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Ed's Brexit Round Up

12th Apr 2019 / By Ed Barker

Delays, delays and can kicking. Think of Bill Murray standing, holding a microphone on day 50 of Groundhog Day.

Well, where are we. After having watched Westminster fight amongst itself for a while, the EU finally came back with its response this week. On Wednesday, EU leaders decided to grant an extension to the Article 50 period until 31 October 2019. However you will be glad to hear that this does not totally rule out another (!) extension.  However, the UK can leave at any time before that if it passes the Withdrawal Agreement – this if course remains unlikely.

They key date to note is 22 May. If the UK has not ratified the Withdrawal Agreement by this date then it has to hold elections in the European Parliament. If it does not do this, it is breaking EU rules and will then face being kicked out of the EU altogether on 1 June!

With the clock now ticking again, the PM wants Parliament to finally agree on the UK's withdrawal from the EU preferably before 23 May, because like many people, she really doesn’t want to have the UK taking part in elections to the European Parliament. Firstly she will try to get a cross-party agreement with the Labour Party. If that fails, there could be a series of votes in Parliament on alternatives to her deal, such as holding a second referendum. But agreement has so far proved difficult, so it's entirely possible the UK will be back where it started at the end of extra time. Joy. Parliament is now on a short recess until 23 April – hopefully this will give MPs and Ministers much needed thinking time to go away and stop the perennial day of Groundhog.