UK & other courts
A transgender woman who suffered years of discrimination and abuse in the UK has been granted residency in New Zealand on exceptional humanitarian grounds, with the Tribunal stating that it would be “unduly harsh” for the woman to be forced to return to the UK.
Evaluation of UK’s international obligations
The Bar Human Rights Committee has published a fact-finding report on Calais and the plight of child refugees, accusing Britain and France of ignoring their obligations under international law, and stating that British ministers must lift the “arbitrary” cut-off date for applications from unaccompanied refugee children and increase the number it will accept under the Dubs amendment.
According to the EU’s Gender Equality Index 2017, Britain has made no progress in tackling inequality between the sexes in the past decade and lags behind Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and France.
UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU
Theresa May’s attempt to encourage MPs, stating that the UK will achieve a successful withdrawal, and to tell them that the onus is on the EU to advance Brexit following her Florence speech has suffered a setback with the European Commission stating that the ‘ball is entirely in the UK’s court’. Meanwhile over 120 MPs have written to David Davis demanding the Government publish its studies on the impact Brexit will have on the country.
Lord Heseltine has stated the Prime Minister would not be able to deliver on her promise to build more affordable homes as she was too “absorbed in Brexit”, and therefore she should appoint a new “housing supremo” to deal with the housing crisis.
Meanwhile, uncertainty over Theresa May’s future has reportedly led EU negotiators to step up backroom talks with Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party, and the Sunday Telegraph has reported that Theresa May has decided to commit billions of pounds on preparing Britain to leave the European Union without a deal in a bid to save her premiership. However Nick Clegg has argued that Brexit should be stopped if we get a poor deal.
The Prime minister has been sent an FOI request by Jessica Simor QC to publish legal guidance given to the Government which is thought to argue that the UK can stop the EU divorce process at any time. Meanwhile lawyers have stated that they will issue judicial review proceedings if the Brexit secretary fails to release 50 studies in to the effect of Brexit on industry.
Philip Hammond’s Treasury has come under fire from a leading Conservative leave campaigner, Bernard Jenkin, who said that the gloomy outlook and “Brexit in name only” approach of the department risked scuppering the UK’s EU exit.
PoliticsHome has considered Brexit at the party conferences, stating that few new details emerged despite the topic dominating the conferences.
Theresa May is facing a backlash from Eurosceptic Tory MPs after she revealed that European Court of Justice rulings will still apply in Britain during a two year Brexit transition period.
In his address to the European Committee of the Regions, Donald Tusk has considered the possibility of a ‘no deal’ end to the Brexit negotiations. However Michel Barnier is reportedly pushing European Governments to give him permission to begin exploring transition and trade talks with Britain next week in the face of opposition from Germany. Nonetheless, Juncker has warned that Brexit will take longer than the UK thinks, and has called on Westminster to ‘pay up’ for trade talks.
Following the fifth session of Brexit negotiations, several diplomats have told the Financial Times that the talks are at a virtual political standstill. Michel Barnier has told reporters during a joint press conference with David Davis that he would not be able to recommend to EU27 leaders that “sufficient progress” had been made to allow talks over future trade relations to begin.
Whitehall is planning to hire an additional 2,000 staff to deal with Brexit, with departments vying for the extra personnel. Meanwhile the Government is anticipating significant opposition to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill among Conservative MPs, threatening Theresa May’s majority, and so have delayed bringing the Bill back to the Commons.