UK & other courts
In deciding the case of Benkharbouche & Anor v Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office  UKSC 62, the Supreme Court held that the UK’s state immunity rules are incompatible with ECHR, art 6. This is discussed by the UK Human Rights Blog.
UK and the UN
UNA-UK has published a ‘Global Britain Scorecard’, considering whether the UK is making progress on the key policy areas deemed central to ‘Global Britain’.
UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU
In an attempt to break the deadlock in Brexit negotiations, Theresa May and David Davis have made an emergency visit to Brussels for a dinner with Michel Barnier and Jean-Claude Juncker. Meanwhile May has personally urged Angela Merkel to end the Brexit standoff. The UK Prime Minister is also to appeal to the French president, Emmanuel Macron, to widen the Brexit negotiations to discuss a transition period, in the latest move amid a high-stakes flurry of diplomatic activity.
Resulting in Theresa May backing down, Angela Merkel has warned her that the EU will not start discussing a transition deal with the UK until the UK puts more money on the table. Nonetheless, following the dinner meeting, Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker have stated that the Brexit talks must be accelerated. By contrast, Labour sources have stated that the Government will be forced to delay bringing the EU withdrawal bill back to the House of Commons for a second time due to hundreds of hostile amendments.
The DUP has called for Theresa May to sack Philip Hammond due to concerns around his referral to Brussels as ‘the enemy’ and his causing of ‘unnecessary division within the Conservative party’.
A cross-party group of MPs including Ken Clarke is drawing up plans to block a ‘no deal’ Brexit. Meanwhile, the Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer has condemned the Government over its ‘no deal’ Brexit preparations, calling ministers “too weak” to reach an agreement with the EU. Despite David Davis still stating that no deal is an option, Amber Rudd has stated that no deal, at least covering security, would be unthinkable.
According to a draft prepared by the Foreign Ministry in Berlin, Germany is working on proposals for the EU’s future relations with the UK that include calls for a “comprehensive free-trade accord” with the British Government.
The former Chief of MI6 has given evidence to the Lords EU External Affairs Sub-Committee on the post-Brexit sanctions policy.
The House of Commons Library has published a report discussing the Brexit exit bill.
David Davis has raised tensions prior to the EU Summit meeting by accusing the EU of deliberately stalling Brexit talks to try to squeeze more money out of the UK. However, following the Summit, Donald Tusk has said the EU27 have agreed that preparations to move on to the second phase of Brexit talks can get underway, meaning formal talks on a trade relationship could begin by December.
For Counsel, Rhodri Thompson QC has considered whether the UK will need to keep an eye on ECJ rulings post-withdrawal.
There was a standing ovation for Jeremy Corbyn at a meeting of European Socialists in Brussels, who stated that a ‘no deal’ scenario would be ‘catastrophic’. Meanwhile David Davis is preparing to present an upbeat assessment of a “no-deal” Brexit to the cabinet in a big shift in Britain’s negotiating strategy.