UK in Strasbourg
The first major challenge to the legality of UK intelligence agencies intercepting private communications in bulk, following Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing revelations, is due to be heard by the ECtHR.
UK & other courts
Britain’s only judge at the international court of justice, Sir Christopher Greenwood QC, is facing a battle for re-election at the UN general assembly in a vote that may reflect the UK’s shifting status in the world.
ClientEarth have applied to take the Government back to court for the third time over the widespread illegal levels of air pollution as ClientEarth believes that the latest Government strategy does not meet the legal requirement of banishing toxic air in the “shortest possible time”.
UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU
Ireland has called for a transition period of up to five years after the UK leaves in the EU, showing Dublin’s mounting concern that it will suffer collateral damage from Brexit. Meanwhile the Welsh Secretary has welcomed the EU exit minister to Cardiff, for a meeting in which he will make clear that every part of Wales must flourish post-Brexit. Three UK Government ministers have appeared before the Scottish Parliament to discuss the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.
The Commons Select Committees have published an interim report on the scrutiny of delegated legislation under the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.
The Guardian understands that senior officials in Brussels are taking the view that the British Government has less than a month to make a concession on the Brexit bill in order to guarantee launching trade talks in December. This is discussed in the Financial Times, stating that Brussels is giving Britain two to three weeks to set out how much it is prepared to pay in the Brexit divorce settlement, warning that the EU will otherwise struggle to prepare this year for a transition deal.
Following an order by the Speaker after a defeat on the issue in the House of Commons, ministers have announced that they will publish 58 sectoral studies on the impact of Brexit within the next three weeks with no redactions.
David Davis has paid a visit to Rome to reiterate the UK’s commitment to deepening its bilateral relationships with countries across Europe, after its departure from the EU. Also speaking in Rome, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, challenged Theresa May to address the fundamental question of whether Britain wants to deregulate and follow the US social and economic model or stay within the European mainstream.
According to the Financial Times, Theresa May is ready to increase the UK’s £20bn Brexit divorce offer to the EU, with hard Eurosceptics signalling a toleration of paying more money to break the deadlock in negotiations.
Lord Kerr, the peer who helped write art 50, has stated that Britain can change its mind on Brexit right up until the end of March 2019. However, Theresa May has pledged to enshrine the Brexit date in law in a bid to stop MPs trying to ‘block’ leaving the EU.