Connecticut, US

Feb 26 2019

Government May Postpone Brexit to Avoid No-Deal

United Kingdom

The situation

The UK government has announced a series of parliament votes on Brexit that may affect the Withdrawal Agreement and no-deal Brexit schedules. Today’s announcement indicates that the UK government would postpone Brexit if it does not appear that the United Kingdom and the European Union can reach a Withdrawal Agreement by March 29, 2019.

A closer look

The UK government has announced the following series of UK parliamentary votes:

  • Second vote on the Withdrawal Agreement. No later than March 12, 2019, parliament will vote on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement including any changes agreed with the European Union at that date.
  • Vote on no-deal Brexit. On March 13, 2019, if the Withdrawal Agreement is not approved, UK parliament will vote on proceeding with a no-deal Brexit.
  • Vote on postponing Brexit day. On March 14, 2019, if UK parliament does not wish to proceed with a no-deal Brexit, it will vote on postponing Brexit day beyond March 29, 2019 until the end of June at the latest. This would require approval from the European Union.

 

Impacts

  • General impact of votes. Potential outcomes of the votes could include a delayed Brexit date, a no-deal Brexit or an amended Withdrawal Agreement. It is not yet clear what the next steps will be if the UK parliament does not wish to postpone Brexit day.
  • Varying impacts depending on deal or no-deal. Whether the United Kingdom leaves the European Union with or without a Withdrawal Agreement will have a critical impact on transitional and other provisions for EU nationals residing and working in the United Kingdom and vice versa.
    • Deal scenario. In a deal scenario, many arrangements regarding the right to reside and work would be reciprocal.
    • No-deal scenario. In a no-deal scenario, different provisions are likely to be implemented by each EU Member State, with varying deadlines to apply for residency rights. See Fragomen’s alerts on no-deal contingency plans.
  • Possibility of no Brexit. Aside from the above scenarios, it is also possible that Article 50 is revoked, causing the United Kingdom to not leave the European Union on March 29, 2019, though there is no indication that this scenario is likely.

 

Background

The current announcement is part of the United Kingdom’s internal process to either formally approve the Withdrawal Agreement or agree on an alternative approach to Brexit.

Looking ahead

Separately, the government announced that it would shortly publish a paper assessing the United Kingdom’s preparedness for a no-deal Brexit.

Fragomen will issue updates on Brexit as developments occur. 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.