Brexit: Could The UK Really Unilaterally Revoke Its Article 50 Notification?

In an Opinion released today Advocate General Campos Sánchez-Bordona has proposed that the Court of Justice should declare that Article 50 TEU allows for the unilateral revocation of a notification by a Member State of an intention to withdraw from the EU.

The Advocate General’s Opinion is not binding on the Court of Justice. Many expect the Court will give an expedited ruling on the matter before Christmas but there is currently no certainty that it will do so at the current time. In 80% of cases the Court will follow the Opinion of the Advocate General unless there is a clear reason to disagree (which cannot be ruled out in the present case) but in the meantime there will be a period of legal uncertainty during which it is entirely possible that the UK Parliament’s view of the available options could differ from the Her Majesty’s government’s and the EU’s. Continue Reading

VAT and Brexit: The Past, Present and Future

Brexit gives rise to significant challenges for the UK in relation to VAT. The UK aspires to frictionless cross-border trade with the EU after it has left, or at least borders that are as frictionless as possible, but, at least until technology has further advanced, VAT necessitates a border between those who are inside a common VAT area and those who are not. What then is the future for VAT in the UK?  In this provocative and wide-ranging article, authors Jeremy Cape, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs, and Max Schofield, Barrister, 3PB Barristers, present the most ambitious attempt so far to consider what the UK might do on VAT after Brexit.  The article was first published in Vol. 27 of EC Tax Review 2018.

Prepare to Have Your Say on the UK’s Future Immigration System

Brexit Clock

The government has said it will publish an immigration white paper in the coming weeks. This should provide details of the specific immigration policies that it intends to introduce. We are hoping that businesses will be given a formal opportunity to comment on these policies and raise concerns. Given that the proposals are likely to have a significant effect on future EEA migration to the UK, our Business Immigration team will be supporting clients and contacts to understand and respond to the white paper.

With this in mind, we are asking businesses that are concerned about future UK immigration policy to register their interest now so that we can send further guidance on the relevant proposals in the white paper and how to respond to it once it is published. In the meantime, given that the government may allow only a brief window for businesses to respond to the white paper, we have listed the key points that any concerned business should be considering now with a view to including these as part of any meaningful representations (whether it chooses to submit these through us or independently).

Click here for further detail.

Seoul Trader

Faisal Islam, Political Editor at Sky News, today reported that the Trade Secretary Liam Fox is visiting Korea, a key trade partner of the UK.

I noticed that Islam tweeted what has long been suspected regarding the possible rollover of the EU-Korea FTA, namely that “the EU has not and will not write key letter to Seoul and the other dozens of trade partners asking them to treat UK as a continuing EU member in transition for purposes of trade until Withdrawal Deal done. Limbo.”

A little background: the EU has an FTA in force with Korea. As a matter of law, that will cease to apply to the UK when it leaves the EU on 29 March 2019. Earlier in the year the EU agreed to write a letter to Korea, and its other FTA partners, requesting that the UK is treated as a continuing member of the EU during the transition period into which the UK will move, assuming that a Withdrawal Agreement can be finalised before 29 March 2019 (which despite recent blips I think is still probable, if not certain). If they all say yes, this prevents the scenario under which the UK is effectively treated as a member of the EU by the EU and itself until 1 January 2021, but it falls out of the FTAs, third countries not being bound by the Withdrawal Agreement.

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Brexit Timetable – Where will the European Court of Justice Opinion on the Draft Withdrawal Agreement fit into the equation?

Brexit Clock

The clock is ticking! With only seven months left until the leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.  With the European Council Summit on 18 October 2018 eagerly anticipated by all parties there is some expectation, that until that date it will not be resolved whether the UK and EU are able to agree on a Withdrawal Agreement, which would form the basis of the Transition Period from 30 March 2019 to 31 December 2020.

An open issue remains on whether or not any agreed final draft Withdrawal Agreement, will be submitted to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for the usual legal opinion the ECJ renders under Article 218 (11) Treaty of European Union (TEU) in respect of international agreements the EU enters into.

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Preparing for the Withdrawal of the UK from the EU

Brexit Tearing of FlagsOn 19 July 2018 the EU Commission published a paper on “Preparing for the withdrawal of the UK from the EU on 30 March 2019”.

The paper deals both with a “Deal Scenario” where the EU27 and the UK enter into a binding Withdrawal Agreement prior to 29 March 2019 and also with a “No Deal Scenario” setting out the consequences of no Withdrawal Agreement being entered into.

The Preparedness Paper in particular lists and summarizes the 68 sector and industry specific Notices to Stakeholders which the EU Commission has issued during recent months.

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