Lawyer-written opinions and insights on the latest in the legal sector, along with what else is happening in the world and how these topics may impact your business.

Budget 2020: transport and infrastructure in the North East

11 Mar 2020
So the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, promised that his Budget would deliver historic investment in roads, railways and other infrastructure schemes, as the Government looked to "level up" the UK. But using his own political pantomime cry, did the Chancellor ensure that this Budget "gets it done" for transport initiatives here in the North East?

What the Green Party manifesto proposes on pensions

20 Nov 2019
The Green Party released its manifesto on Tuesday which included a number of proposals for the UK pensions systems. Most of these relate to the state side of the pension and care system – for example, including pensioners in the proposed universal basic income system at the higher rate of £178 per week, and the provision of taxpayer funded personal social care for those who require it, mirroring the current Scottish system.

Is help for the high street on its way?

19 Nov 2019
Ahead of publishing their formal manifesto the Conservatives have pledged to increase the business rates discount afforded to small retailers to 50%, up from the current 33% reduction. They estimate that this will lead to an average saving of £1,400 per business. The British Retail Consortium have been critical of these plans stating that they do not go far enough in aiding the high street to ward off the competition faced by online retailers.

Infringement proceedings against the UK launched

14 Nov 2019
A press release issued by Brussels confirms that the European Commission launches infringement proceedings against the UK following its failure to name a candidate for EU Commissioner. The press release states that the EU Commission has sent a letter of formal notice to the UK for breaching its EU Treaty obligations by not suggesting a candidate for the post of EU Commissioner. It states that the UK authorities are invited to submit its observations on the letter of formal notice at the latest by Friday 22 November. 

A key priority for MEPs remains citizens' rights

13 Nov 2019
The EU press release confirms that the Brexit Steering Group met with several committees to consider the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) on citizen's rights. The focus was on the implementation in the UK and in the EU-27 of the citizens' rights provisions contained within part II of the WA. 

HS2 becomes an election issue

13 Nov 2019
In his September HS2 progress update to the House of Commons on 3 September 2019, Grant Shapps has stated that the cross-party review would: "report this autumn.", that he [Grant Shapps] would discuss the report with the PM and that it would inform decisions on next steps.

Political messaging on social media

31 Oct 2019
On 30 October Twitter announced a ban on political advertising, with a statement that "a political message reach should be earned, not bought". Twitter's position contrasts with Facebook's exemption of politicians' adverts from fact-checking and from a policy that bans false statements from paid advertisements. Neither position fully addresses legitimate concerns about the potential uses of social media to influence or even manipulate voting behaviour and election results.