Sunday 10 December 2017

The Joint UK EU Report (4) - Euratom and Other points

On Friday 8th December, there was acceptance by the EU that "sufficient progress" had been made to allow talks to proceed further - Joint report from the negotiators of the EU and the UK government on progress during phase 1 of negotiations under Article 50 TEU on the UK's orderly withdrawal from the EU.  This post is the fourth and final post taking an overview of the Joint Report.

Agreement or understanding was reached on some other points as set out in paras 87 to 95.

Euratom - para 89 - The UK has been a member of Euratom since accession to the EU in 1973.  Euratom aims to pursue nuclear research and training activities with an emphasis on continually improving nuclear safety, security and radiation protection, notably to contribute to the long-term decarbonisation of the energy system in a safe, efficient and secure way.   The reasons for leaving Euratom are set out by the Institute for Government in this article.

UK will be responsible for international nuclear safeguards in the UK and is committed to a future regime that provides coverage and effectiveness equivalent to existing Euratom arrangements. Both sides have also agreed the principles of ownership for special fissile material (save for material held in the UK by EU27 entities) and responsibility for spent fuel and radioactive waste.

Continuity in the availability of goods - para 90 - Both parties recognise the need to provide legal certainty and minimise disruption to business and consumers. Both Parties have agreed the principles that the goods placed on the market under Union law before withdrawal may freely circulate on the markets of the UK and the Union with no need for product modifications or re-labelling; be put into service where provided in Union law, and that the goods concerned should be subject to continued oversight.

See DExEU paper of 21st August 2017

Co-operation in Civil and Commercial matters - para 91 - There is general consensus between both Parties that Union rules on conflict of laws should continue to apply to contracts before the withdrawal date and non-contractual obligations where an event causing damage occurred before the withdrawal date. There was also agreement to provide legal certainty as to the circumstances under which Union law on jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgements will continue to apply, and that judicial cooperation procedures should be finalised.  This appears to be in line with the EU position paper issued on 13th July 2017 on Judicial Co-operation in Civil and Commercial Matters - TF50 (2017) 9/2 - Commission  to UK.

Police and Judicial Co-operation in criminal matters - para 92 - Both parties broadly agree on the principle that all structured and formalised cooperation procedures ongoing on withdrawal date that have passed a certain threshold (to be defined) should be completed under Union law.

See Police and Judicial Co-operation in criminal matters.

On-going judicial procedures -para 93 - Both parties have agreed that the CJEU should remain competent for UK judicial procedures registered at the CJEU on the date of withdrawal, and that those procedures should continue through to a binding judgment.

On-going administrative proceedings - para 94 - Both parties have deepened their understanding of the respective positions, and explored some areas, such as competition, state aid and examinations of the Community Plant Variety Office.

Functioning of EU institutions, agencies and bodies - para 95 - Agreed that an arrangement which closely mirrors Union privileges and immunities should remain applicable to activities that took place before withdrawal and as regards new activities foreseen in the Withdrawal Agreement; that both sides continue to ensure compliance with obligations of professional secrecy; and that classified information and other documents obtained by both sides whilst the UK was a Member State retain the same level of protection as before withdrawal.

Other links:

ICLR Weekly Notes 11th December

Lord Justice Hamblen - The Myths of Brexit -speech looking at reasons why litigators should continue to choose English law, English jurisdiction and English arbitration. Hamblen LJ argues that the reasons will remain valid regardless of Brexit.

*** Phase 2 ***

As Phase 2 now approaches, the European Council President (Mr Donald Tusk) announced draft guidelines which have yet to be agreed at the EU Council.

Reuters - CCEU Draft guidelines on Brexit transition and a future relationship with Britain

Statement by President Donald Tusk on the draft guidelines for the second phase of the Brexit negotiations (press release, 08/12/2017)

Theresa May - House of Commons 11th December

Press Statement by Michel Barnier following the General Affairs Council -12th December

*** Parliament ***

Progress on the Committee Stage of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill is HERE.

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