Bar Brexit Plan: Look at the fine detail to minimise uncertainty

12 December 2016

The Government must put the public interest at the heart of its Brexit strategy, the Bar Council has warned as it publishes The Brexit Papers, produced to help ministers and civil servants pin point the most pressing legal concerns arising from the UK's withdrawal from the EU.  

The Brexit Papers have been written by members of the Brexit Working Group set up by the Bar Council to examine the range of complex issues arising from Brexit and to help the Government identify the legal and constitutional priorities. 

Led by Hugh Mercer QC, the group has drawn on the combined expertise and experience of the profession across a wide range of practice areas. 

Chair of the Brexit Working Group, Hugh Mercer QC, said:  

"EU law currently impacts nearly all areas of life. We need a plan to make sure that people do not suffer from uncertainty and ultimately end up worse off. 

"If we are going to minimise the adverse impacts on UK citizens, a huge number of highly technical areas of law need looking at in fine detail. 

"For example we need to make sure that police and security services can co-operate so that criminals who go on the run can be stopped, and that parents who divorce in one country have the custody decisions upheld in another. 

"We also need to restructure areas of law such as insolvency, competition and tax law otherwise businesses of all sizes could end up losing out. Our creative industries, for example, bring huge value to the UK economy, but we can only sustain that if our patents and trademarks continue to be recognised by the EU member states post-Brexit. 

"There is a great deal of work to be done. The resources of the Brexit Working Group, as well as those of the Bar Council and the Bar as a profession, are being made available to the Government, parliamentarians and the media, as well as to the public, so that Brexit delivers the best deal possible for Britain." 

Chairman of the Bar, Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC said:  

"There has not been a more profound legal and constitutional challenge in living memory with which the UK Government has had to grapple, in terms of legal complexity, or significance for the long-term health and stability of the economy. 

"The Bar as a profession is dedicated to serving the public interest. As the representative body for the Bar, we have been working to identify the key legal issues which we believe need to be addressed by the Executive and the Legislature to facilitate a transition that minimises the risk of legal uncertainty, the loss of rights, and possible adverse consequences to the national economy, and that capitalises on the opportunities for post-Brexit global Britain.  

"Our interest is in helping to ensure that Brexit delivers the best deal possible for Britain." 

The Brexit Papers are available here.


Notes to Editors 

  1. Further information is available from the Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525 and

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