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Week Ahead (16 September)

w/c Monday 16 September, last-ditch efforts underway to form a Spanish coalition government between PSOE and Podemos

Spain has been unable to form a government since the elections held last April. Negotiations between the Socialist party led by Pedro Sanchez and the left-wing Podemos led by Pablo Iglesias have stalled and the deadline to form a new government, set for September 23, is approaching. Relations have deteriorated between both men which suggests that a last-minute breakthrough is unlikely. Should these efforts fail, another election will take place on 10 November.

Tuesday 17 September, UK Supreme Court to hear cases against prorogation

On Tuesday the UK Supreme Court will commence a three-day hearing on cases brought in the Scottish and English High Courts challenging Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue parliament.

The vagaries of the legal systems operating in the United Kingdom are such that the Supreme Court will hear the Scottish appeal under Scottish law while the English appeal will be heard under English & Welsh law. This could see a situation where the Supreme Court finds that prorogation was legal under English law but illegal under Scottish law. This would likely necessitate a return of parliamentarians. Either way, the Supreme Court’s decision will be final.

Wednesday 18 September 2019, Joint cases hearing in the European Court of Justice: Ireland v Commission & Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe v Commission

In 2016, the European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition (DG Comp) ruled that Ireland must collect from Apple up to €13 billion in unpaid back taxes. The Irish government collected this money in September 2018, and it lies in an escrow account awaiting the outcome of the appeal which begins next Wednesday.

Ireland joined Luxembourg in its appeal against a similar DG Comp ruling that its tax arrangements with Fiat violated state aid principles. Given the principles behind both DG Comp decisions, the appeals against them are closely interlinked. The same judges are hearing both appeals and a concession on a point of law in one case would likely apply in the other. Therefore, market participants will be closely watching the conclusion of the Luxembourg appeal which is expected on 24 September.

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