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17 March 2017

Guest blog by Paul Eden, Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Sussex

Introduction

Now that the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act has received Royal Assent, the UK government is on track to meet its deadline of invoking Article 50 of the Treaty of European Union (TEU) by the end of March. Whilst it seems inevitable that the UK will indeed invoke Article 50 a key question that remains is whether we can change our minds and stop the whole process, perhaps when we are a year down the line or if there was a change in government in the UK.

In the Miller case it was common ground between the parties

‘that notice under Article 50(2)… cannot be given in qualified or conditional terms and that, once given, it cannot be withdrawn” (at [26]) although, as Lord Carsworth noted in his dissenting judgment, this assumption is “possibly controversial’ (at [261]).

This blogpost addresses the possible legal basis of any unilateral right to revoke a notification of a notice of withdrawal made in accordance with Articles 50(1) and 50(2) TEU by examining, first, the potential applicability of Article 68 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT). Secondly, the blogpost examines Article 50 TEU to determine whether the express wording implicitly excludes the right of unilateral revocation of notification of intention to withdraw from the EU. Finally, the blogpost argues that even if the other members of the EU unanimously agreed to allow the United Kingdom to revoke a notification of withdrawal, this might amount to an amendment of Article 50 TEU and present practical problems for Member States whose national law requires specific constitutional obligations at a national level for amendments to EU Treaties to take effect.

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March 17th, 2017

Posted In: UK- EU

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Photo of Emily Lydgate7 February 2017

Dr Emily Lydgate is a lecturer in Law at the University of Sussex and a fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.

While the UK government White Paper on leaving the EU may be light on detail, it does suggest that securing UK environmental protections is near the bottom of its list of priorities, with a scant dedicated paragraph (8.41). Compare this with its complete section on worker’s rights; or compare to the country of Wales, which includes maintaining social and environmental standards as one of six Brexit priorities. (more…)

February 7th, 2017

Posted In: UK - Non EU, UK- EU

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Erika Szyszczak26 January 2017

Erika Szyszczak is a Professor of Law at the University of Sussex, Barrister and ADR Mediator at Littleton Chambers, Temple and a Fellow of theUKTPO.

It is a monumental decision for a Member State to leave the European Union, not least when it will have a major impact on the economic, political and social future, not only of the exiting Member State, but also of the global trading regime. It is thus befitting that on 24 January 2017 the Supreme Court came of age by delivering one of its most important rulings, on the nature and future shape of the UK constitution. What started as a case concerning acquired rights became a wider ranging analysis of the role of the executive vis-a-vis Parliament. As befits a monumental constitutional decision, taking place in the digital age, the responses to the ruling have been prolific and focused upon the constitutional dimension to the litigation. (more…)

January 26th, 2017

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17 January 2017

Dr Peter Holmes (Reader in Economics and member of the UK Trade Policy Observatory at the University of Sussex), reacts to Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech on negotiating objectives for exiting the EU.

The speech essentially confirms what we knew already, that sticking to the government’s red lines on the European Court of Justice and free movement would make joining the European Economic Area impossible and so we must leave the single market. (more…)

January 17th, 2017

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19 October 2016L. Alan Winters

L. Alan Winters is Professor of Economics and Director of the UKTPO

Rule 1 for negotiation: work out what you want and how much you can pay for it. 

Rule 2: try to understand where the other side is coming from and how they feel.

The muted mood this week among trade specialists in Sweden, one of the UK’s closest allies in the EU, should serve as a reality check ahead of Brexit negotiations. If we want to make Brexit work, we need to take their views seriously. (more…)

October 19th, 2016

Posted In: UK- EU

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30 September 2016Erika Szyszczak

Erika Szyszczak is Professor of Law in the School of Law, Politics and Sociology at the University of Sussex, and a member of UKTPO.

The “first 100 days” has become a standard by which to evaluate important political times. Undoubtedly, the momentous decision on 23 June 2016 to break up the current geopolitical space of Europe will be examined by historians as a decisive period of modern European history.

From a lawyer’s perspective the most striking feature of the last 100 days has been the legal uncertainty of how to implement the referendum result. This represents the challenge we love. So this blog examines some of these uncertainties. (more…)

September 30th, 2016

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22 August 2016Emily Lydgate

Dr Emily Lydgate is a Lecturer in Law in the School of Law, Politics and Sociology at the University of Sussex, and is a member of UKTPO

According to government sources at the weekend, the UK probably won’t trigger Article 50 until late 2017. At this point, it is crucial the EU and UK begin negotiating their new trade agreement. Delaying until after Brexit and relying on WTO rules in the meantime would cost the UK billions – in the best case scenario.

The worst case would see trade conflicts erupting and negotiations with the rest of the world in indefinite limbo. (more…)

August 22nd, 2016

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11 August 2016Erika Szyszczak

Erika Szyszczak is Professor of Law in the School of Law, Politics and Sociology at the University of Sussex, and a member of  UKTPO.

This post sets out some of the legal issues arising after the referendum of 23 June 2016, taking a generous liberty with the interpretation of the lyrics of The Eagles’ song “Hotel California”.

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August 11th, 2016

Posted In: UK - Non EU, UK- EU

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29 July 2016Peter Holmes Jim Rollo L. Alan Winters

Professor L. Alan Winters, Professor Jim Rollo and Dr Peter Holmes are all members of UKTPO

Liam Fox MP, the President of the Board of Trade, is reported as saying that the UK should leave the EU Customs Union so as to give it the freedom to negotiate Free Trade Areas (FTAs) with other countries.

This would be an unexceptionable step after full Brexit but a provocative, and very probably costly, one before Brexit. (more…)

July 29th, 2016

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