Excellent piece by @pmdfoster on an important issue which didn’t get enough attention when it was announced a few weeks ago.

I wholly agree that the Govt’s proposals to amend the special status of EU retained law risk creating significant uncertainty. /1
What’s more, it risks a hugely complex domestic legal environment and undermining the Union. True, UK Govt may choose to amend EU-inherited rules as it wishes. But it has to be mindful of the consequences; in many areas the devolved administrations will make their own choices. /2
There’re also some notable constraints on what the UK Govt can, and cannot, do with the EU-derived jurisprudence under the Withdrawal Agreement (and, indeed, the current NI Protocol). It won’t be as straightforward for UK ministers to shake up the system as they may wish. /3
Finally, there’s some irony in allowing Govt ministers to scrap retained EU law with little parliamentary scrutiny – via the “fast-track procedure” – whileclaiming to regain legal sovereignty. Wasn’t Brexit about regaining parliamentary sovereignty after all? /Ends

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More from @AntonSpisak

16 Sep
Looking at the list of regulations for reform announced by Lord Frost, most have nothing to do with the EU. So many random ideas, it's as if you asked government departments to come up with any ideas, and as quickly as possible. Embarrassing.
What exactly does the National Underground Asset Register have to do with EU regulations? Image
What about the Geospatial Commission? Image
Read 7 tweets
1 Sep
I missed this while on holiday but the minutes of the first meeting of the UK-EU TCA Partnership Council, which took place in June, have now been published.

A couple of noteworthy points:
1. UK Govt appears to have realised inadequacies of the TCA on SPS matters - quelle surprise - and asked to "deepen cooperation" in aspects of SPS.
2. The UK called for a wide-ranging SPS equivalence agreement that would apply to both GB-EU trade and GB-NI trade. The Cion responded with its usual "no alignment, no agreement" line.
Read 13 tweets
28 Jul
I am getting confused with the flurry of post-Brexit consultations and reviews announced by UK Govt in recent weeks, so here is a list:

1) Reforming the framework for better regulation
Closes 1 Oct
2) Reforming competition and consumer policy
Closes 1 Oct
3) A new pro-competition regime for digital markets
Closes 1 Oct
Read 9 tweets
26 Jul
I think there’s an enormous value in adaptive policymaking. It starts from mapping the environment, identifying uncertainties, and assigning values to possible outcomes. Doing this for the long term is inherently uncertain. /1
Whether Brexit is good or bad in the long term is inherently uncertain because we don’t know what the future will be. But what we know is that it’s contingent on two major variables: (a) the UK’s capacity to outperform EU in key aspects of policy, (b) EU ability to carry on. /2
Re (a), how likely is it that the UK outperforms the EU in domestic and intl policy? That a smaller market will exert greater influence globally? That it will be able to do freely what it wants domestically? And that it will not be diminished by the unraveling of the union? /3
Read 6 tweets
21 Jul
Some thoughts on the UK's new Command Paper on Northern Ireland, what it means, and where it leaves us.

(A thread)
The first section - the Govt's take on "how we got here" - is an extraordinary attempt to rewrite history.

We are told that we are in the current mess because of (1) Theresa May, (2) Parliament (Benn-Burt Act), & (3) the EU. Everybody but the man who agreed to the deal.
Then, there is a section describing how the Govt did not foresee those issues. Except that the Govt's own IA of the WA/NIP from October 2019 clearly stated the consequences of the Protocol, and Johnson kept quiet about it to win GE 2019.
Read 29 tweets
9 Jul
Article 16 of NI Protocol is unique. It is unusual to have a general "safeguard" provision like this - a provision which allows either side to unilaterally suspend parts of a treaty without a dispute.

Here's a bit of niche EU legal history to ask where A16 comes from. A thread:
This provision is actually taken directly from the 1992 EEA Agreement. Look at the text of A112 of the EEA Agmt and you'll see that it is identical to A16 of the Protocol.

Surprising? Not really. In essence, both are about EU law and conditions under which it can be disapplied.
Its function in the EEA Agmt is to provide a de-facto "emergency break" on the application of single market rules in the event of exceptional circumstances. Originally, it was included to give EEA states some extra time to transpose relevant EU laws into their legal orders.
Read 12 tweets

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