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.  One of our senior associates, Laura Rees-Evans, has recently returned from a six-month secondment to the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office, where she was advising on public international law issues arising out of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.  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 Investment Protection Policy Post-Brexit (February 2020)   On 25 February 2020, Laura Rees-Evans spoke at a BIICL conference on "UK Investment Protection Policy Post-Brexit", hosted by Steptoe & Johnson LLP. Further details of the event are available here. Read more »


The UK leaves the EU (31 January 2020)   At 23:00 GMT on 31 January 2020, the UK left the EU. The Withdrawal Agreement has entered into force and now governs the relationship between the UK and the EU. In a series of posts that will follow, we will examine what this new relationship means for the UK, EU, third countries, and businesses. The Withdrawal Agreement is available here


Signature of the Withdrawal Agreement (24 January 2020)   On 23 January 2020, the British Parliament passed the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act, paving the way for the UK's signature and ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement. The EU (Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission) and UK (Prime Minister Boris Johnson) signed the Withdrawal Agreement on 24 January 2020. Read more »


Brexit and international agreements: the Withdrawal Agreement and beyond (January 2020)   On 23 January 2020, Laura Rees-Evans delivered a presentation to the Public International Law Discussion Group of the University of Oxford on "Brexit and international agreements: the Withdrawal Agreement and beyond". Read more »


Spotlight on the UK Government presenting the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill to Parliament (19 December 2019)   The new UK Government has today presented to Parliament the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill or "WAB". The purpose of the WAB is to implement, and make other provision in connection with, the agreement between the UK and the EU under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union (the "Withdrawal Agreement"). We explore further details of the WAB in this post. Read more »


Spotlight on intra-EU BITs in the context of Brexit (update November 2019)   On 24 October 2019, the European Commission announced that the majority of EU Member States, including the United Kingdom, has agreed on the text of a plurilateral treaty that will terminate all bilateral investment treaties among them (so-called “intra-EU BITs”). We have separately reported on this development on our “Public International Law News” page. We explore in this Brexit Insight how the timing of this development has specific ramifications for the UK and UK investors in the context of Brexit. Read more »


EU agrees “flextension” to the UK’s departure date from the EU to 31 January 2020 (updated 29 October 2019)   The EU27 (EU Member States other than the UK) has accepted the UK's request for an extension to the UK's date for leaving the EU until 31 January 2020. The European Council decision was communicated to the UK in draft form on 28 October, and adopted on 29 October after Prime Minister Johnson wrote to President Tusk to accept the offer. The decision defers the date for the UK to leave the EU under Article 50(3) of the Treaty on the EU until 31 January 2020. The decision also provides for a number of dates (1 December 2019, 1 January 2020, and 1 February 2020) on which the Withdrawal Agreement ("WA") may come into force, in the event that the Parties to the WA complete their ratification procedures and notify the depositary of the completion of such procedures in the preceding month of each respective date. The European Council Decision is available here


UK formally requests extension to the UK’s departure date from the EU (19 October 2019)   Today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, to request that the UK's date for leaving the EU be deferred to 31 January 2020. The Prime Minister was required to send the request by UK law, namely the EU (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019 (also known as the "Benn Act").  The Prime Minister's letter is available here


UK and EU agree revised texts of the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration (17 October 2019)   The UK and EU negotiators on the UK's withdrawal from the EU have reached an agreement on a revised Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland and on a revised Political Declaration. The UK House of Commons has decided to hold an extraordinary session on Saturday (19 October 2019) at which it is expected to vote on whether to approve Prime Minister Johnson’s revised deal (and may also vote on whether to hold a second referendum on the terms of the revised deal). If Parliament does not vote in favour of the deal, or of a no-deal Brexit on 31 October, the terms of the so-called “Benn Act” (European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019) require Boris Johnson to write to the European Council to request an extension to the deadline for the UK to leave the EU. Many party leaders (DUP, Labour, Liberal Democrats) have already stated their opposition to the revised Withdrawal Agreement, so there remains great uncertainty over whether the deal will be passed by Parliament. Laura Rees-Evans provided some further initial reactions to the revisions to the deal to LexisPSL, available here


Spotlight on the process of scrutiny of Brexit-related treaties and implications for treaty negotiations involving the UK (September 2019)   In January 2019, responsibility for the scrutiny of Brexit-related treaties in the UK Parliament was transferred from the House of Lords’ Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee to its EU Select Committee. In the eight months since taking up that responsibility, the EU Committee has published 15 reports on more than 50 Brexit-related treaties. As the EU Committee highlighted in its recent report “Scrutiny of international agreements: lessons learned”, this constitutes a “substantive body of work for which there is no precedent in the UK”. The detailed approach taken by the EU Committee and its various recommendations may influence the way Parliament conducts scrutiny of treaties in the future and could also impact the way the UK Government conducts negotiations with its future treaty partners (which according to the Constitution Committee and the EU Committee, should, for instance, lean towards further transparency). Read more »