As we have reported previously, the result of the European Union referendum (Brexit) was announced on 24 June 2016 with a vote in favour of the United Kingdom exiting.
We have issued a series of Brexit updates since the date of the referendum. To access such prior alerts, please visit our Brexit page.
European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017 - 2019
On 12 September 2017, the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017 – 2019 (the “Bill”) passed its second reading in the House of Commons. The Bill (i) overturns the 1972 European Communities Act, which took the UK into the European Economic Community, and (ii) converts all existing EU law into UK law (subject to any requisite amendments to be made by the Government to enable this transition). The aim of the Bill is to ensure that, on 29 March 2019 when the UK leaves the EU, there are no gaps in legislation. The Bill has now passed on to the Committee Stage for further review (where it will be scrutinised line by line) and over 150 amendments have been proposed as the Bill continues its passage through the House of Commons. Before the Bill receives Royal Assent (at which point it becomes an Act (and therefore law)), the Bill will pass through a further reporting stage and third reading in the House of Commons prior to being scrutinised in the House of Lords. Significant challenges therefore lie ahead before the Bill is passed in its final form.
Publication of Partnership Papers and Position Papers
The third round of Brexit negotiations between the UK Government and the EU officially commenced on 28 August 2017, with the UK Government publishing a series of negotiating position and partnership papers in advance of this date. Since this round of negotiations commenced, additional partnership papers relating to (i) collaboration on science and innovation, and (ii) foreign policy, defence and development have also been published. The key publications to date regarding Brexit can be found here, which include:
Future Partnership Papers
- Future customs arrangement: a future partnership paper (15 August 2017)
- Providing a cross-border civil judicial cooperation framework: a future partnership paper (22 August 2017)
- Enforcement and dispute resolution: a future partnership paper (23 August 2017)
- The exchange and protection of personal data: a future partnership paper (24 August 2017)
- Collaboration on science and innovation: a future partnership paper (6 September 2017)
- Foreign policy, defence and development: a future partnership paper (12 September 2017)
- Northern Ireland and Ireland - position paper (16 August 2017)
- Confidentiality and access to documents - position paper (21 August 2017)
- Continuity in the availability of goods for the EU and the UK - position paper (21 August 2017)
Key points relating to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU (such as EU citizens’ rights and the quantum of the UK’s “divorce” bill that it will have to pay when it leaves the EU) are yet to be agreed between the two sides. Further talks (which have been delayed by a week) are now scheduled to take place on 25 September with negotiations relating to the future relationship between the UK and EU to be commenced after a fifth round of talks in October.
We will continue to monitor and report on the issues raised in this alert from the perspective of our clients, as we have done so in prior alerts relating to Brexit. To access such prior alerts, please visit our Brexit page. Further updates will follow in due course.
In the blur of mega firms, Brown Rudnick stands out as a “global boutique” and has in place a multi-disciplinary, international Brexit Team. We are monitoring and analysing the consequences and considerations for businesses and are ready to advise on the potential legal implications of Brexit. The Brown Rudnick Brexit Team is available to advise on the issues across a broad range of sectors within our areas of expertise. If you have any questions please call your usual contact at Brown Rudnick or one of the following partners:
About Brown Rudnick
BROWN RUDNICK LLP, an international law firm with offices in the United States and Europe, represents clients from around the world in high-stakes litigation, international arbitration and complex business transactions. Clients include public and private corporations, multinational Fortune 100 businesses and start-up enterprises. The Firm also represents investors, as well as official and ad hoc creditors’ committees in today’s largest corporate restructurings, both domestically and abroad. Founded more than 60 years ago, Brown Rudnick has over 240 lawyers providing advice and services across key areas of the law. Beyond the United States, the Firm regularly serves clients in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America. With its Brown Rudnick Center for the Public Interest, the Firm has created an innovative model combining its pro bono, charitable giving and community volunteer efforts.