Category Archives: UK Government

Draft Withdrawal Agreement on the UK from the EU

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The House of Commons Library has produced a list of 7 documents you may wish to bookmark on this.

They include :

Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community,

Outline of the political declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom, 14 November 2018

Withdrawal Agreement explainer and Technical Explanatory note on Articles 6-8 on the Northern Ireland Protocol, 14 November 2018

 

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A no-deal Brexit

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The UK Government has published the first set in a series of technical notes for businesses and members of the public on how to prepare for the possibly the UK leaves the EU without securing a withdrawal agreement.  These guidance notes cover importing and exporting, workplace rights, regulating medicines and medical equipment, farming, product safety, EU-funded programmes including Horizon 2020,  state aid, studying in the UK or EU, money and tax and civil nuclear and nuclear research.  More documents are planned.

The European Commission’s preparedness notices on these and other policy areas also looks at the consequences of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union under various scenarios.

If you are interested in this from a Scottish perspective the SPICe blog  from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre intends to provide analysis on the UK Government’s technical notes over the next month.

 

 

 

The Scottish Parliament and Brexit

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Earlier this month the Scottish Parliament’s Finance and Constitution Committee stated it could not recommend legislative consent to the UK Government’s European Union Withdrawal Bill in its present form. The Committee believes clause 11 of the Bill is incompatible with the devolution settlement.  Their interim report is available here.  A final report will be produced on the Bill prior to the final amending stage in the House of Lords.

The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe), which provides impartial, factual, information and analysis to Members of the Scottish Parliament, has produced a briefing paper explaining what legislative consent is and its legal and political status.

The Scottish Government has indicated it may introduce its own EU Continuity Bill to prepare Scotland’s laws for Brexit. A guest post on the SPICe spotlight blog, by Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, discussing this possibility is available here.  Guest blog posts, of course, reflect the views of the author not SPICe or the Scottish Parliament.

 

 

 

 

Brexit and Devolution

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The House of Lords European Union Committee has today published a report looking at the technically complex and politically contentious impact of Brexit on the UK’s devolution settlements and to the fundamental constitutional challenges presented to the United Kingdom as a whole.

 “the devolution settlements are built upon UK membership of the EU.

Brexit will remove one of the foundations of the devolution settlements, with potentially destabilising consequences”. (Para. 2)

The report considers whether Scotland could have different Brexit arrangements from the rest of the UK in some areas; the need to protect the Welsh agricultural and manufacturing sector and the distinctive geographical and political issues that Brexit presents to Northern Ireland.

The full report is available here.

 

Brexit and the fishing industry

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The implications of Brexit for the fishing industry are highly uncertain.  Prior to the introduction of a new Fisheries Bill, the House of Commons Library has produced a briefing paper entitled “Brexit: What next for UK fisheries?” on how negotiations with the EU and future UK Government policy may affect fishing in the UK.  It is available here.

An earlier briefing paper by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) called Implications of leaving the EU: Fisheries examines issues for the Scottish sea fishing sector.  It is available here.

Exiting the EU: challenges and opportunities for higher education

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The Education Select Committee of the House of Commons has published a report on the opportunities and challenges for higher education posed by Brexit.

Concerned that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit could cause a “damaging brain drain”

Neil Carmichael MP, Chair of the Education Committee, said:

“Higher education in the UK is a world leader but Brexit risks damaging our international competitiveness and the long-term success of our universities. It’s welcome that EU students have been given some guarantees on their funding and loan access but the Government must act urgently to address the uncertainty over EU staff  and avert the risk of a damaging ‘brain drain’ of talent from our shores. As we leave the European Union we now have the opportunity to reform our immigration system to ensure we reap the full rewards of the ability of our universities to attract the brightest and best students and staff from across the world.”

The full report is available here, a short summary here and the conclusions and recommendations here.

Article 50 Triggered

Article 50 Letter

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The UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, has now triggered Article 50, the formal notification that signals the beginning of the two-year period within which a withdrawal agreement will be negotiated between the UK and the European Union.

The full text of her letter to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, is available here.

The latest version of  “Brexit: a reading list of post-EU Referendum publications by Parliament and the Devolved Assemblies” compiled by the House of Commons Library is available here.

Also of interest may be a report commissioned by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs of the European Parliament’s Directorate-General for Internal Policies of the Union entitled  “The Brexit Negotiations: An Assessment Of The Legal, Political And Institutional Situation In The UK” available here.

Brexit reading list: legal and constitutional issues

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The House of Commons Library has compiled an impartial selection of articles on the legal and constitutional issues arising from the UK’s forthcoming withdrawal from the EU.

The paper gives details of and, in many cases, links to analysis and comment on:

  • The EU referendum
  • constitutional and legal issues surrounding UK withdrawal
  • the triggering of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union
  • the role of the UK Parliament in triggering the process and in the negotiations
  • the possibility of a second referendum on a withdrawal agreement
  • how the UK Government and Parliament deal with EU legislation
  • the impact of Brexit on the rest of the EU
  • the UK’s future relations with the EU
  • issues for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The paper can be accessed from here:

Euratom

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“Euratom was founded to contribute to the formation and development of Europe’s nuclear industries, to guarantee high safety standards and to prevent nuclear materials intended principally for civilian use from being diverted to military use. It provides the basis for the regulation of civilian nuclear activity, implements a system of safeguards to control the use of nuclear materials, controls the supply of fissile materials within EU member states and funds research into nuclear fission and nuclear fusion.”

The Government has stated in the Explanatory Notes, prepared by the Department for Exiting the European Union, for the European Union Notification of Withdrawal Bill that leaving the EU also means leaving the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). The House of House Library has produced a briefing paper examining what Euratom does and the possible implications of leaving for the future of the nuclear industry and nuclear research in the UK. It also looks at the attempts to amend the Bill as it relates to Euratom. You can access the briefing paper here.

 

 

Brexit: Environment and Climate Change

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Earlier this week the House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee published its report on Brexit: environment and climate change recommending key actions to ensure the environment is as well protected post Brexit as it is now.

The report discusses how policies and standards relating  to the environment and climate change are deeply embedded in EU Law and points out the complexity and scale of the task ahead.

Aberdeen University staff and students can access the full report on Public Information Online here.