The European Union agreed on a ‘flextension’ of the Brexit deadline to 31 January 2020 with the option for the UK to leave the EU earlier if the (re)negotiated Withdrawal Agreement is approved by both the UK Parliament and the European Parliament before that date. Specific terms were, however, specified by the EU27 as regards the new postponement granted, such as the explicit exclusion of a renegotiation of the Withdrawal Agreement and a request to the British Government to nominate a candidate member for the European Commission during the extension period.
Under the terms of the Ben Act, which forced PM Johnson to ask the EU27 for a further extension in the first place, PM Johnson accepted the ‘flextension’ granted. However, at the same time, he made it clear to the EU leaders that any further delay beyond 31 January 2020 is simply not acceptable to him. Hence PM Johnson pushed the UK Parliament, up to four times and eventually with success, for the organisation of general elections on 12 December 2019.
What happens next in the Brexit saga will now depend on the result of the general elections as the UK Parliament will be dissolved next Wednesday, 6 November 2019.
Various scenarios are still open, ranging from:
- a ‘clean’ Brexit on 31 January 2020 based on either the current Withdrawal Agreement as negotiated by PM Johnson or on a deal re(re)negotiated by the future new PM;
- another referendum;
- a ‘no-deal’ Brexit if no deal would pass the UK Parliament and the EU Parliament in the meantime and no further delay would be granted on 31 January 2020; to
- an actual cancellation of Brexit.
The story is to be continued in the coming months. If you have any questions about Brexit in the meantime, please reach out to our multidisciplinary Brexit Core team.