12 April 2019

Brexit: Deal or No Deal?

On Thursday 11 April an agreement was reached between the UK and the European Council on a further extension to the Article 50 negotiating period until 31 October 2019. The key elements of this are:

  • The extension should run for as long as necessary to ratify the Withdrawal Agreement, but no longer than 31 October (although under the terms of Article 50, a further extension is not precluded, but as per the process set out in the Treaty, this would require the unanimous agreement of the Member States)
  • During this period the UK retains the right to unilaterally revoke Article 50
  • If the UK is still a Member State during the period when the EU elections are due to take place (23 – 26 May), and it has not ratified the Withdrawal Agreement by 22 May, the UK must take part in the EU elections. If the UK does not do so, the UK will leave the EU on 1 June
  • There will be no reopening of the withdrawal agreement
  • There will be no negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and the EU whilst the UK remains a Member State, although if the UK seeks an alternative arrangement from those that informed the development of the Political Declaration, then discussions could be held on altering this
  • During the extended period, the UK must fulfil its Treaty obligations as a Member State, in accordance with the duty of sincere co-operation sincere cooperation in relation to the decision-making processes of the European Union.

The European Council will also review the situation at its next meeting in June.

Build UK will continue to update its Brexit Guide to help you prepare your business for Brexit by summarising the latest available information.