This week the Depositary of the HCCH Conventions informed all Contracting Parties that the UK ratification of the HCCH Child Support Convention and the UK accession to the HCCH Choice of Court Convention, including the UK extension to Gibraltar under both Conventions, remain suspended until 1 February 2020.
The above is pursuant to the declaration made by the United Kingdom on 30 October 2019, which informed the Depositary that “the European Council has agreed a further extension of the period for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union under Article 50(3) of the Treaty on the European Union (the “Extension Period”) which would last until 31 January 2020, or any of the earlier specified dates on which the Withdrawal Agreement enters into force.”
This of course comes as no surprise to many of us. Nevertheless, it is important to bear in mind the new date specified by the Depositary, which seems to cope with a no-deal Brexit scenario and can have important practical consequences (e.g. applicable declarations, temporal scope of application). Importantly, and as indicated in the relevant notifications, in the event that a Withdrawal Agreement is signed, ratified and approved by the United Kingdom and the European Union and enters into force prior to or on 1 February 2020, the United Kingdom will withdraw the Instrument of Ratification and the Instrument of Accession (including the extension to Gibraltar) to the above-mentioned Conventions.
The European Union, as a Regional Economic Integration Organisation, approved both the Child Support Convention and the Choice of Court Convention on 9 April 2014 and 11 June 2015, respectively.