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 European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill has now completed its passage through both Houses of Parliament and, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, gives the Prime Minister the power to notify the European Council of the UK’s intention to withdraw from the EU. With Article 50, likely to be triggered by the end of the month, allowing negotiations to start, this report by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons looks at what would happen in the event of no deal being reached.
Some of the implications discussed in the report are:
Disputes over the cost of exiting the EU
Uncertainty for EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU
Trading on World Trade Organisation terms
The ‘regulatory gap’ and the limitations of the Great Repeal Bill
Uncertainty for UK participation in the EU’s common foreign and security policy
The sudden return of a ‘hard’ customs border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
The International Trade Committee‘s first report UK Trade Options Beyond 2019 identifies and examines possible models for the UK to conduct international trade after it leaves the European Union. It details various options and looks at the issues the Government would need to resolve in each scenario.