THE EFFECT OF BREXIT ON LONDON AS A HUB FOR INTERNATIONAL DISPUTES – FROM A NON-LOCAL’S PERSPECTIVE
On 23 June 2016, the British people voted for the UK to leave the European Union (EU). In January 2017, the country’s Supreme Court is expected to hand down its decision on whether new prime minister, Theresa May, requires parliamentary approval to initiate the withdrawal process provided for in Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which might trigger substantial delays.
However, any speculation about more than mere delays, and in particular a reversal of the Brexit vote, is likely unfounded. While the proponents of Brexit have, to some extent, played with marked cards, the Brexit vote did not come out of nowhere it was instead tied in with the UK’s enduringly critical stance towards the EU. After all, the EU has never been popular within the UK, which remained reluctant and sceptical throughout the years of its membership. Accordingly, the UK can reasonably be expected to follow through with its Brexit plans, and to turn its back on the EU within the foreseeable future. While it seemed after the Brexit vote that neither opponents nor proponents had made plans as to how Brexit was to be implemented, or even considered its far-reaching consequences, the effects of Brexit have since been the subject of countless articles and debates. Indeed, there has been a veritable flood of newsletters from London law firms warning that the mere thought that Brexit may have negative effects on London as a hub for international disputes is downright absurd. To the contrary, some firms have even predicted that Brexit would have a positive effect. Yet the passion with which this theory is advocated raises suspicion and criticism.
Jan-Mar 2017 issue
Gleiss Lutz Hootz Hirsch