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Brexit round-up – 12/07/19

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.

Major would go to court to stop Parliament closure

Sir John Major has confirmed that he would seek a judicial review to apply to challenge the lawfulness of the decision made by the government, if the new prime minister tried to suspend Parliament to deliver a no-deal Brexit following Boris Johnson refusing to rule out proroguing Parliament. He said “The Queen’s decision cannot be challenged in law, but the prime minister’s advice to the Queen can, I believe, be challenged in law – and I for one would be prepared to seek judicial review to prevent Parliament being bypassed.”

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Brexit secretary urges EU to renegotiate Brexit

Brexit Secretary, Stephen Barclay, has urged the EU to come back to the negotiating table on Brexit as he believes that the UK would take Ireland’s economy down with it in a no-deal Brexit as 40% of Ireland’s exports went through Dover. He said “I think the impact of no-deal is greater to the Irish economy than it is in the UK. So the EU want to avoid no-deal.” He further noted that ” 40 per cent of Europe’s data centres are in the UK, so the flow of data between the UK and EU is not a UK issue, it is shared issue, not least the international nature of many business.”

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Brexit ferry programme “rushed and risky”

A procurement process was carried out which aims to provide extra ferry services ahead of the UK leaving the UK on the original deadline of 29 March and cross-party MPs have now said that they feel the deal was “rushed and risky.” As the UK failed to leave the EU on 29 March the deals with three firms were cancelled which has cost the Department for Transport £51.4 million and they also had to pay a £33 million settlement with Eurotunnel as part of their exclusion from the tendering process resulting in costs of around £85 million.

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Tory rivals continue to clash over Brexit

Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson have clashed over Brexit in a TV debate in which Mr Hunt accused his rival of not being willing to “put his neck on the line” by saying he would quit as PM if he did not hit the 31 October deadline. Mr Johnson called Mr Hunt “defeatist” and said he was “not absolutely committed” to the Brexit deadline saying “If we are going to have a 31 October deadline, we must stick to it. The EU will understand we are ready and will give us the deal we need.” They further disagreed over the suspension of Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit with Jeremy Hunt ruling it out but Boris Johnson saying “he would not take anything off the table.”

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Amendments to Northern Ireland Bill attempt to stop prorogation

Following talk that a new prime minister may force through a no-deal Brexit by suspending Parliament, Dominic Grieve attempted to block the suspension by seeking to amend the Northern Ireland Bill by including an amendment that the government would be required to produce regular reports on the situation in Northern Ireland in the autumn. The amendment was selected for debate but a further amendment stating that MPs should be recalled to debate such reports if Parliament is closed was not. However, an amendment which requires the government to produce fortnightly reports from October until December on the progress towards restoring the power sharing arrangements in Northern Ireland was approved by 294 votes to 293. Whilst this will not stop prorogation it could make it harder.

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Labour urges new referendum

Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed that he would make a case to Parliament in September in order to get another referendum and has challenged the next Tory leader to hold another referendum before taking Britain out of the UK. He has further confirmed that Labour will campaign to remain in the EU. He said Labour will “do everything we can to take no deal off the table or stop a damaging deal of the sort Hunt or Johnson propose.”

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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 in the lead-up to Brexit, 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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