Welcome to our Brexit Insights page.  Here we publish news and analysis by Fietta’s lawyers of developments arising out of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, as they relate to public international law.  In the lead up to the UK’s original departure date from the EU (March 2019), one of our counsel, Laura Rees-Evans, spent six months at the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office advising on public international law issues arising out of Brexit.  If you wish to discuss any of the issues addressed in these insights, or otherwise seek any advice regarding public international law issues arising out of Brexit, please contact (+44(0)203 889 9801), (+ 44 (0)20 3889 9792), or (+44(0)203 889 9808).


UK and EU agree on the diplomatic status of the Delegation of the EU in the UK (18 May 2021)   On 5 May 2021, the UK and EU jointly announced that they had reached an agreement on the status of the Delegation of the EU in the UK (the Establishment Agreement). Their agreement settles the question of what privileges and immunities the UK will confer on the EU’s post-Brexit Delegation in the UK, its staff and its property. This had been a highly contentious issue between the parties for months. The EU had been seeking, and the UK initially refusing, to accord to the EU the diplomatic privileges and immunities typical of foreign States. This Insight sets out the factual and legal background to the development and outlines the parties’ opposing positions prior to reaching an agreement earlier this month. Read more »


EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement enters into force (1 May 2021)   The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) has now entered into force, as of 1 May 2021. This follows the completion of the European Union's processes for ratification of the treaty, namely the approval of the European Parliament (on 27 April) and the European Council's decision on the conclusion of the TCA (on 29 April). Before the TCA's entry into force, the EU and UK had been provisionally applying the TCA since 1 January 2021. The entry into force of the TCA brings greater certainty for the parties and those reliant on the provisions of the TCA, in part on account of the lengthy notice period required for any termination of the TCA (see our analysis of 2 March 2021 on the provisional application of the TCA). Read more »


DIS40 Webinar, “Brexit Spotlight” (25 March 2021)   Laura Rees-Evans spoke on the topic of "The Protection of UK-EU Investments: Past, Present and Future" at DIS40’s “Brexit Spotlight” event, alongside distinguished co-panellists from the University of Passau, CMS (Berlin) and Schellenberg Wittmer (Zurich). DIS40 is an initiative of young arbitration practitioners in Germany, established under the German Arbitration Institute. Other members of the panel discussed issues including possible disputes arising from the separation agreement, and practical aspects of practicing law in the UK as a European lawyer post-Brexit. Laura's slides can be accessed here


Spotlight on the EU’s initiation of legal action against the UK over the Northern Ireland Protocol (16 March 2021)   On 15 March 2021, the European Commission announced that it has commenced legal action against the UK over its alleged breach of the substantive provisions of the Northern Ireland Protocol to the Withdrawal Agreement and the good faith obligation under the Withdrawal Agreement. The Commission argues that the UK has breached these obligations by unilateral extending the grace periods for post-Brexit requirements on some goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain under the Northern Ireland Protocol. This Spotlight outlines the action the EU has now taken in response to the UK’s decision and what potential further legal action could lie ahead. Read more »


Spotlight on the UK’s decision to extend grace periods under the Northern Ireland Protocol to the Withdrawal Agreement (10 March 2021)   Lexis®PSL has republished Fietta LLP's "Spotlight on the UK’s decision to extend grace periods under the Northern Ireland Protocol to the Withdrawal Agreement" (first published on our Brexit Insights page on 5 March 2021) as part of its "public law analysis" service. The article is available in full here


Spotlight on the UK’s decision to extend grace periods under the NI Protocol to the Withdrawal Agreement (5 March 2021)   Between 3 and 5 March 2021, the UK has announced a decision unilaterally to extend the grace period for post-Brexit requirements on some goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain under the Northern Ireland Protocol to the Withdrawal Agreement. The EU has criticised the UK’s decision and threatened to bring legal action over what it said would amount to a breach of international law. This Spotlight explains the UK’s and EU’s respective positions on the issue, and explores the dispute settlement provisions potentially available to the EU under the Withdrawal Agreement and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. Read more »


Spotlight on the UK and EU’s agreement to extend the provisional application of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (2 March 2021)   As reported in our Brexit insight of 13 January 2021, on 24 December 2020, the UK and EU signed the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA or Agreement), setting out their future economic and trading relationship, including with regard to investment protection. The Agreement is yet to enter into force and has been provisionally applied by both parties since 1 January 2021. On 23 February 2021, the UK and EU agreed to extend provisional application beyond 28 February 2021, the initial time-limit envisaged in the Agreement, until 30 April 2021. This spotlight explains the concept of provisional application, and why (and what difference it makes that) it is being used for the TCA. Read more »


Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol and the EU’s coronavirus vaccine export authorisation scheme (1 February 2021)   On 29 January 2021, the European Commission issued a statement saying that it intended to invoke Article 16 of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland to the Withdrawal Agreement in relation to its new COVID-19 vaccine export authorisation scheme. Lexis®PSL published an analysis of the development, featuring comments from Laura Rees-Evans. The article is available here


Dispute settlement under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (22 January 2021)   On 22 January 2021, Lexis®PSL published a Legal News article written by Fietta counsel Laura Rees-Evans and intern Rhys Carvosso on dispute settlement under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (EU-UK TCA or Agreement). In the article, we outline the Agreement’s scope and structure and review its dispute resolution provisions. The article is available here


Spotlight on EU/UK investment protection under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (13 January 2021)   The UK and EU signed the Trade and Cooperation Agreement on 24 December 2020, after extensive negotiations. The Agreement ushers in a new chapter in the economic and trading relationship between the Parties, including in relation to investment protection. This article outlines the investment protection regime under the Agreement, before exploring the potential consequences of the Agreement on the UK’s so-called "intra-EU" BITs, and on investment protection between the UK and EU generally going forward. Read more »