The Bar Council is working tirelessly, both domestically and beyond our shores, in the interests of the profession and the public, to try to secure the best possible outcome for the BREXIT negotiations and to safeguard relations with the EU on legal matters going forward.  This work is coordinated by the Bar's BREXIT Working Group, drawing on the expertise and experience of practitioners from a wide range of practice areas, to ensure that the public debate is informed, existing rights are protected so far as possible in the future EU-UK relationship, and the rule of law upheld.

The Brexit Papers

One tangible product of this work is the Bar's Brexit Papers, which offer Government, parliamentarians, the media and the public a concise and informative evaluation, in an accessible format, of the legal challenges posed by leaving the EU, their practical implications for the economy and society, and recommendations to Government. 

To date, 25 such papers have been published, some dealing with cross-sectoral issues such as enforcement of judgments and others targeted at issues raised in particular legal areas, such as family, criminal, environment and intellectual property law.  They can be read individually or together (see links below).

Spring 2018 - what now?

Time is of the essence.  Following agreement on the first phase issues at the end of last year, the detail behind the Withdrawal Agreement is now being defined; the principle of a Transition Period has been agreed and its terms are being negotiated, and formal negotiations on the framework for the future relationship are due to begin later this spring.  Behind the scenes, both the EU27 and the UK are actively informing and defining their negotiating positions, and we as a Bar are supporting this work.  If the Article 50 TFEU timetable is to be adhered to, all these strands need to be brought together by the end of this year. 

The Bar's focus

Increasingly, the Bar's work has focussed on analysis of the respective offers by the EU and the UK in specific areas of these negotiations.  We are striving to produce constructive suggestions and solutions to fundamental problems like the protection of rights; facilitating access to justice and continuing judicial cooperation; enforcement and dispute resolution; the provision of legal services and potential models for the future relationship, to name but a few of the topics on which we are engaged.  We are examining and inputting our views on domestic developments, in particular the legislative passage of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill and any supplementary legislation that will arise. 

This page, and the links below, will be updated regularly. 

Press releases and media statements

18 JulyBrexit: Civil Justice treaty needed to protect UK interests

8 February 2018 - Bar Brexit Chair warns against 'reinventing' CJEU

6 December 2017 - Bar Council Brexit 'blue-print' to solve most difficult issues of Irish border and 'frictionless' trade

7 September 2017 - UK Citizens set for 'second class status' - EU (Withdrawal) Bill

23 August 2017 - Bar Council response to Government post-Brexit civil judicial cooperation paper

13 July 2017 - Bar Council response to 'Repeal Bill'

23 June 2017 - Tackle tough questions first - Bar warns Brexit negotiators

23 June 2017 - PM's commitment to UK and EU citizen's rights only half the story

22 March 2017 - Bar Council backs Justice Committee Brexit report

16 March 2017 - Bar calls for open movement and bespoke deal for the City 

22 January 2017 - Bar Council backs Lord Chancellor on civil justice cooperation

17 January 2017 - Bar Council response to Prime Minister's Lancaster House speech

20 December 2016 - Government must protect UK legal services strengths' in Brexit process

12 December 2016The Brexit Papers: Bar's Brexit Working Group publishes key paper to aid Government on Brexit

28 October 2016 Bar Council Chairman joins David Davis for Brexit Breakfast

5 August 2016Brexit prompts public and businesses to seek legal advice from barristers

20 July 2016Legal sector must grow post-Brexit: Bar Council response to TheCityUK report

12 July 2016Chair of the Bar invites Hugh Mercer QC to chair Brexit Working Group

30 June 2016What now for the Bar post-Brexit? Chair’s blog, Chantal Aimeée Doerries

24 June 2016Bar Council response to EU referendum result

17 June 2016Barristers publish non-partisan, fact-based report on European Union membership


March 2018 - Will Brexit jeopardise the Rule of Law and human rights? Attorney General Jeremy Wright QC

February 2018 - Brexit and beyond: Challenges for the legal profession, Hugh Mercer QC, Chair of the Bar Council Brexit Working Group

August 2017 - Shaping the Bar's response to Brexit, The Barrister Magazine, Hugh Mercer QC

May 2017 - The Brexit Papers, Counsel Magazine, Hugh Mercer QC


For UK based barristers

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For EU based barristers

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