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Brexit round-up – 12/06/20

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.

UK statement following fourth negotiating round

Following the fourth round of Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU which took place between 2 and 5 June, David Frost, the UK’s chief negotiator issued a statement that progress remained limited. He said that although the talks have been positive in tone there still needs to be negotiations on the full range of issues. He said that any deal must accommodate the UK’s position on the level playing field, fisheries, and other difficult issues. He noted that the limits of what could be achieved through remote formal rounds are close to being reached. He said that work must be intensified and accelerated to make progress and the Government is discussing with the European Commission how best to do this.

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EU statement following fourth negotiating round

The European Commission also published a statement following the fourth round of negotiations. Michel Barnier’s statement recorded that there has been no substantial progress since the beginning of the negotiations and described the Government as backtracking on the political declaration. In the European Commission’s view, a full legal text is needed by 31 October 2020 at the latest, to give time for ratification. He said there were still four “big sticking points” on which further progress needed to be made which included level playing field commitments, guarantees of fundamental rights and freedoms required to underpin police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters, fisheries and governance. He said that the UK and the EU aim to take stock of progress and agree actions to move the negotiations forward at a high-level meeting later in June 2020.

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Constitutional concerns arising from Brexit legislation

The House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution published a report this week concerning the constitutional issues and legislative challenges presented by Brexit. The report notes that, although the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, the Government is “still only a little past half-way through legislating for Brexit.” Bills concerning agriculture, fisheries, immigration and trade have been reintroduced in the current parliamentary session however, legislation that deals with the common frameworks between the devolved parliaments and governments and their respective competencies will, for example, still be needed. The report states that while the Government and Parliament have “rightly” focused on responding to the coronavirus pandemic recently, this should not distract from the challenges that parliament will face in its scrutiny of Brexit.

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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.

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