01 October 2019
As we approach the deadline of 31st October, it remains unclear if the UK will leave the EU with, or without, a deal.
The government has today revealed that it will propose an updated deal to EU leaders this week. The Prime Minister has not revealed details of the government’s proposals but has advised that formal proposals would be made soon. Brexit Minister, James Duddridge, has commented that the government will “set out more detail on an alternative to the backstop in the coming days”.
The Prime Minister has stated that the UK will leave the EU whether or not a deal is reached.
The Benn Act
MPs have now passed the ‘EU Withdrawal (No.2) Act’, known as the ‘Benn Act’, which requires the Prime Minister to seek an extension from the EU if no deal has been reached by the 19 October 2019.
The Prime Minister would not be required to request an extension from the EU if MPs approve a Brexit deal or if MPs chose to leave the EU without a deal.
In the event that an extension is requested by the Prime Minister, there is no guarantee that the EU countries would agree to grant such an extension. Leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement would mean that the UK would immediately exit the customs union and single market.
Should the Prime Minister disregard the ‘Benn Act’ it is likely that this would lead to further court action.
Businesses preparing for a no-deal Brexit
High street bakery chain, Greggs, has today announced that it is stockpiling key ingredients so as to guarantee its food production in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Nissan has announced that it is “waiting for clarity on what the future trading relationship between the UK and the EU will look like”. Fellow car manufacturer, Vauxhall, has previously stated that it will only build its next generation of ‘Astra’ vehicles in the UK if the UK government are able to reach a satisfactory deal with the EU.
In response to growing uncertainty, the UK government has now launched its “Get Ready for Brexit” campaign which aims to provide the public and business owners with information on how to prepare for Brexit.
It is hoped that following today’s announcement that the government intends to put forward new proposals to the EU, there will soon be clarity in relation to Brexit and the likely impact on businesses.
Michael Cox, Solicitor
T: 0131 222 2939