for the content, use by you or availability of those third party websites, for any products or services you buy through those sites or for the treatment of any personal information you provide to the third party.

Follow us on LinkedIn

Keep up to date with all the latest updates and insights from our expert team

Take me there

What we're thinking