Evaluation of UK’s international obligations
The UK has dropped to eighth place in the Good Country Index, with The Guardian reporting that the country is sliding down the rankings which measure which country contribute the most to the greater good of humanity.
UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU
David Davis has sought to close a potential Brexit rift with Ireland over his claim that the first-stage deal agreed last week was a “statement of intent”, stating that these words were meant to convey that the deal was stronger than merely being legally enforceable. However Guy Verhofstadt has stated that this claim has damaged trust in the UK and will result in a hardening of positions in Brussels.
A cross-party group of MPs are pushing for an amendment, to be brought forward by Dominic Grieve, that would enshrine the promise of a “truly meaningful vote” on the final Brexit deal into law. However, to avoid an embarrassing defeat by Tory rebels Downing Street hinted at a climb-down, stating that it is ‘having conversations’ with Tory backbenchers. Despite this, Theresa May suffered a legislative defeat over the amendment, with eleven Tory MPs rebelling against the Government. Nonetheless she has insisted that the Brexit bill is still ‘making good progress’, though she is reportedly preparing to drop plans to enshrine the date of Brexit in law amid fears of another defeat.
Writing in The Telegraph, Michael Gove stated that the British people will be able to change Theresa May’s Brexit deal at the next general election. Also in The Telegraph, Roger Bootle has argued that, if the next phase of Brexit talks goes badly, we must walk away without a deal.
At a Brexit conference organised by the Hong Kong Department of Justice entitled ‘Impact of Brexit on the Development of Common Law, Dispute Resolution and Judicial Cooperation in civil and commercial matters’, Lord Justice Hamblen spoke to address the ‘Myths of Brexit’. Meanwhile the Government has responded to the Justice Committee’s report on the implications of Brexit for the justice system.
According to the EU Observer, the EU will draw up negotiating guidelines for talks on future relations with the UK at its March summit, according to updated document set to be endorsed by EU leaders on Friday. Meanwhile EU leaders are have agreed at this summit to move Brexit talks into their second phase, calling on the UK to provide more clarity on the kind of deal it wants. The Financial Times has analysed the deal. Meanwhile DEXEU has published the single departmental plan.
Michel Barnier has warned that the EU will not accept any Brexit deal that undermines the four freedoms, emphasising that some points will be non-negotiable for Brussels in upcoming talks on the new trading relationship.
A key ally of Angela Merkel, Manfred Weber, has claimed that a growing awareness of the damaging terms of a future Brexit deal has led to a rise in support in the UK for a second referendum on EU membership.
The Commons Exiting the EU Committee has looked into the suitability of access to and continued membership of EU agencies post-Brexit.
Lord Pannick has warned that judges are afraid of being dragged into political controversy by the Government’s EU (Withdrawal) Bill allowing them to take account of rulings of the top EU court after Brexit.