All That Glistens is Not Gold: Some issues for the UK Construction Industry in a Post-Brexit World

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Christopher Muttukumaru CB

April 2016

A paper presented to a meeting of the Society of Construction Law in London on 5th April 2016

The paper assumes that the UK electorate will vote to leave the EU and provides an indication of the timetable once notice of exit is given under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.It exposes aspects of the legal uncertainty that will follow in a transitional period after notice but before exit, as well as in the period thereafter.Using three examples of EU Directives that affect the delivery of major infrastructure projects, it argues that the UK will be reluctant to set aside adherence to its substantive obligations, since abrogation of the Directives would undermine the UK’s international reputation and undermine its policy aims.In any event, in two cases, the EU obligations are mirrored in international treaties that largely cover the same ground as two of the three EU Directives and therefore the UK would have to withdraw from them in parallel with Brexit.

A. Summar – B. Options for a post-Brexit relationship with the EU: a summary – C. EU law in a transitional period – D. Beyond the transitional period: all that glistens is not gold – E. Influencing Whitehall.

The author: Christopher Muttukumaru CB, LD(hon) is a barrister practising at Monckton Chambers, Gray’s Inn, London; inter alia during his career he has been principal European Union lawyer in the Attorney-General’s office, Deputy Legal Advisor in the Ministry of Defence, Legal Director to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and General Counsel at the Department for Transport.  In 2006 he was awarded the Companion of the Order of the Bath.

Text: 10 pages

Paper number: 
April 2016, online, 620k

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