UK in Strasbourg
Five daughters of hereditary peers are taking the Government to the European Court of Human Rights to challenge the law that bars them from standing for election to the House of Lords.
UK & other courts
Jonathan Grimes writes in The Times that as the ICC’s existence marks twenty years, the UK should remember that it can and should play its part by using its own universal jurisdiction (the ability to prosecute international crimes that have no connection to the UK) to investigate and prosecute those suspected of such crimes who are found in the UK.
Evaluation of UK’s international obligations
The ICC has agreed to add crimes of aggression to the list of offences it hears, and lawyers have stated that Tony Blair’s action against Iraq could have fallen under the offence.
Brussels has warned the UK to end a series of illegal tax breaks or face court action as the EU escalates its complaints against Britain’s fiscal arrangements ahead of Brexit.
UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU
Justine Greening is the first Tory MP to call for a second referendum on the Brexit deal as she criticises the Chequers plan as a ‘fudge’ in The Times. However Theresa May has ruled out a second Brexit referendum under ‘any circumstances’. Meanwhile Nick Clegg has argued in the Financial Times that Theresa May’s Brexit position will crumble and therefore she should delay the art 50 deadline currently set for March 2019.
Despite Tory assaults on her Brexit plan, Theresa May is attempting to revive it, insisting her proposal to stay close to Brussels regulations is necessary to avoid a ‘chaotic’ EU departure. However, on the back of the Chequers meeting Dominic Raab has stepped up preparations for a ‘no deal’ Brexit, expanding the Government unit preparing for that possibility.
Pro-EU Conservative MPs are planning their own Brexit rebellion after the Eurosceptic wing of the party successfully reshaped Theresa May’s plans in a Commons vote regarding the collection of tariffs. This vote also caused the resignation of defence minister, Guto Bebb, who had rebelled against the Government. The Financial Times has discussed the votes. Alex Barker has argued that the Brexit deadlock boils down to the conundrum of the customs union.
Theresa May faced a damaging Commons defeat, as Labour has confirmed it would back an amendment tabled by rebel Tory MPs seeking to ensure Britain remains in a customs union after Brexit. However, the vote was 307-301 against the amendment, meaning the Government saw off the attempted Tory rebellion, though Anna Sourbry has claimed that Conservative party whips threatened rebels with a vote of no confidence in the prime minister and a general election in order to push through the vital bill.
Conservative whips have been accused of a “calculated, deliberate breaking of trust” after a senior Tory MP twice voted on a knife-edge Brexit bill – despite agreeing to step aside for a Liberal Democrat on maternity leave.
The Times reports the Bar Council’s warning that lawyers will lose their right to advise on EU law and even on UK law when on the soil of the EU27 under the Government’s Brexit white paper.
The House of Commons Library published the debate pack for the Commons debate of the future relationship between the EU and UK. Meanwhile the Government has taken the somewhat unprecedented step of translating the executive summary of its Brexit White Paper into 22 European languages in a move which has been interpreted by many Brussels officials as an attempt to bypass the European Commission’s negotiating team.
Boris Johnson has used a stinging resignation speech in the House of Commons to urge the prime minister to change tack on Brexit, branding the future sketched out at Chequers a “miserable, permanent limbo”.
The new Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, is to hold his first meeting with the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, as the EU sends out its strongest warning yet to member states over the need to prepare for a no-deal scenario with EU officials having picked apart the most contentious parts of the white paper and pressure mounts over the Northern Ireland border.
Dominic Raab is to inundate businesses and households with technical advice for preparing for a no-deal Brexit in an attempt to show Brussels that the UK is prepared to walk away from the talks. Meanwhile Andrea Leadsom has said that the Chequers agreement must be the “final offer” to the EU she warned Brussels they will force a no deal Brexit if they reject the proposals.
Bloomberg has discussed the preparations various countries of the EU27 have been making for the eventuality of a no-deal Brexit.
In a speech in Belfast, Theresa May is to hit back at her Tory Brexiteer critics and warn them that their vision of life outside the EU could put the future of the United Kingdom at risk.