Connecticut, US

Mar 29 2019

Brexit Date Moved to April 12, 2019

European Union, United Kingdom

At a Glance

  • The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union will be postponed to April 12, 2019. The UK parliament has not approved the Withdrawal Agreement – which the European Union required to allow a Brexit extension until May 22, 2019 – during a third vote on March 29, 2019.
  • Fragomen expects that the UK parliament will develop further proposals on feasible alternative strategies in the coming days. These may be submitted for a further vote next week. The current most feasible strategies – organising a second referendum and seeking a customs union – would both require Brexit day to be postponed for several months at least and would thus require the United Kingdom to hold European Parliament elections.
  • If the United Kingdom does not identify candidates for European Parliament elections on or before April 11, 2019, a no-deal Brexit will occur automatically.
  • A no-deal Brexit would remain the legal default and could occur on April 12, 2019. Employers are advised to set up contingency plans in case of a no-deal Brexit on April 12, 2019.

The situation

Since the UK parliament has not approved the Withdrawal Agreement – the European Union’s requirement to allow a Brexit extension until May 22, 2019 –  during a third vote on March 29, 2019, Brexit will be postponed to April 12, 2019. The United Kingdom has made the requisite legislative amendments.

A closer look

  • Alternative strategies. In a series of votes on March 27, 2019, UK parliament considered eight alternative Brexit strategies, none of which has yet secured a parliamentary majority. Of the various proposals, organising a second referendum on Brexit or seeking a customs union with the European Union received most support.

Further votes next week. Fragomen expects that further proposals on both strategies will be developed in the coming days and may be submitted for further votes in the week of April 1, 2019.

Longer extension required. Both strategies would require Brexit day to be postponed for several months at least, which is unlikely to be approved by UK parliament. If the United Kingdom seeks a longer extension, it must decide to hold European Parliament elections and notify its preferred Brexit approach to the European Union before April 12, 2019.

o  If the United Kingdom does not identify candidates for European Parliament elections on or before April 11, 2019, a no-deal Brexit will occur automatically.

  • No-deal Brexit remains default. If the UK parliament does not confirm an acceptable alternative Brexit approach before April 12, 2019, a no-deal Brexit would remain the legal default and could occur on April 12, 2019. 

 

Impact

  • Employers. Employers are advised to set up contingency plans in case of a no-deal Brexit on April 12, 2019.
  • EU nationals in the United Kingdom. Eligible EU nationals and their family members are advised to register under the public pilot of the EU Settlement Scheme.
  • UK nationals in Europe. Political commitments have been made in the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland that UK nationals will be able to continue living and working in the country where they currently reside, if local criteria are met. Current residence permit and registration requirements should be met to maximise post-Brexit rights. UK nationals and their family members should be aware of potential additional processes that may be required after Brexit.

 

Looking ahead

Fragomen will be closely monitoring the developments and providing commentary and analysis.

Brexit has been an incredibly complex and uncertain political issue that carries risks to your business. Please contact a Fragomen immigration professional for assistance in planning contingency arrangements in a single project.

For more information, please visit Fragomen's dedicated Brexit site, which contains news, FAQs, and analysis/commentary in the form of blogs, videos, webcasts and events.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to londoninfo@fragomen.com / beneluxinfo@fragomen.com.