Brexit – UK Government Sets Out Process to Leave EU by 2019

October 3, 2016

  1. The UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, has announced that Article 50 the official legal notification to the EU that the UK is going to leave the bloc will be triggered by end March 2017.  This means the UK will be out of the EU by end March 2019.  
  2. The UK will have two years from the Article 50 notice to negotiate the terms of its relationship with the EU. 
  3. Theresa May has not given any information on the type of Brexit deal the UK Government will be pursuing.  However, the Prime Minister insists that the UK will not "give up control of immigration again".  The requirement for restrictions on free movement of people may make it difficult for the UK to remain in the EU single market.
  4. The Government will introduce a "Great Repeal Bill" next year.  The bill (if passed) will take effect at the point of Brexit.  It will repeal the European Communities Act 1972, the domestic law that gives the EU powers in the UK, and enshrine all existing EU law into UK law.  Going forward, unwanted legislation can then be altered or abolished by Parliament.  The bill will also end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK.
  5. A two-day judicial review will be held in the High Court this month to decide whether the Government is entitled to serve the Article 50 notice without Parliamentary approval.  Any appeal will go straight to the Supreme Court and be decided before the end of this year.  This will ensure legal certainty before the Government’s planned Article 50 notice next year.  Whilst the Great Repeal Bill will require parliamentary approval (MPs could require amendments or even block the bill), this will not affect the Article 50 process.

The Prime Minister’s full speech at the Conservative Party Conference on October 2nd, 2016 ishere.

This client alert was prepared by London partners Charlie Geffen and Stephen Gillespie and of counsel Anne MacPherson.  We have a working group in London (led by Stephen Gillespie, Nicholas Aleksander, Patrick Doris, Charlie Geffen, Ali Nikpay and Selina Sagayam) that has been considering these issues for many months.  Please feel free to contact any member of the working group or any of the other lawyers mentioned below.

Ali Nikpay – Antitrust
[email protected]
Tel: 020 7071 4273

Charlie Geffen – Corporate
[email protected]
Tel: 020 7071 4225

Stephen Gillespie – Finance
[email protected]
Tel: 020 7071 4230

Philip Rocher – Litigation
[email protected]
Tel: 020 7071 4202

Jeffrey M. Trinklein – Tax
[email protected]
Tel: 020 7071 4224

Nicholas Aleksander – Tax
[email protected]
Tel: 020 7071 4232

Alan Samson – Real Estate
[email protected]
Tel:  020 7071 4222

Patrick Doris – Litigation; Data Protection
[email protected]
Tel:  020 7071 4276

Penny Madden QC – Arbitration
[email protected]
Tel:  020 7071 4226

James A. Cox – Employment; Data Protection
[email protected]
Tel: 020 7071 4250  

Gregory A. Campbell – Restructuring
[email protected]
Tel:  020 7071 4236

Selina Sagayam – Corporate [email protected]
Tel:  020 7071 4263

© 2016 Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Attorney Advertising:  The enclosed materials have been prepared for general informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice.