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Lawyers for Britain - Projects

Lawyers for Britain are undertaking a wide range of legal projects with the aim of looking for and advocating the best solutions for the United Kingdom as it leaves the European Union. If you are interested in following this vital and interesting work, please enter your contact information on our Contact Us page to receive our regular mailings. If you would like to contribute to any of the projects below, or have an idea for a new project we should be covering and would like to get it off the ground, please email Adminstrator

Projects we have done

  1. Intervention in the Miller case: After being granted formal leave to intervene by the Supreme Court in the Article 50 case, Lawyers for Britain submitted arguments in support of the appeal being allowed, on the basis of wider arguments than those advanced by the government. Some of our key arguments were reflected in the powerful dissenting judgments of Lords Carnwath and Reed. Overall, we felt that our intervention helped to counterbalance some of the more dangerous arguments of the claimants and of the interveners supporting them, and to persuade the majority to give their judgment on a comparatively narrow basis. Details of our intervention and of the arguments we presented are at LFB Intervention in Article 50 Case
  2. EU financial claims against the UK: We have produced a detailed research paper and updated it with new information, showing that no legal liability exists to pay almost all of what the EU is trying to claim. Withdrawal - UK potential financial liabilities
  3. Pre-Election briefing on the Party Manifestoes and the EU Customs Union/Single Market: Notes the positions taken by the Parties in their election manifestoes on post Brexit membership of the EU Customs Union and Single Market, and explains in detail the legal consequences of following such a policy. Brexit Election Choice
  4. Rights of EU citizens after Brexit and Jurisdiction of the ECJ: The EU’s negotiating guidelines demand extensive rights for EU residents in the UK which will last for their lifetimes, but in addition demand that these rights should be overseen by the ECJ in Luxembourg. It is virtually unknown in international relations for one party to a treaty to accept subordination to the domestic courts of the other treaty party. This would create an extra-territorial jurisdiction by a foreign court over British soil lasting for the lifetime of the longest-lived EU national resident in the UK. The closest parallel to this is the “unequal treaties” of the 19th Century, which exempted citizens of the Western powers from the jurisdiction of Chinese courts and set up a system of extra-territorial courts dealing with cases against their own citizens. Rights of EU Citizens in the UK after Brexit
  5. UK right to negotiate trade agreements before EU exit - we have published a detailed legal analysis by Francis Hoar which demonstrates that there is no legal impediment against the UK negotiating and concluding trade agreements with non-EU countries before exit, provided that they do not actually come into force until exit day.
  6.  “Great Repeal Bill” - how to maintain legal continuity while avoiding dangerous incorporation of EU Charter and other comparable principles into UK law - mechanisms for legislating - “Henry VIII” clause and safeguards - constitutional aspects re devolved legislatures. We submitted memoranda on drafting of the Bill to the government, and are doing further work now that the Bill has been officially published as the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

Projects under way or planned

  1. Adjudication of treaty rights after Brexit - alternatives to the ECJ: We are proposing an alternative solution for the adjudication of treaty rights in the UK after Brexit which does not involve submission to the jurisdiction of the ECJ but which will involve fair and effective application of treaty terms to protect the rights of EU nationals in the UK in accordance with what is agreed, as well as the corresponding rights of UK nationals in the EU27. Work on this project is advanced and we are close to publication.
  2. Transitional arrangements versus limbo: We are investigating the legalities and practicalities of the kinds of transitional arrangements which could be entered into as part of the process of leaving the EU - difference between defined and limited transitional period to allow time for change-over to new system, and dangerous extension of EU regulations after Brexit prolonging disbenefits of membership and business uncertainty
  3. Article 50 agreement modalities - Art.50 “withdrawal” agreement vs longer term relationship agreement(s) under Article 207 TFEU - structuring of agreement so that key terms fall within EU powers under QMV - separating out Member State competence provisions - impact of Singapore FTA case judgment
  4. Non-tariff barriers - the EU’s approach to eliminating barriers in intra-EU trade and how to apply a similar approach to the UK’s external trade after Brexit -  reducing intellectual property and regulatory barriers to global trade to take full advantage of Brexit
  5. Intellectual property - revising the system after Brexit to replace existing EU-wide rights - problems with the UPC and ECJ jurisdiction
  6. Trading under WTO rules with the rest of the world - the necessary legal steps - customs procedures and the Trade Facilitation Agreement - preparing for “no deal” with the EU and how it would work
  7. Trade agreements before exit - we will carry forward our previous work (see above) about the legal right of the UK to negotiate and conclude trade agreeemnts with non-EU countries before exit, provided they come into force on or after exit day.
  8. Agriculture and the replacement of the CAP - replacing protection with subsidies - international trade impacts
  9. Immigration - the wider impact of EU rules allowing non-EU citizens to enter and remain - how to curtail these in run-up to Brexit and after Brexit
  10. Leaving without a deal - the legal aspects - replacing international arrangements currently conducted via EU with accession to global or regional multilateral treaties - trade formalities at borders - airline and ferry traffic