The UK is expected to face additional legal challenges in
relation to its permanence in the single market in a post-Brexit
scenario, as reported by Open Britain (a cross-party campaign for
the best deal with Europe).
Should the UK leave the customs union, businesses who are
actively involved into importing and exporting goods are expected
to be forced to cope with a significantly increased amount of
bureaucracy and paperwork as a result of UK's departure from
The EU customs union provides that unified tariffs are levied on
imports across Europe. This implies no additional charges and
paperwork. According to the data provided by Open Britain, should
the amount of imports and exports remain unchanged, businesses
would have to complete more than 45m import declaration and 15m
export declarations every year.
The estimate clashes with the pro-Brexit argument that leaving
the EU would have resulted into less bureaucracy and paperwork for
businesses operating import and export operation across Europe. The
group has also urged the government to draft a cost-benefit
analysis of leaving the customs union rather than merely (and
inaccurately) stating that the measure would benefit UK
However, as the Supreme Courts is still expected to consider the
Article 50 Legal Challenge, a new case relating to the necessity of
triggering another legal measure in order to leave the single
market is brought to the court.
The government is believed to have no mandate to withdraw from
the single market, as it was not included in the Conservative
party's manifesto and in the ballot paper on June 23rd.
Moreover, it has been suggested that Article 127 of the EEA would
have to be triggered.
Dominic Grieve, the former attorney general, has nonetheless
casted doubts on the legal basis of the new challenge, claiming the
process of leaving the single market might not be separated from
the departure from the EU.
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On 16 March 2017, the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 gave the Prime Minister the power to trigger the Brexit process by giving notice under Article 50(2) of the UK's intention to leave the EU.
With the dawning of a new age, that of the separation of the UK from the EU and all that it entails, British businesses that depend on the European market must find ways of maintaining a foothold in Europe.
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