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June 28th 2016

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Professor Eidenmüller on Brexit

"Brexit" negotiations from a legal standpoint. Opinion piece by Professor Horst Eidenmüller

Freshfields Professor of Commercial Law offers his views whilst outlining the legal process for “Brexit”.

St Hugh’s Fellow and Freshfields Professor of Commercial Law, Horst Eidenmüller, has written an article setting out the possible scenarios of a British exit from the EU following the vote to leave in the referendum held last week. Published in the Oxford Business Law blog, Professor Eidenmüller’s opinion piece looks at the legal process by which “Brexit” could be completed and the likely structure of that process. He goes on to offer his view on how the ensuing negotiations might then unfold.

In the article entitled Brexit Negotiation Games, Professor Eidenmüller begins by outlining the legal framework associated with article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. He highlights what the UK might expect by way of a deal with the remaining 27 Member States and some of the stumbling blocks that might be encountered. Anticipating an attempt from the UK to ‘cherry-pick’ favourable elements of the current accords, such as access to the single market, whilst minimising the associated costs, Professor Eidenmüller points out the difficulty for the Union of allowing the UK another special deal.

In a blog that seeks to outline the position of the UK and the European Union as things currently stand, Professor Eidenmüller takes a considered stance focusing on the legal process for the withdrawal from the Union. Where it is speculative on the likely ramifications and structure of the negotiations to come, he seeks to remain objective and succeeds in doing so.

He states that “the UK faces the prospect of Brexit without agreement if it antagonises the larger remaining Member States and/or the European Parliament…the UK finds itself in a precarious position…[whilst] The strategic picture is complicated by the fact that the interests of the remaining Member States are not homogenous…[furthermore] the rules of the ‘exit game’ put the UK in a very weak bargaining position.”

You can read Professor Eidenmüller’s article in full here.

On Friday 24th June the University of Oxford released a statement on the short and mid term impact of Brexit on the University, its students and its staff. The statement is available here: Oxford University’s statement on the EU Referendum.

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