UK Parliament Votes on Exit Date (UK Brexit)

UPDATE (5) : 22nd March 2019 – the EU has agreed an extension. I will issue a new blog post next week after the package is voted on again.

UPDATE (4) : 19th March 2019 – the package will not be voted on until next week (the final week) before the exit date (29th March).

UPDATE (3) : 18th March 2019 – the Speaker of the House of Commons rules the package cannot come back for a third vote (MV3) unless it is substantially altered.

UPDATE (2) : the PM statement dated today 15th March (does not add) – here.

UPDATE : The PM’s spokesperson says that the end date of the transition period will *not* change as a result of an Article 50 extension i.e the extra days the UK spends as an EU member state will eat into the transition period.

I said I would post to update on the date of the exit date, after the votes today.

In UK and EU Law the exit date is 29th March 2019.

Today, the UK Parliament agreed the UK government proposal that it would ask the EU for a delay in the exit date.

The Government proposal is to bring back for a further vote of UK MPs, the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration package that was rejected (a second time) a few days ago.

If the package is agreed on the third time of asking, then the proposal is to ask the EU to delay for a short period (until 30 June 2019).

If the package is not agreed, then the proposal agreed today is to ask the EU to delay for a much longer (unspecified) period.

Specifically the proposal is to hold the vote on the package by 20 March (the day before the European Council – of EU leaders) and it notes that it is highly likely that the EU would require a clear purpose for any extension (that is beyond 30 June because the package was voted down again by UK MPs), not least to determine its length.

The Government will make a statement tomorrow, which may give further clarity on the order of events.

Reminding, further legal actions will be needed to change the exit date from 29th March.

The laws required to adjust the UK statute book so it can operate on its own, listed in the Brexit Law List on subscribers Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers and Checklists, will still be required. They come into force on exit day. It is the date of the exit day that would appear to be about to be moved.

The no-deal notices and instructions still matter. Until there is a UK-EU deal that is agreed and then ratified by the UK and EU Parliaments, or the article 50 notification is withdrawn/revoked, no-deal will take place, even if the UK MPs voted yesterday (for the second time) that it should not.

Moving the exit date will be subject to agreement by the EU.

Specifically, considering the days before 29 March 2019 –

* the UK Government must agree an extension with the 27 remaining EU governments next week, and they have to agree on that unanimously with the UK Government.

* then after securing an extension from the EU, the UK Government must then introduce new legislation to change the exit date and the statutory instrument to effect this must be passed before 29 March.

* this is the case even if the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration is passed (on its third time of asking) – although this package would itself put in place a transition period.

I will issue a new Blog post when there is more information.

Events this evening 12th March (UK Brexit)

It will be clear by now that the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration (and accompanying documents) negotiated and agreed between the UK and the EU has failed for the second time at ratification (in the UK Parliament).

Tomorrow (13th March) the UK Chancellor will make his Spring Statement, a motion will be amendable on No Deal and debated for a free vote on the Government side that day, and various No Deal policies will be published.

These No Deal policies will include the arrangements for the international border on the island of Ireland, and the tariff schedules.

I will issue separate Blog posts on the No Deal policies that will be published.

I will issue another Events this evening Blog post tomorrow, after the vote is made on No Deal.

April 18 (UK & EU Brexit)

I am being asked what happens after 29 March. I post as the documents are issued, the various contingency proposals that are being prepared.

29 March is the exit date in enacted UK law (the Withdrawal Act) and the EU having accepted article 50 notification, the 29 March is the end of the two years provisioned by article 50.

I posted before that the Withdrawal Agreement (and associated Political Declaration) awaits ratification by the UK and the EU Parliaments.

In the event that the Agreement is unratified on 29 March (no deal, or disorderly Brexit, or unnegotiated Brexit) then the contingency arrangements provisioned by draft and enacted laws in the UK, the EU and in various EU member states, will kick in.

A draft EU contingency regulation (2019 EU Budget) sets 18 April as the date by which the UK should have taken action (as respects the 2019 EU Budget).

The EU contingency regulations (draft) are – here.

Please continue to follow this Blog.

(status of) Withdrawal Agreement & Political Declaration (EU-UK FTA)

UPDATE : these documents failed this evening (12th March 2019) at the second time of asking for ratification by the UK Parliament.

The EU has now published (in the Official Journal) both the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration – here.

Accompanying this is an EU Council Decision – here.

