Brexit Delayed until October 31st

Agreement for a six-month extension to Brexit

Steve Muscat Azzopardi | Published on 11 Apr 2019

Brexit Delayed Until Halloween-img

The heads of the European Union member states agreed to a six-month extension to Brexit in Brussels last night.  The new extension deadline is set for the 31st of October 2019, although the EU agreed that the UK can leave the bloc earlier should the British Parliament agree on a deal before then.  The flexibility of the extension allows the UK to back out of European elections in May, if an agreement is approved before the 22nd of the month. Although Theresa May is determined that the UK leave the EU before the elections, stating “as soon as possible”, this seems unlikely with no agreement in hand as yet.

Second Extension for Brexit

The delay, which is the second since the original deadline of the 29th March, allowed Britain to avoid a no-deal Brexit on their alternate anticipated departure date on the 12th of April. The new extension date was finally agreed upon, despite arguments from President Macron of France, amongst others, that a long extension further than the 30th June would not be in the best interest of the EU.  Macron has been very vocal in expressing his views that, should the UK stay in the EU past European elections, the UK’s decision-making powers should be restricted in order for the UK not to upset any EU plans. 

Brexit - Deal not yet in Sight

For this reason, the EU agreed that the extension will be reviewed on the 21st June, when member states will meet for another EU summit.  The six-month extension comes almost three years after the referendum which saw the UK vote to leave the EU, after talks between Theresa May and Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn did not result in a fruitful agreement which May could take back to Parliament for a vote. 

The Prime Minister resorted to talks with the opposition party in a last-ditch effort after her original withdrawal agreement was voted down three times, with the customs union and the Irish backstop the main issues holding back the deal. To date, the UK still remains without a way forward on its future relationship with the EU, as the possible solution of joining the customs union is a stance held by the opposition party, and not by the Conservatives themselves.
Although the six-month extension has now been secured, Bloomberg reports that Santander has plans to move staff to Europe, as the threat of a no-deal still lingers in the background despite a new law being passed to prevent such a hard exit.   As more and more organisations look to a European jurisdiction to remain relevant, our recorded webinars can prepare such corporations for a post-Brexit world. Click below to register and watch our webinars!


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