After a protracted and often acrimonious negotiation, the UK finally left the EU on 31 January 2020. This, then, is the first ‘post-Brexit’ edition of the European Advocate. It is also the first edition in some 20 years without Philip Moser QC at the helm as editor. I would like to thank him for the wonderful work he has done in bringing us this publication to fruition on its gentle seasonal cycle over the years.
As an avid reader of the Advocate I was surprised and delighted to be asked to succeeded him, and I look forward to working with you – the readers – to help take this publication into the post-Brexit world where the expertise to be found amongst the members of the Bar European Group will continue to be hugely valuable and applied to a whole range of issues.
Solidarity between the UK and the EU was a central theme of last year’s BEG conference in Gdansk and continues to be a focus of the contributions to this edition. Looking back on the Gdansk conference, a report written by the 2019 BEG scholars can be found at page 15.
Looking even further back, I interview Jolyon Maugham QC about the long string of legal challenges he and others have brought against the UK since the 2016 referendum (page 6). It gives at insight into how many of these cases came to the courts, and at the motivations of the petitioners and lawyers involved.
Looking ahead, Evanna Fruithof provides an overview of what the new EU services package means for practicing law in the European Union (page 25), and Martin Howe QC gives us his take on the implications of Brexit on the world of intellectual property (page 10).
Stephanie Dare writes on immigration issues and EU law post-Brexit at page 22, and Gergely Polner and I look at some of the issues given rise to by the EU legal base for the future EU-UK relationship on (page 2).
As has been the case in the past, you will see a range of views represented in this and forthcoming issues. This publication and BEG has taken a view against ‘no-deal’ and will continue to do so, but no-matter what and whether a deal is struck, it will be in a world where the UK has left the EU and must make the best of the situation.
It is also a world where forensic and objective legal expertise will be the sine qua non in helping individuals, corporations, non-governmental organisations and governments navigate the challenges and opportunities to come.