Commenting on the triggering of Article 50 by the UK Prime Minister today, Wednesday, 29 March, Lorna Jack, Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland, said: “Leaving the European Union is arguably the biggest constitutional change for the UK since 1945, with today’s triggering of Article 50 marking the start of serious negotiations on the terms of our withdrawal.
“Exiting the EU involves many significant aspects, including economic, financial, legal, social, and cultural, which will affect everyone living in Britain and in Europe. As the negotiations move forward, it will be crucial for the UK Government to continue to engage with the devolved administrations and civic society to ensure their interests and priorities are considered. It will also to be vital to ensure stability in the law and maintain so far as possible, close collaboration in freedom, security and justice measures.
“As a firmly non-partisan organisation, the Law Society did not advocate one view or another in the referendum on EU membership. We recognised that there were differing views among our membership and following last year’s referendum result, we consulted with solicitors from across Scotland before producing a set of priorities which include continuing the ability for our members to work in the EU and calling for clarification on the position of EU nationals working in the UK, including those who are working in the legal profession.
“We have been promoting to the UK and Scottish Governments, the House of Commons Committee on Exiting the EU and the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee.”
The Law Society of Scotland’s priorities include:
- promoting continued professional recognition and continued rights of audience in the EU
- protecting legal professional privilege for the clients of Scottish lawyers working in the EU or advising on EU law
- clarity on the position of the millions of EU nationals currently residing in the UK, including many who work in the Scottish legal profession
More information about the Law Society of Scotland’s work on Brexit is available on the website.
The joint UK Law Societies’ Brussels Office has prepared a report on the priorities of the legal profession in Scotland, Northern Ireland and England & Wales.