Bar Council response to Prime Minister's Brexit speech

17 January 2017

Families, consumers and business all benefit from greater clarity on Brexit, the Bar Council has said today.

The Chairman of the Bar, Andrew Langdon QC said: "Today's speech from the Prime Minister has provided some much needed clarity on the Government's direction of travel over Brexit.

"The announcement that the UK will not seek membership of the single market underlines the importance of securing the greatest possible market access for the services sector, including the legal services sector and all those parts of the economy which depend on these services. It is also vital that our post-Brexit agreement provides certainty for families, consumers and the victims of crime.

"The UK legal services market is worth £25.7 billion, employs approximately 370,000 people and generates £3.3 billion of net export revenue. The excellence of the legal services sector and justice system undoubtedly make the UK very attractive to international business and investors. The UK is also the global hub for dispute resolution.

"Central to our success is the ability of barristers, solicitors and other legal professionals to provide legal services across national borders within the EU, and we support the Prime Minister's welcome reassurance that the UK will remain open to international talent.

"Brexit must also deliver certainty for families and consumers. It is vital for UK citizens that judgments made in one country will be recognise and enforceable in another. There are millions of couples of different nationalities living in Member States, including those who are UK citizens, or who have children who are UK citizens. They need to know that the arrangements to safeguard their children's welfare will be respected and, if necessary, enforced through effective reciprocal matrimonial and financial arrangements.

"Consumers and traders also need to be confident that the contractual terms on which they do business can be efficiently enforced by courts in their own country."


Notes to Editors 

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