On 17 January, Christopher Muttukumaru CB spoke to a large group of lawyers and administrators in the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment about the imminent Brexit negotiations. The group included officials from other Government departments, including Foreign Affairs.
He covered the UK Prime Minister’s speeches on Brexit. He explored legal aspects of the principal issues that the Dutch Government will face as the Brexit negotiations gather pace.
The issues included the lack of legal clarity and consistency that will result if the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU is removed in relation to those parts of the Single Market rules which will continue to apply to the UK.
The discussion also covered the complexity of the proposal to replicate in domestic law the provisions of the EU acquis in a Great Repeal Bill. There is clear evidence that that exercise will not be a simple technical transfer to UK domestic law. In the environmental field, for example, the DEFRA Secretary of State has already accepted that one third of the environmental acquis is not capable of simple replication.
With the loss of Commission responsibility for enforcement in a post-Brexit world, there was lively discussion about the alternatives.