Brexit is still ongoing despite the summer holidays and some news has emerged from this, firstly, Spain have said they won’t seek to recover Gibraltar in Brexit talks. Secondly, UK judges need clarity, thirdly, a senior minister has revealed a ‘goodwill’ gesture of £10 billion to EU as Brexit bill. Finally, relocation of EU medicines regulator will hit the UK hard. With a long way to go in negotiations and time is quickly getting away from the government, how these will play out is going to be interesting.

Brexit has already hit the economy, the pound has slumped and applications to universities, vital public service jobs and other vital areas have dropped significantly.

Universities are being hit hard and collaboration is already becoming increasingly difficult.

Gibraltar and UK judges

In March, the EU published their Brexit negotiations guidelines and caused tension between the UK and Spain after saying the latter would get a veto on whether the Brexit deal could be applied to Gibraltar. Former Conservative leader, Michael Howard, said that may would be ‘prepared to go to war’ to protect the UK territory, much like Margaret Thatcher did in 1982 over the Falklands. However, Spanish foreign minister, Alfonso Dastis, told Spanish conservative daily ABC, “I won’t make a deal between the EU and the UK conditional on recovering sovereignty over Gibraltar”.

The UK’s most senior judge, Lord Neuberger, has said that the government needs to provide more clarity on how UK law will be developed post-Brexit.

Currently, UK law is subject to rulings made by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Lord Neuberger has said that the government need to clear over how to interpret decisions made by the ECJ because UK judges will continue to interpret the ECJ even after Brexit. Lord Neuberger said "If [the government] doesn't express clearly what the judges should do about decisions of the ECJ after Brexit, or indeed any other topic after Brexit, then the judges will simply have to do their best."

Brexit bill and the European Medicines Agency (EMA)

The Brexit bill has been estimated to be around €100 billion-plus, the Financial Times previously broke down where those costs come from, with 36.2 billion coming from projects that have already been committed to in the last 10 years but not paid for yet.

9.6 billion on pension contributions, other legal commitments that are initiated post-Brexit, annual running costs in 2019 and 2020 which amount to 27.4 billion, most of which would be for farmers and an up-front lump sum of liabilities against future EU loans and guarantees.

But Conservative backbenchers are threatening revolt over any fee but the government are suggesting a measly 10 billion as a ‘goodwill’ gesture to appease hardened Brexiteers and the EU, some sources have suggested the fee is closest to 36 billion.

A cabinet minister said: “We could cope with paying about £10billion as a goodwill gesture to smooth things over." But there are a lot of already planned obligations and whilst the EU would be up for negotiating, the Conservatives are more concerned with appeasing their party rather than doing what is best for the UK.

The EMA could leave the UK and if Amsterdam were successful in luring them away, two of the UK’s foremost research organisations are at risk of losing much of their business. The UK Medicines Health and Regulatory Agency (MHRA) currently enjoys a lucrative relationship with the EMA. The application from Amsterdam says, “Brexit will not only result in the relocation of EMA to another EU member state, but also very likely in a dramatic reduction, or withdrawal, of the work of the MHRA and the Veterinary Medicines Department [VMD] in the assessment of medicinal products for human and veterinary use”.