There’s less than a wee until the self-imposed March 29, 2019 deadline rolls around and the UK leaves the EU, and it’s looking more and more like no deal will be agreed – worrying times for businesses and individuals alike, especially as (once you’ve cut through through the jargon and the jingoistic bluster) no one seems to be offering up any alternatives or even one tangible positive outcome.
Our Brexit timeline has all the important dates coming up over the next six months, as we count down to, what now appears to be, our inevitable departure.
Brexit latest update – March 25, 2019
Although the timelines below still stand, a lot has happened since we first published this – not least the PM’s deal getting spectacularly rejected twice, before the House of Commons Speaker intervened to let her
know she couldn’t simply keep returning to Parliament with the same deal, effectively asking the same question until she gets the answer she wants (something that has really irked those in the ‘remain’ camp who want a second referendum vote).
And now there’s another twist, as the EU has effectively outlined the options available to the UK:
- Vote for the PM’s deal
- Leave with no deal
- Get an extension to the leave date
- Stay within the EU
Effectively, these have always been the options, but it seems the EU has now ruled out negotiating another deal and has agreed that if the PM’s deal is approved, the leaving date can be put back from March 29 to May 22.
But if the deal isn’t backed by MPs, the deadline will only be extended until April 12 – the country’s deadline for triggering elections to the European Parliament — when the choice will be between the remaining options.
And given that the DUP has just announced its position on May’s deal remains unchanged, it looks increasingly unlikely the deal will get through.
The uncertainty looks set to continue. Read more at Brexit – what next?
Brexit Timeline – September 2018 to March 2019
At the request of the government, the UK’s Migration Advisory Council must produce a report on European migration to the UK. This report will then form the basis of a new migration system for post-Brexit Britain. One to look out for if you fall into the ‘let’s take back control of our borders’ bracket.
September 20th will see the UK prime minister put her preferred Brexit plan to EU leaders. The success of this summit will set the scene for the forthcoming Conservative party conference.
Conservative party conference
Running from September 30th to October 3rd, this year’s Conservative party conference will take place in Birmingham and is the last one before the March 29 deadline. Expect a lot of talk of Hard Brexit, Soft Brexit, Great British Brexit, People’s Brexit and any other type of Brexit the assembled Tories can think of.
The EU summit will be held on October 18 and 19 and, given the dates and timescales, it’s probably earmarked as the time to present the final, fully-agreed divorce bill between the UK and EU, including who gets custody of Nigel Farage. But given the fact that no-one on either side of the fence, or even sat on the fence, appears to be happy with the current proposed deal or the no-deal option, it’s unlikely anything will be agreed here, and there may be a need to schedule an additional emergency summit in the next couple of months.
There will be extreme pressure on Theresa May at this point, and don’t rule out a leadership challenge around the time of the Tory conference.
The last European Council of 2018
The European Council is the body defines the EU’s policy agenda and is the driving force behind European integration. December sees the last European Council of 2018 and the last practical date for an Article 50 divorce deal to be signed off by Britain and the EU – forget the March 29 deadline, things really have to be agreed and signed off now, just over three months before the UK’s proposed departure date (which, again, begs the question of why the government imposed such as short deadline when they really had no need to!)
With everything now agreed between the UK and EU, it’s over tothe House of Commons to give it’s approval to whatever type of Brexit the prime minister has managed to agree in Brussels. Parliament must also pass an Implementation and Withdrawal Bill that sets out the terms of Brexit in fuller detail. This could well rumble on until February, by which point it will have to have been approved.
To take effect, the withdrawal agreement needs to be backed at an EU summit by a supermajority of leaders of member states, which requires the backing of 20 of the EU’s 27 member states and 65% of their population, and also be approved by the European Parliament. If elements of the agreement throw up any legal issues, it might also be referred to the European Court of Justice by MEPs. Again, this throws into question why the government felt the need to trigger Article 50 when it did.
And so to the day itself – already declared Brexit Day, this will see much flag-waving, tub-thumping, and nonsense-spouting from the ‘Brexit-means-Brexit’ brigade. Of course, it might all work out for the best, and this Conservative government might pull a rabbit from the hat – but given the hitherto chaos, the drop in the value of the pound, the talk of stockpiling medicine and food, the threats of big businesses to leave the UK, and the actual state of this Conservative government, it’s highly unlikely.
What are your thoughts on Brexit? Are you worried for the future of your business, or do you think it’s best for Britain and best for your business? Let us know in the comments below…