Virginia, US

Mar 14 2019

UK Parliament Votes to Request Brexit Extension

United Kingdom

The situation

The UK parliament has voted to request the date of the United Kingdom’s exit to be pushed back for an as-yet undetermined period of time.

A closer look

  • Postponing Brexit day. The UK parliament has voted to request Article 50 (the legal grounds for leaving the European Union) to be extended and the date of the United Kingdom’s exit to be pushed back.
  • Third vote on Withdrawal Agreement. The UK government has proposed to vote on the Withdrawal Agreement for a third time by March 20, 2019, the day before the next EU summit.
    • Extension until June 30 if approved. If the agreement is approved, the UK government will seek a Brexit extension until June 30, 2019, before the first session of the new European Parliament.  
    • Longer extension if not approved. If the agreement is voted down again, the UK government will seek a Brexit extension for a longer period of time, to allow the government and parliament to determine the United Kingdom’s future course of action. This would likely require the United Kingdom to participate in the European Parliament elections between May 23-26, 2019.
  • EU approval required. An extension would require unanimous approval from the remaining 27 EU countries, which is not certain to be granted. The extension request will be formally discussed by the EU countries’ governments at the March 21, 2019 meeting of the European Council. If the European Union does not approve an extension, a no-deal Brexit will occur on March 29, 2019 unless Parliament agrees the existing or an amended deal.
  • No-deal Brexit remains default. Until an extension is formally requested by the United Kingdom and unanimously approved by the European Union, no-deal Brexit on March 29, 2019 remains the legal default.



  • Employers. Employers are advised to set up contingency plans in case of a no-deal Brexit on March 29, 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. Current residence permit and registration requirements should be met to maximise post-Brexit rights and UK nationals should look out for any additional processes that may be required after Brexit.


Looking ahead

Fragomen will be closely monitoring the results and providing commentary and analysis for our clients throughout the week.

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 [email protected].