Great Repeal Bill and Brexit challenge ahead


The Prime Minister announced that a Great Reform Bill will be included in next year’s Queen’s Speech to repeal the European Communities Act 1972.

On the first day of the Conservative party conference in Birmingham, Theresa May said the UK will begin the formal Brexit negotiation process by the end of March 2017, which could mean that the UK will leave the EU by summer 2019.

The former Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC, described the proposed Bill as ‘little more than a bit of froth’ that would have little practical effect. He told The Brief that it would not be legally viable for the UK to bring into force a repeal of the 1972 legislation until after it has formally left the EU.

Meanwhile, the High Court ordered that the government disclose its argument as to why it is relying on the use of the prerogative powers to trigger Art 50, the mechanism by which the UK will formally leave the European Union.

The ruling was hailed as a preliminary victory for the so-called People’s Challenge, which is arguing that Parliament must vote on the issue.

The government argues that it is ‘constitutionally impermissible’ for Parliament to be given the authority to make the decision rather than the Prime Minister

The Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC, led the government’s case, which took place as Counsel went to press, along with James Eadie QC and Jason Coppel QC.

Meanwhile, the Bar Chairman, Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC,backed a call from the Lord Chancellor, Liz Truss, at the party conference to boost diversity in the legal profession and judiciary.

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