Inquiry of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee into the implications of a no-deal in the Brexit negotiations
The end of the two year period under Article 50 TEU for the UK and the EU to negotiate a withdrawal agreement prior to Brexit has been graphically described as the “cliff-edge”, because at that point the EU Treaties will cease to apply to the UK, even if no agreement has been reached. The Foreign Affairs Committee of the House Commons is conducting an inquiry into what happens if the Brexit negotiations produce a “no-deal”, and if the UK and EU fall over the cliff-edge into an “unplanned” and “hard” Brexit. With Hugo Leith, of Brick Court Chambers, I have been preparing written evidence for the Committee, on behalf of the Bar Council. This written evidence will appear as one of the “Brexit Papers” published by the Bar Council Brexit Working Group.
We gave oral evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee on 7th February.
In this blog post I discuss four issues raised by the Committee at the hearing:
- Is “no deal better than a bad deal” and what is the worst case scenario for a future trade agreement?
- How disruptive would an unplanned hard Brexit be?
- Could the UK and the EU recover from an unplanned Brexit, and still conclude a withdrawal agreement and transitional arrangements?
- If the UK refuses to pay the exit bill demanded by the EU, could the EU sue the UK?