Charles de Gaulle, who vetoed British accession to the European Economic Community (EEC) for years, speaking in 1967:
“There is the Common Market, and for us, there is no problem. For you, there is one: you want to get in, and that is your problem.”
Almost fifty years on, how times have changed.
There was only one story this month. Prior to knowing the result, June seemed to be all about the remain and leave referendum campaigns. Since we woke up on 24 June to the news that the UK has voted to leave the European Union, there is still only one story.
It may be too soon to tell what impact this will have on the construction sector, one that is economically sensitive to the smallest of fluctuations in labour and the price of materials, and what the future holds for all the infrastructure projects in the pipeline. As Paul Morrell, the former Chief Construction Adviser, said to Construction News:
“As I walk down my street and people are having their domestic work done, all I hear are Eastern European voices. I just don’t know who’s going to build stuff now.”
In terms of what else happened during June, there was just one reported adjudication case. Jonathan Cope considered the difficulties parties face with complex bespoke payment terms. Other adjudication-related topics included Matt Molloy looking at “adjudicator shopping” and the professional negligence adjudication pilot. Matt also looked at another judgment involving Peter Smith J, this time on witness evidence and judicial bias.
In the courts, the TCC warned of the consequences of a poorly paginated bundle, the Court of Appeal considered anti-oral variation clauses and consideration for variations, the SCCO provided guidance on the proportionality test, the SJC’s hot-tubbing survey came to an end and Jennie Wild discussed “expert shopping“.
On the non-contentious front, JCT 2016 arrived in the form of its Minor Works suite (and CIMAR 2016), which Jancyn Gardiner appraised. We published a new note on the FIDIC Red Book and the SCL started consulting on its delay and disruption protocol, with Alex Clough looking at the Protocol’s treatment of concurrent delay.
There were a number of public procurement stories, with the TCC setting aside an automatic suspension, the ECJ looking at the principle of equal treatment, the CMA’s letter on bid-rigging and May’s case digest.
Opinion this month came in the form of Michael Mendelblat on retention of title clauses, Patrick Daley on China’s “Belt and Road” initiative, Adriano Amorese on the cyclical nature of the UK property market and Edward Davies on why law is not like politics.
Finally, June’s digest couldn’t end without mentioning sport. In football, we are at the quarter-final stages of the European Championships (with Wales the only home nation still in the running). Wimbledon has just started and England is part-way through its summer cricket schedule, with a win over Sri Lanka in the test series (although the ODI series still hangs in the balance). Finally, England’s rugby union team’s 3:0 win over Australia is a first (their first test series win in Australia).
We don’t know about you, but all of this has been a welcome distraction from Brexit!