Vol. 39 Notes Editor
The exit of the UK from the EU has raised concerns amongst foreign investors amid the uncertainty of the future of the UK’s investment relationships. The UK maintains one of the largest bilateral investment treaty (BIT) networks in the world—the international community is interested in the UK’s position on the possible continuation, modification, suspension, or termination of these treaties. Although the UK has not stated its official position, it is likely that the UK will maintain its current foreign investment relationships with the EU and other non-member states, including international arbitration as the dispute settlement mechanism. Continue reading
Vol. 38 Associate Editor
As financial service firms consider what kind of future may lie ahead in a post-Brexit market, one word has taken on a prominent role in the ongoing discussion: passporting. Under passporting, financial services firms authorized in one E.U. member state can offer cross-border services and open branches across other member states, without needing to obtain additional regulatory approvals from local authorities. Moreover, this benefit is not limited to U.K. firms; rather, many foreign firms maintain operations in London so that they too may gain passport rights to access the E.U. market. To say that the city of London has prospered under this regime would be a gross understatement, as access to the E.U.’s single market has led London to become not only the financial center of Europe, but one of the largest financial centers world-wide. Continue reading
Vol. 38 Associate Editor
On the eve of the historic referendum held in the United Kingdom (UK) to decide whether to leave the European Union (EU), Roberto Azevêdo, current Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), discussed the implications that an exit from the EU could have on the UK’s status as a member of the WTO. Mr. Azevêdo highlighted the potential challenges in the need to re-establish trade relationships with the EU Member States and the rest of the countries with which the EU currently has trade agreements. He pointed out that the UK would need to “re-establish its terms of trade with the WTO” after its exit from the EU.  A number of issues arise out of this scenario, including whether it could be possible for the UK to obtain a realistic projection of its future membership status within the WTO before leaving the EU, and decide whether to halt “Brexit” in view of these considerations, if possible.