A couple of points to make :

(1) ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement (the “deal”) is required by both the UK and the EU Parliaments,

(2) the Political Declaration is a non-binding legal statement of intent, that may form the basis for the EU-UK FTA,

(3) the Withdrawal Agreement (if ratified) provides for a transition period during which — notwithstanding all consequences of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the Union as regards the United Kingdom’s participation in the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union — Union law, including international agreements, will be applicable to and in the United Kingdom.

The Commission, on behalf of the Union and of Euratom, would therefore notify the other parties to these agreements that the United Kingdom is to be treated as a Member State for the purposes of those agreements during the transition period.

Brexit Status – next steps (UK Brexit)

Exit day is currently set as 12pm CET 29th March 2019.

Yesterday, the UK Parliament voted down the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration package that had been agreed between the EU and UK to provide for an orderly exit.

On the UK side, although some laws are on the statute book, there is still substantive Brexit legislation that only exists in draft form, or not at all. But UK Technical Notices are published, and some Government ministries have issued more detailed information, notably HMRC, the Department for Transport, and the Home Office. Blog posts set these out (category UK Brexit Notices).

Subscribers to Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists have a continually updating Brexit Law List loaded to their UK systems (or jurisdictional UK variants).

On the EU side, EU Brexit Preparedness Notices are issued, and a Contingency Plan is in place, with a useful Q&A. Blog posts set these out (category EU Brexit Notices).

The international EU-UK land border is on the island of Ireland. I posted recently on Ireland’s Brexit Preparedness. An omnibus bill of measures will be introduced shortly. I updated my Blog post online, please scroll down the latest posts.

Next steps :

(1) today, the UK Government faces a no confidence motion, which it is expected to win

(2) Monday will see the UK Prime Minister give a statement to Parliament

(3) the next days will see the UK Government explore other sorts of arrangements for an orderly exit, and it is possible the exit day could be put back to give more time.

I will issue a new Blog post next week, with any progress made.

As I said in recent Blog posts, if subscribers to the Cardinal systems wish to set up a Brexit telecon with me, to run through specifics, please email me. At the moment, I am holding these telecoms at no extra charge.

26 Nov 2018 Withdrawal Agreement (EU-UK Brexit/FTA)

UPDATE(2) : the UK Government published Legal Position on the Withdrawal Agreement is here.

UPDATE : the UK Parliament vote is 11th December, after five days of debate.

Following political agreement between the parties, the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement (and accompanying Political Declaration) is laid before the UK Parliament – here.

I have posted before about these documents, and the next steps.

In the event that the Withdrawal Agreement (with its accompanying Political Declaration) is not agreed by the UK Parliament, a period of 21 days is set out in existing law for the UK Government to present its plan, a further 7 days is provided for the UK Parliament to consider that plan.

It is expected the UK Parliament will vote on 12th December 2018.

From the start of 2019 the UK Parliament will sit 5 days a week.

Please continue to follow this Blog.

22 Nov 2018 Political Declaration (EU-UK Brexit/FTA)

Today (22nd Nov 2018) is published the text agreed by negotiators for the Political Declaration setting out the framework for the Future Relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom. This document is here, and here.

(the Declaration is in the Annex starting on the second page)

The Declaration is agreed in principle at the Political level, subject to the endorsement of Leaders. It will remain a political document, and is not a legal document per se.

The text of the Declaration states that it is made under the Art 50 process set out in the EU Treaties for a member state to exit the Union, and it accompanies the Withdrawal Agreement text I posted about recently (dated 14 Nov) that has been endorsed by the EU and the UK, subject to ratification.

Clause 1 of the Declaration states :

1. The European Union, hereafter referred to as “the Union”, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, hereafter referred to as “the United Kingdom”, (“the Parties”) have agreed this political declaration on their future relationship, on the basis that Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) provides for the negotiation of an agreement setting out the arrangements for the withdrawal of a departing Member State, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. In that context, this declaration accompanies the Withdrawal Agreement that has been endorsed by the Parties, subject to ratification.

Further steps for the Withdrawal Agreement (and its accompanying Political Declaration) are :

(1) vote in the UK and EU Parliaments

(2) ratification by Leaders individually

The Withdrawal Agreement text is not reopen for change, save as respects the Transition Period extension clause, where an end date needs to be inserted. It is understood an option for two dates may be inserted, either a further 12 months to end Dec 2021 or a further 24 months to end Dec 2022. It is expected this will occur by this Sunday.

The Withdrawal Agreement is a legal document, made under EU law, which, if ratified, is international law as respects the UK after its automatic exit at end of March 2019.