The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill concluded its passage through Parliament on Wednesday and received Royal Assent yesterday. It is now an Act which sets out the terms on which the UK will leave the EU next week, on 31 January. It might be thought ironic in the circumstances that French language – albeit from the Norman era and meaning ‘the Queen wills it’ – is still used to signify this final legislative formality. An important provision of the Act concerns the interaction of the key dates of “exit day” and “implementation period completion day”.
The ‘reveal’ yesterday of the website for the new whiplash claims service – with user registration opening at https://www.officialinjuryclaim.org.uk/ – marks the end of the near-total silence which fell over the reform programme before last month’s election and during the Christmas and New Year break. This doesn’t, of itself, mean that the proposed go-live date of 6 April 2020 is now beyond doubt, but I think it has become more likely as a consequence.
A BLM case heard in the High Court last week involves significant questions of jurisdiction under the recast Brussels I Regulation (reg 1215/2012), certain of which had been aired in the recent cases of Lackey* and Cole*, which will be familiar to those involved in cross-border litigation. The novel question in the current case – probably of greatest interest to insurers – was whether a territorial scope clause in the policy between insurer and insured had the practical effect of barring the third party claimant from accessing the favourable jurisdiction options set out in section 3 of the regulation.