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).


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 »


Spotlight on the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (1 December 2020)   On 23 October 2020, the governments of the United Kingdom and Japan signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (UK-Japan CEPA). The UK-Japan CEPA is the first new free trade agreement that the UK Government has concluded since its departure from the EU. It is intended to replace the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EU-Japan EPA), which has governed the trading relationship between the EU and Japan since its entry into force on 1 February 2019. This Insight identifies some of the main areas of divergence between the UK-Japan CEPA and the EU-Japan EPA, and what the UK-Japan CEPA means for the protection of cross-border UK-Japan investment. Read more »


European Commission issues reasoned opinion to the UK for failing to terminate intra-EU BITs (30 October 2020)   As we reported on 14 May 2020, the European Commission is pursuing infringement proceedings against the UK for its decision not to sign the multilateral treaty terminating intra-EU BITs (the Termination Treaty). On 30 October 2020, it issued a reasoned opinion to the UK for failing "to effectively remove from its legal order" the intra-EU BITs to which it is a party. The Commission expressed "regret that the [UK] did not sign the plurilateral treaty" and that it has not engaged in discussions with the other contracting parties to its intra-EU BITs to terminate them bilaterally. The Commission called on the UK to take the necessary action within the next two months, failing which "the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union". The Commission's press release observes that the UK remains bound by Union law during the the transition period under the Withdrawal Agreement. The Commission's announcement is available here