Evaluation of UK’s international obligations
International law experts Alex Bailin QC and Philippe Sands QC argue in The Times over the contentious issue of whether Theresa May’s approval for Britain to join the bombing campaign on Syria was legal. Whilst Alex argues that the action was legal but, in the interests of democracy, Parliament should have had a role in its authorisation, Philippe takes the position that the strike contravened international law in any event as there is no consensus on the existence of a unilateral right to humanitarian intervention.
The House of Commons Library has published a paper looking at the legal basis for air strikes against Syrian Government targets.
Theresa May has apologised to the twelve Caribbean heads of government for the treatment of Windrush citizens and promised that no one would be deported.
Urging Commonwealth nations to overhaul “outdated”, colonial-era legislation that treats more than 100 million lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people across the member countries as criminals, Theresa May has said that she “deeply regrets” Britain’s historical legacy of anti-gay laws across the Commonwealth.
According to a report by Amnesty International, discussed in The Guardian, the UK risks violating international law through its support of lethal US drone strikes around the world, including sharing intelligence to help identify targets and the use of RAF bases.
Escaping the fragility trap, a report published by the Commission on State Fragility, Growth and Development which is chaired by David Cameron, has criticised the British and French intervention that ousted Muammar Gaddafi from Libya in 2011.
UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU
As London hosts a summit of Commonwealth leaders for the first time in 20 years, Theresa May is to pledge to put the 52 nations at the heart of a global Britain post-Brexit, offering funding to work towards common standards.
The Financial Times has reported that the Lords are likely to vote in favour of the UK staying in the customs union post-Brexit, with PoliticsHome reporting that the Government is braced for a number of humiliating blows from the Lords’ votes. David Hannay has written for In Facts, identifying the amendments which give the Lords eight ways to improve the Bill.
Peers backed amendments to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, forcing the Government to explain what it has done to pursue remaining in a customs union, by 348 votes to 225, and limiting the power of ministers to slash red tape without the approval of Parliament, by 314 votes to 217, defeating the Government. However Hugo Dixon, for In Facts, has argued that this defeat will help Theresa May with the difficulties over the Irish border.
A major push for a “people’s vote” on the final Brexit deal between Britain and the EU has been launched by a cross-party group of MPs.
Brussels is to issue many legal proposals on Brexit in the coming weeks, with the legal measures aimed at preparing the EU for a hard Brexit, partly by giving emergency powers to the bloc’s institutions.
David Davis, Brexit Secretary, is urging Theresa May to get ahead of the EU by publishing detailed proposals for the future UK-EU relationship ‘as soon as possible’ rather than waiting for Brussels to lay down its terms.
For the Financial Times, David Allen Green has discussed the ten factors he considers will now shape Brexit. Meanwhile Colin Talbot has written for The Times, considering how Brexit could break Whitehall.
The Dutch Government launched an appeal yesterday of a ruling from an Amsterdam court to refer the case, in which five Britons are seeking clarification of their rights as EU citizens, to the Court of Justice of the EU.
Dealing a major blow to Theresa May, the EU has rejected the Government’s proposals for avoiding a hard border in Ireland after Brexit.
Theresa May is to face a show of defiance from MPs fighting to keep the UK in a customs union with the EU after 10 select committee chairs tabled a motion aimed at forcing a vote on the issue.
Huw Evans, director-general of the Association of British Insurers, has told the Committee on Exiting the EU that the British Government is taking too long to agree the details of the future UK-EU relationship.