Brexit Update

Brexit Update

What are the latest reports on the Brexit? 

The UK government has taken secret legal advice on extending Article 50 which argues that the UK will be legally obliged to take part in the European Parliament elections in May 2019 if it extends Article 50 past election day. Not participating in the elections would mean a breach of its peoples’ rights as EU citizens. Some Ministers that have seen the legal advice argue that the hard deadline for an extension of Article 50 is 2nd July 2019 – the day when the next five-year session of the European Parliament begins. Hence, the government argues a second referendum is technically impossible due to a lack of time.

18 December 2018 – UK governments allocates over £2 billion additional funding across 25 government departments for their Brexit preparations for 2019/2020

19 December 2018 – The European Commission published new contingency proposals

The European Commission published a package of 14 contingency measures regarding financial services, transport, customs and the export of goods and EU climate policy. These measures shall soften the effects of a no deal Brexit in sectors that would be severely hit.

19 – 21 December 2018 – UK government urges businesses to implement no deal action plans

The British government will begin implementing plans for a no deal Brexit in full. Additionally, the government plans to send out 80,000 emails to businesses to advise them on contingency planning, including information packs that will be distributed later this week.

Next steps

07 – 13 January 2019
Debates in the House of Commons.

14 – 20 January 2019

On 17th December 2018, Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed that the meaningful vote on the Withdrawal Agreement will take place in the week starting 14th January. The week is the last opportunity for the deal to be still ratified by both sides before 29th March 2019.

Possible Brexit scenarios

Brexit deal is approved
The deal as it stands passes the House of Commons in January. The two-year transition period to negotiate the future relationship begins on 30th March 2019.

Renegotiation of current deal
If both UK and EU decide to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement, the Article 50 period will have to be extended beyond 29th March 2019.

Second referendum
If the UK Parliament does not approve the Withdrawal Agreement, the government of Theresa May can decide to hold a second referendum. Such a decision would need an extension of the Article 50 period, which in turn needs the approval of the EU. If such a referendum is held, the debate remains whether the referendum should include the remain-option.

No deal scenario
If the House of Commons does not approve the Withdrawal Agreement in time, and no extension is agreed, the UK will leave the EU without a deal and immediately becomes a third country trading under WTO rules.

Source: Ecommerce Europe

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