Category Archives: United Kingdom

Brexit and Devolution

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© Ross Strachan. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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.

 

The abolition of mobile roaming charges and Brexit

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© Garry Knight. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Since 15 June 2017 roaming charges in the EU have been abolished allowing mobile customers to use their network provider’s allowance of minutes, text messages and data throughout the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) without incurring additional charges.

The abolition of roaming charges will continue to apply in the UK until it leaves the EU.

A new House of Commons Library briefing paper, available here, looks at possible scenarios after Brexit.

The factsheets below, produced by the European Commission, explain the current pre-Brexit situation.

Roaming factsheet: TechnicalroamingfactsheetEN

Roam Like at Home FAQs: RoamLikeatHomeEN

However, as this BBC article explains, customers are still liable for extra charges if they exceed their contractually agreed data usage limits.

 

 

 

EU Referendum campaign leaflets collection available online

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© Quinn Dombrowski. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The British Library and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Library have collected a sample of leaflets from organisations, political parties and individuals both from the “Leave” and the “Remain” side in last June’s Referendum. The collection also includes material collected by National Library of Wales.  You can view this revealing collection, via the LSE Digital Library, here.  The digital library also has leaflets from the 1975 Referendum allowing you to compare the two campaigns.

 

Exiting the EU: challenges and opportunities for higher education

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© Herry Lawford. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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.

University offers Brexit Clinics to EU staff

blurr flagAll EU members of staff at the University (and members of staff with EU dependants) are being offered an appointment to discuss issues and concerns about the effect of Brexit.

The clinics will take place on 26th April and 4th May 2017, in the Room 120 of University Office.

To arrange an appointment contact sacha.nicol@abdn.ac.uk

 

Article 50 Triggered

Article 50 Letter

© Number 10. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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.

Justice for families, individuals and businesses

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© Gerard Van der Leun. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

A report by the EU Justice Sub-Committee of the House of Lords looks at the issues arising from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, and, in particular, remove itself from the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union, in relation to European cross border cases in such areas as:

  • Divorce
  • Disputed custody of children
  • A medical negligence claim;
  • Litigation arising out of a car accident abroad
  • Failure to perform a contract
  • An employment dispute

The current legal framework provides certainty about where such cases should be held and  for the automatic recognition and enforcement of judicial decisions and judgments throughout the EU. The report highlights concerns for families, individuals and businesses if  alternative adequate arrangements are not in place when the UK leaves the EU.

The full report is available here:

 

 

Brexit: Environment and Climate Change

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© Thomas Rusling. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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.

Seminar -Federalism by Conventions: The Constitutional Implications of Brexit on the Union

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© [Ross Strachan]. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The School of Law will host a free public lecture by Dr Robert Taylor on the 10th of February entitled Federalism by Conventions: The Constitutional Implications of Brexit on the Union.  See the abstract below for details:

On 23rd June 2016, a majority of the British electorate decided to leave the European Union against all expectations, and the constitutional impact of this historic decision, particularly on the Union, remains shrouded in uncertainty. Despite being a UK-wide referendum, the Union was left very much divided following the result. Although the majority of England and Wales chose to leave the EU, both Northern Ireland and Scotland chose decisively to remain. Two nations thus risk being dragged out of the EU against their wishes, thereby bringing into question not only the desirability of the UK’s constitutional arrangements, but the continued existence of the UK itself. Some have suggested that the only viable solution post-Brexit is for a federal UK where each nation is given greater autonomy over its own affairs – including perhaps EU membership – which is enshrined in law via a new codified and entrenched constitution. Such a move would constitute a major shift in the direction of the constitution which, it is argued, may bring as much uncertainty as the referendum result itself. I thus wish to explore alternative options, in particular the role constitutional conventions may have to play in creating and regulating a federal UK.

The event will be held in New Kings, NK 11 from 16.00-17.30.  No booking is required.

If you have any questions about the event please contact:
Suzi Warren
Research, Commercial and Events Secretary
Tel: +44 (0) 1224 273421
Email: smjwarren@abdn.ac.uk

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE Can the UK government launch the process to leave the EU without an Act of Parliament?

 

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© Jay Gavin Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The government’s appeal was dismissed in the Supreme Court yesterday.  This means that Parliament has to give its approval before the formal process of leaving the EU can begin. The judgement and summary documents are available here.

The original case was about prerogative powers, defined by the High Court in the original case as “the residue of legal authority left in the hands of the Crown” however as the UK has a sovereign parliament it is argued that prerogative powers cannot be used to overrule legislation. The government argued, however, that it did have the prerogative power to “make and unmake treaties” allowing it to launch the process without requiring an Act of Parliament.

The Scottish Government was also involved in this case. The Lord Advocate’s intervention proposed that triggering article 50 required an Act of the UK Parliament and as a result also required a Legislative Consent Motion of the Scottish Parliament, under the Sewel Convention, given the effect it would have on matters devolved to the Scottish Parliament.  However, in regards to the Sewel Convention the Supreme Court has ruled that the policing of its scope and the manner of its operation does not lie within the constitutional remit of the judiciary. This means the Scottish Parliament, as with the other devolved administrations, cannot veto the triggering of Article 50.