The Continuity Bill is Dead, Long Live the Continuity Bill – Regulatory Alignment and Divergence in Scotland Post-Brexit
Every Brexit impasse costs the UK dearly: ‘No-deal preparations’ are a procurement blackhole, but who’s counting?
Brexit and the UK Political and Constitutional Crisis: Prorogation and the Case for Constitutional Reform
Prorogation and the UK Parliament: The next few days will reveal where the heart of power lies in the British constitution
Facing the Rights and Equality Crisis: Achieving a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland in the wake of Brexit
Years Into the Brexit Process, the UK Still Faces Fundamental Choices for its Future Relationship with the EU
Would British citizens vote differently now that they know more about the EU-27’s response to Brexit?
The EU is widely recognized as having one of the strongest data protection regimes in the world. The right of protection of personal data is codified in Article 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. However, as with so much else, this regime has been cast into doubt by Brexit. Immediately after the results of the Brexit referendum, scholars pointed out that “data protection has the potential to be among the issues that “make” or “break” a possibly successful Brexit” (see this article by de Hert, Papakonstantinou) It is unclear what sort of political and legal solutions will be found for this problem.
The crux of the discussion can be summarized as the need to continue guaranteeing Data Flow. The question is how to fuel Data Exchange and Data Transfer between the UK and the EU since this Data Flow is the cornerstone for both private economic activities and (above all) for police and judicial cooperation. This will certainly require a general legal framework that guarantees the complex and increasingly refined system of legal protection of individuals concerning their personal information and their rights concerning these data.
On the political front, Brexit negotiations are proceeding; at the same time, from a strictly legal perspective, the tool with which Brexit will be managed at domestic level, i.e. the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill (EUWB), is making progress in Parliament. On December 20, 2017, it was considered and amended by a Committee of the Whole House. The next step will come on January 16-17, 2018, when MPs will examine the Bill at remaining stages.
One of the most consequential – and politically challenging – amendments made in the December session subjected the final terms of withdrawal to a statute of the Parliament (sec. 9(1)). Nonetheless, there are sections of the Bill that did not undergo changes during the last reading, but that are equally controversial. These include its treatment of EU provisions related to human rights, in particular those enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFREU).
It is difficult to speculate as to the future of the consumer protection acquis in a post-Brexit settlement, at a time in which the EU-UK negotiating teams seem locked in stalemate as to the three core Withdrawal Agreement issues, which require ‘sufficient progress’ so that the next round of substantive negotiations can commence. Consumer law is far down the current agenda. Second, the form Brexit takes on in the Future Relationship Agreement – whether hard, soft or bespoke – is of considerable importance: a so-called ‘soft’ Brexit whereby the UK remains within the EEA would mean that the UK remains legally obliged to adhere to EU consumer law including largely the CJEU’s interpretation thereof, whereas a ‘hard’ Brexit would mean that the UK is no longer legally obliged to uphold the acquis. A bespoke agreement is the least certain outcome as to consumer law rules. And what are these rules?
TThe processes initiated by the UK government to withdraw from the EU and the search for separation from their original states of Catalan and, to a certain extent, Scottish secessionists, possess several similarities.
Firstly, both show a similar degree of dissatisfaction with accommodation within multilevel polities or multilevel governance. In fact, both show the limitations of the policies of accommodation within these multilevel polities. The UK had obtained partial derogations of the EU acquis (starting with the European Social Charter and continuing with all other treaties since then). Regions (either Catalonia or Scotland) has also seen their devolved powers increased significantly in the last decades. Yet, in neither of these two cases were these mechanisms for accommodation of their differences enough to contain the desire for a total exit from the polity.
In 2016, some would claim that the European Union was doomed. The UK vote for Brexit was seen as the trigger for others to follow, in particular those where national elections were due to be held and where anti-EU populists were perceived to be gaining ground.
Reality proved them wrong.
The DCU Brexit Institute hosted an event on “Brexit, Citizens Rights and their Protection” on 5 October 2017, which was organised jointly with the European Parliament Representation in Dublin. The event addressed one of the three main issues which are currently being negotiated between the United Kingdom and the European Union: the rights of EU citizens in the UK and those of the UK citizens in the EU after the withdrawal.
Exactly one year ago, Prime Minister Theresa May expatiated on the subject of citizens’ rights in the post-Brexit EU and UK, memorably telling the Conservative Party Annual Conference that “if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what citizenship means.” Taken in the context of a conference dominated by the decision of the British public to leave the European Union, the audience was left with no doubt that Brexit would represent a re-casting of citizens’ rights, a re-assertion of the exclusivity of United Kingdom citizenship, and a rejection of the creeping internationalism of citizenship that the EU was seen to represent, though the form this transformation would take was still a matter of some conjecture.
If you want to keep up with Brexit news, but find you have limited reading time, try listening to podcasts.
There are already a number of podcasts exclusively devoted to Brexit. The oldest (A Diet of Brussels, with 200+ episodes) has been around since May 8, 2015, the day after David Cameron’s Conservatives won a parliamentary majority, the event which made it inevitable that there would be a referendum on Brexit. Many more sprang up after the referendum, and they have chronicled the various twists in the Brexit story – the triggering of Article 50, the subsequent UK election and the resulting hung parliament, and the ongoing negotiations with the EU.
The DCU Brexit Institute celebrated its official opening on September 14. The Opening Event of this new DCU Brexit Institute, the first of its kind in Europe, addressed the question, “Which Brexit after the UK elections?”
Citizens’ Rights After Brexit: The uncertain future status of EU citizens in the UK – and vice versa
At the conclusion of the third round of Brexit negotiations on Thursday, 31st August 2017, there was a palpable sense of frustration evident between both sides during the joint press conference, with little indication that any substantive progress has been made in respect of citizens’ rights once the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.