The UK Parliament has rejected the negotiated withdrawal deal comprising a legally binding Withdrawal Agreement and a Political Declaration on future relations and has mandated the Government to seek an alternative to the most contested element – the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, commonly referred to as the backstop.
We have previously commented in the View from Brussels on how WTO arguments could be used in the negotiations to secure improvements in the text of the Withdrawal Agreement or the Political Declaration. The WTO provides a basic level of trade liberalisation and there is no need to accept such a level of trade freedom as a concession. The negotiations should have as their objective an enhanced level of trade liberalisation. We have also previously observed how many of the positions advanced by the EU as the consequences of a no-deal Brexit (partly to strengthen its own negotiating position) could be contested as inconsistent with the EU's WTO obligations.
In this View from Brussels we discuss how EU law could be used by the UK to improve the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration along the lines recently requested by the UK Parliament.
The contents of this publication, current at the date of publication set out above, are for reference purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.
© Herbert Smith Freehills 2020