The question is based on consideration on the part of Deputy Niall Collins of a no-deal Brexit. The Government remains firmly of the view that the best and only way to ensure an orderly UK withdrawal from the EU is for the withdrawal agreement to be ratified. Debates in this regard are under way in other jurisdictions as we speak. Nonetheless, in view of the ongoing uncertainty in the UK, my Department has been planning for every scenario, but particularly for a no-deal or worst-case scenario of the type to which the Deputy refers.
By way of background, there are a number of EU regulations that set down the jurisdiction rules which apply in the civil and commercial area. The Deputy will appreciate these matters are quite legally technical and persons who consider they may be impacted will likely require legal advice. The key instrument here is the Brussels I regulation on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. However, there are regulations, not falling within the justice sphere, that also deal with jurisdiction, for example, Council Regulation (EC) No 207/2009 on the Community trademark. These instruments are couched in broad terms and, depending on content, it is for individual member states to make them work within their legal system.
On the rules that will apply to the UK in the event that EU regulations no longer apply, the Deputy is aware that since the late 1980s international jurisdiction in cases concerning Ireland and the UK in civil and commercial matters has been governed by the 1968 convention on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, which is generally known as the Brussels Convention. In the event of a disorderly Brexit, the Brussels I rules would no longer apply as between the EU 27 and the UK. The governing legal framework would then be a mix of domestic law and international agreements.