Withdrawal from EU Legal Perspective

Article 50 and Withdrawal The European Union is not an indissoluble Federal state. Although the United States was formed as and to a large extent remains, a union of autonomous states, the result of the 1861 -5 Civil War made it clear that states cannot unilaterally withdraw. The Civil War was triggered by the withdrawal […]

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Withdrawal from the UK Perspecitive

UK Legal Aspects It is the departing state’s system of law which defines the terms on which the decision to leave is made. The European Union Referendum Act 2015 extended the franchise to those who ordinarily voted in elections to the House of Commons (which included UK Irish and nationals of Commonwealth countries. It did […]

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May Government Triggers Brexit

New UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation at 8:30 AM the day following the referendum vote to leave the European Union. The forerunners to succeed him appeared to be Boris Johnson who had been very prominent in the leave campaign and Theresa May who had supported remain, albeit with apparent reserve. Gove who […]

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Negotiations Begin

EU Negotiation Guidelines On 19th April 2017, the EU Council (excluding the UK) adopted guidelines setting out its position on the negotiations with the UK in relation to its withdrawal from the EU. The guidelines defined a framework for the negotiations under Article 50 and set out the overall position and principles which the EU […]

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Negotiations People and Money

Withdrawal Agreement Matters Brexit negotiations related to two agreements or sets of agreements, broadly a Withdrawal Agreement and later, a new trade agreement(s) between the EU and the United Kingdom. The Withdrawal Agreement dealt with financial issues arises from existing UK obligations. The financial settlement required to be negotiated under Article 50 took effect in […]

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Negotiations – Customs and Irish Border

Borders and Trade Agreements The issue of the Ireland/Northern Ireland border proved to be the most intractable. On the face of it, there was no disagreement. The EU negotiation guidelines sought maintenance of the open border and the UK’s announcements consistently committed to the avoidance of a hard border on the island of Ireland. However, […]

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Joint Declaration

In early December 2017, the EU Council president requested Prime Minister to make a final offer and resolve the Northern Ireland land border issue by fourth December so as to allow the EU Council later that month to consider whether sufficient progress had been made to move on to the second phase of negotiations. It […]

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The Second Phase of Negotiations

The European Council (Art. 50) on 15 December 2017 adopted guidelines for the second phase of the Brexit negotiations. The European Council welcomes the progress achieved during the first phase of negotiations as reflected in the Communication from the Commission1 and the Joint Report2 and decides that it is sufficient to move to the second […]

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Chequers to Withdrawal Agreement

On 6 July 2018, Theresa May summoned her cabinet to the Prime Minister’s country residence at Chequers to agree on White Paper proposals on the UK’s negotiation position on a future relationship. Famously, she threatened that those who resigned would immediately lose their ministerial cars and would have to walk home or take a taxi. […]

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Parliament Rejects Withdawal Agreement

The UK government faced an uphill battle to persuade parliament to ratify the Withdrawal Agreement. Significant bodies of remainers and leavers strongly opposed the agreement. Both insisted that it should be renegotiated. The prospective outcome of Brexit seemed markedly inferior to what voters expected when they voted to leave. Many Brexiteers saw the deal as […]

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Johnston Government

On the eve of May 2019 European Union elections, Theresa May announced further proposals seeking to appeal to the various factions of her own party and the Labour Party. It promised conclusion of a trade deal negating the backstop by December 2020, alignment with EU rules on goods relevant to border checks and a proposal […]

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Amended Withdrawal Agreement Passed

To the surprise of most observers, Boris Johnson and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar emerged from a meeting on the Wirral on 10 October 2019 and announced that they could see a pathway to a deal. The UK had conceded that there would be no customs border on the island of Ireland and that instead there […]

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Northern Ireland Proposals (Superseded)

NI Sales Under the Withdrawal Agreement, if it is approved or in an amended version of it is approved, the infamous “backstop” provides a customs union and regulatory alignment between the EU and Northern Ireland until some new better solution is found that avoids a hard border in Ireland. Of course, as noted above, in […]

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