Ahead of the UK government’s triggering of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, the Joint Law Societies Brussels Office and Open Europe brought together prominent speakers from Britain, the EU27 and EFTA to discuss what to expect next, both for the EU and for the UK.

The event took place on 8 March in Brussels. Among the issues that were addressed we the possible content of the European Commission’s negotiation mandate, the start and the end of the withdrawal negotiations  and the foreseeable challenges ahead. The pannelists and the audience also discussed the UK’s post-Brexit status and the possibility (and consequences) of the cliff-edge scenario, i.e. WTO rules in Spring 2019. Finally, the panel spoke about the possibility of conclusing new trade deals while the withdrawal negotiations are ongoing. The speakers included:

  • Danuta Hübner, Member of European Parliament for Poland, former Polish EU Commissioner (PO, EPP Group)and Chair of the AFCO Committee
  • Daniel Dalton, Member of European Parliament for the UK (Conservatives, ECR Group)
  • Michael-James Clifton, Chef de Cabinet of the President of the EFTA Court
  • Stephen Booth, Director of Policy and Research, Open Europe

The discussion was moderated by Bojan Pancevski, EU-correspondent of the Sunday Times.

For more information on this subject, please see the below research:

The Law Society of England and Wales, Brexit and the Law report,  http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/support-services/research-trends/brexit-and-the-law-report/

The Law Society of Scotland, Negotiation priorities on leaving the EU: Proposals by the Law Society of Scotland, http://www.lawscot.org.uk/media/983776/proposal-uk-government-negotiation-priorities-on-leaving-the-eu-final-021216-.pdf

Published before the Referendum result was known, Open Europe’s liberal free-market guide to Brexit offered practical recommendations and case studies to show how the UK and EU can minimise trade friction after Brexit.


Open Europe’s landmark financial services report sets out how UK and EU policy-makers and practitioners can preserve the vital links and regulatory frameworks that connect the EU to the UK financial services industry, its most significant source of capital and expertise.