UK Vol.63 (Post-EUref Vol.9 – BREXIT AND BEYOND Vol.4)

Here are excerpts from BREXIT AND BEYOND HOW THE UNITED KINGDOM MIGHT LEAVE THE EUROPEAN UNION (PDF: Nov 2016) | @UKandEU @PolStudiesAssoc.

CHAPTER FOUR: HANDLING THE NEGOTIATIONS
… In David Cameron’s pre-referendum negotiations, the three devolved administrations asked for a place at the table but were given only a consultative role. …even the UK Parliament will be marginalised… if the devolved governments were involved in the negotiation, even at the civil service level and on technical matters, this might commit them to accept the outcome. …

4.1 Who controls Brexit in the British Government?
… First… underlying tension between keeping Leave campaigners within the party on board and administrative efficiency. Second, by creating a tier of ministers with nominal responsibility for Brexit… Finally, the necessary complexity of Brexit means that no one minister can have the overview and authority required to reach a final agreement…
… Mrs May reportedly announced her end-March 2017 deadline for triggering Article 50 without informing, or consulting with, the Cabinet. …
… Her party could turn on her if she does not seem to be fighting Britain’s corner hard enough. …
… The danger lies in collective action by these figures: if they can marshal their actions then they could force May to change position. …
… David Davis, the Secretary of State for the newly-formed Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU). … a combination of staff from
the Cabinet Office’s Europe Unit, the Europe Directorate of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and staff of the UK’s Permanent Representation to the EU (UKREP)… The start-up phase of preparing for Brexit has been marked by media coverage of turf wars between Davis, Liam Fox, appointed to a new Cabinet role of Secretary for International Trade, heading a Department for International Trade (DIT), and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson…
… Prime ministerial interests and coordination issues involving the Cabinet Office and ministerial departments, including the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Offices, executive agencies and regulatory authorities will all need to be accommodated. …

4.2 Civil Service: Stretched to breaking point?
… As members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) which participate in the European Economic Area (EEA), Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein apply EU Single Market law. While they do not vote on this legislation, they implement it almost as if they were Member States. …
… Some of the work conducted by the European Commission in terms of compliance monitoring would fall under the scope of the EFTA Surveillance Authority, which performs a similar function for the non-EU states within the EEA, enabling their participation in the Single Market.
In this Norwegian scenario… with British officials left with little to do other than lobby decision makers in Brussels. British officials would also have to work within the EFTA committee structure and negotiate, in particular, over which EU provisions were relevant to the EEA. … As in the case of Norway and Switzerland, most rules would be automatically adopted even if the myth existed that HM Government was sovereign in deciding to do so.
… One possibility is that relations with the EU would have to be negotiated on a bilateral basis and issue-by-issue, and permanently updated. Such a ‘Swiss-style’ arrangement is unlikely to be popular with the EU. …it is unlikely that these novice negotiators would be in possession of sufficient policy memory to carry out their role especially effectively. …
…potential EU sanctions against non-Member States for breaching rules can be worse than for Member States…
… Brexit requires, in the short term, an extensive knowledge of policy detail… In the long term, depending on the form Brexit might take, demands on Whitehall competence could range from lobbying the EU… to the simple business advice services as to how to trade with the EU…

4.3 The role of Parliament in negotiations
… The House of Lords EU Committee has taken a more expansive view of what parliamentary oversight might mean in a report published in July, and is currently engaged in a follow-up inquiry…
…changes are already noticeable in the work carried out within the existing House of Lords EU Committee and House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee, responsible in the two Houses for scrutinising all documents produced by the EU as part of its normal ongoing policy business…

4.4 How will Parliament manage the volume of work required to amend legislation?
… In terms of volume, the overarching Parliamentary measures are likely to be relatively few: passage of the ‘Great Repeal Bill’ to repeal the 1972 European Communities Act; ratification of the UK-EU withdrawal agreement required by Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union; and ratification of whatever UK-EU agreement or agreements may be reached to govern post-Brexit relations. …
…by far the bigger task will be transposing into domestic law all the EU law which currently has direct effect in the UK, and amending the thus-augmented body of UK legislation which gives effect to EU law so that it can stand independently. The planned ‘Great Repeal Bill’ may give only blanket authority for these tasks. …
…with the Commons hampered more than the Lords by political upheavals and party conferences and appearing somewhat slow off the mark, the Lords EU Committee has proceeded to elaborate an initial Brexit-related work programme of its own. …

4.5 What information will be available to the public about the negotiations?
… The only possibly relevant ground for refusing disclosure under this law would be if it undermines protection of the financial, monetary or economic policy of the Union or any Member State, including the UK. …