Now that we have officially set foot into the Brexit month. There are only less than 4 weeks until the official Brexit deadline: Thursday 31 October 2019.
But with all the uncertainties and political dogfighting, MPs voted to try to block a no-deal Brexit and with the Supreme court stepping in, the future of the UK remains unsettled.
Over the past few days, headline after headline has cast doubt on the credibility of Boris Johnson as being the Prime minister of the UK, after being ruled by the Supreme Court that his advice to the Queen to prorogue the parliament was “unlawful”.
The Supreme Court: why Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament was unlawful
The Supreme Court’s ruling came at a crucial moment in the Brexit process. On 24th September, Boring Johnson faced a complete defeat in Britain’s Supreme Court.
The court convened a panel of 11 Justices, the maximum number of serving Justices who are permitted to sit, and they all gave out the unanimous judgement that the Prime Minister’s advice to Her Majesty was unlawful, void and of no effect. That means the prorogation was also void and of no effect, and hence, parliament has not been prorogued.
The judgement said this prorogation prevented Parliament from carrying out its constitutional functions as a legislature and as the body responsible for the supervision of the executive. While Parliament is prorogued, neither House can meet, debate or pass legislation. Neither House can debate Government policy. Nor may members ask written or oral questions of Ministers or meet and take evidence in committees. In general, Bills which have not yet completed all their stages are lost and will have to start again. Therefore, the effect upon the fundamentals of our democracy was extreme.
In addition to the above, the judgement said the government failed to explain why it was necessary to bring Parliamentary business to a halt for five weeks. With this information in mind, the judgement also stressed on the impact of prorogation, which would result in not having enough time to scrutinise the delegated legislation necessary to achieve an orderly withdrawal from the EU, with or without a deal. Thus, the prorogation has the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification, and brings the core business to an end.
The above briefly explained the reasons behind the Supreme Court’s ruling.
What significant impact would be brought to the economy and immigration policy if Parliament was suspended? Or if there was a “no-deal Brexit”?
Before getting into the discussion, it is important to distinguish the differences between Parliament prorogation and recess.
Proroguing Parliament is quite different from Parliament going into recess. As mentioned in the above, while Parliament is prorogued, basically no one is allowed to work and there will be no progress whatsoever in any bills or policies. Bills that have not yet been completed in all their stages are lost and will have to start again from scratch after the Queen’s Speech.
During a recess, on the other hand, the House does not sit but Parliamentary business can otherwise continue as usual. That means the unfinished bills would be paused, and resumed once Parliament is back on agenda.
While Boris Johnson might see the MPs and Parliament as the obstacles to “Get Brexit Done”, shutting down Parliament, bring Parliamentary business to a halt for five weeks might potentially result in greater chaos.
Since the MPs would not have enough time to come up with the solutions and policies for the Brexit transitional period, so rushing into Brexit may bring a significant impact on the economy and immigration policy.
In terms of the economy and trading, the following concerns would be raised:
- When a local business is merging with an EU company, is it necessary to appoint a representative in the EU, and to label goods with EU importer’s details?
- How to label food if selling in the UK or EU?
- Do we need to pay a tariff on goods imported from the EU?
- Will we need an EORI number starting with GB for moving goods in and out of the EU?
- What will be the rules for moving plants and plant products between the UK and the EU?
- How to set up a “Duty deferment account” for paying customs duties, import VAT and excise duties monthly by direct debits?
- What are all the steps to take to sell goods to the EU?
- What will be the financial service and impact on the UK after Brexit, such as the housing market and the tax implication, etc.?
As for the Immigration policies, here are some potential problems:
- Do British employees require a visa or work permit to work in the EU? What would be the legal requirements for different professionals?
- Do we require a permit for journeys through or between EU countries?
- Does an EU student have to apply for a study visa to study in the UK?
- How about driving? Can we drive around the EU with the existing number plate? Do we need to apply for a new one?
Immigration is another huge topic for Brexit, apart from the above, cross border (international) disputes/business, inheritance tax, provisions, transports and family migration will probably be another big issue.
How should we prepare for Brexit?
At this stage, many of the policies remain unsettled, and whether the Government can achieve a deal with the EU is another uncertainty.
To check if you need legal advice before Brexit, feel free to follow Brexit updates on our websites as there may be actions to be taken before 31st October 2019 (the big Brexit day) or after.
If there are any more updates regarding this or any other laws, we will keep you informed. Be sure to get in contact with us if you require any legal assistance or consultation, you can call us on 020 7928 0276 or email into firstname.lastname@example.org.