The Law Society of Scotland’s Constitutional Law Sub-Committee responded to the UK Government’s White Paper on Legislating for the Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

The White Paper sets out how the Government will implement the final Withdrawal Agreement reached with the EU in UK law.  We believe that a “whole of governance” approach should be adopted by the UK Government when proposing legislative or policy changes in connection with the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. We reiterate that this is the best way to achieve legislation which is workable, practical and will achieve its objectives.  One issue which is missing from the White Paper (which is acknowledged in paragraph 14) is that of the consequences of there being no Withdrawal Agreement in place by 29 March. Notwithstanding the publication of Technical Notes which set out the Government position regarding withdrawal without a Withdrawal Agreement being in place, we expect that the Government will, if negotiation for the Withdrawal Agreement has failed, take immediate steps to consult on the contingency arrangements which will need to be put in place in the early part of 2019 in advance of exit day. These include important areas included in “ongoing processes and arrangements” which the White Paper notes include ongoing police and judicial co-operation in criminal civil and commercial matters e.g. pending criminal, civil and family cases which impact on the rule of law and the interests of justice and impact significantly on the Human Rights of those involved.


For further information, please visit the Law Society of Scotland’s website.