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Committee writes to Minister expressing concerns over family justice system post Brexit

17 October 2018

On behalf of the EU Justice Sub-Committee, and in reply to the Minister's letter of 13 September, the Chairman of the EU Select Committee has written to the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice about the findings of the follow-up to the Committee's report Brexit: justice for families, individuals and businesses? 

At its meeting of 16 October 2018, the EU Justice Sub-Committee under the Chairmanship of Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws, agreed to write the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, David Gauke MP, setting out its concerns regarding the negative impact that Brexit will have on the future of civil justice cooperation.


Following on from the Sub-Committee's March 2017 report: Brexit: justice for families, individuals, and businesses?, in May to July this year the Committee heard from highly regarded civil and family law practitioners about their concerns regarding the lack of progress on addressing this technical but nevertheless significant aspect of Brexit.

The letter (formally) from the Chairman of the EU Select Committee Lord Boswell of Aynho, repeats the Committee's 2017 warning to the Government that without adequate alternative arrangements in place when we leave the EU (either in March 2019 or at the end of the transition period in December 2020) there would be "great uncertainty for UK businesses and citizens".  With just months to go before the deadline for a Brexit deal, and the increased likeliness of a 'no-deal', the Committee is also surprised by the Government's lack of advice to individuals as set out in the Government's technical note "Handling civil legal cases that involve EU countries if there's no Brexit deal".

In the Committee's view this amounts to little more than a repeated suggestion that concerned individuals seek legal advice.

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