On 26 November 2018, the UK Government confirmed in a Statement that political agreement has been reached on the Withdrawal Agreement which sets out the basis on which the UK will leave the EU and the Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future UK-EU relationship and that a copy of the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration had been laid before Parliament that day. This follows a Statement from the European Council and a Statement from the Government on 25 November 2018 confirming that the EU27 leaders had endorsed the draft Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration at a European Council meeting on 25 November 2018.
The Withdrawal Agreement includes a transition period that runs from 30 March 2019 to 31 December 2020 but can be extended once by mutual agreement. Any decision to extend must be taken before 01 July 2020 and can be for no more than one or two years.
On 10 December 2018, the European Court of Justice ruled that it would be legal for the UK to unilaterally revoke Article 50 to cancel Brexit (without the need for agreement from the other 27 EU countries).
The House of Commons had been scheduled to vote on the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration on 11 December 2018, but the vote was called off. The “meaningful vote” took place on 15 January 2019 and the government suffered a staggering defeat by 230 votes. The Labour party tabled a motion of no confidence in the Government which the Government won by a margin of 19 votes. On 21 January 2019, the Prime Minster outlined how the current Brexit deal might be amended.
On 29 January 2019, the House of Commons voted on seven motions with different forms of Brexit. Only two of them were passed: one which makes clear the House of Commons will not accept a no-deal Brexit but has no binding effect and is only symbolic. The other is to replace the Irish backstop with “alternative arrangements”. Mrs May then had to try to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement with the EU. If an amended deal could not be reached by 13 February, then MPs had another chance to propose alternative measures and vote on 14 February.
On 14 February, the government suffered another defeat and will now have to try and renegotiate the deal without the backing of a majority in Parliament. If progress is made on a deal, a further “meaningful vote” will be scheduled. If an amended deal cannot be reached by 26 February 2019, the government will make a statement on that day and hold a debate on an amendable motion on 27 February 2019.
Here you will find all the latest information and guidance to navigate you through the legal implications of Brexit for the next few years.
This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.