Brexit Untangled

Gowling WLG has set up a team of legal experts who are on hand to answer your questions as they arise. They can work with you to tackle the challenges, but also seek the potential opportunities, that Brexit will bring.

With less than 12 months to go until the UK is expected to exit the EU, the final milestones are clearly set out. These culminate in votes within both Houses of Parliament in the Autumn of 2018 and The European Parliament.

As the process of Brexit gathers pace, so does the debate. Over the last few months we have seen a greater speculation around the impact of the vote to leave the EU on not only the UK economy and politics but also the rest of the EU. What will it mean for EU imports into the UK? Is there a wider impact to predicted changes in equity prices in the banking sector? And how will it affect the negotiation of international free trade deals?

We have produced a short note which looks at what businesses can do to get ready for the changes ahead.

Our Gowling WLG experts have been among the first to comment in the media on every major Brexit milestone. Subsequently, we are playing a regular part in the conversation of how the UK is moving towards exiting the EU.

Counting down to Brexit - Less than 12 months to go…

Please note that some of these timings are indicative only.

12 November 2018
The General Affairs Council (Art 50) receives an update by the Commission's Brexit Negotiator, Michel Barnier, on the ongoing Brexit negotiations with the UK. EU27 discusses the state-of-play on both the completion of work on withdrawal issues and the framework for future relations with the UK.

Mid-November 2018

EU leaders may hold a 'no-deal' Brexit summit to deal with the potential consequences of the UK leaving the bloc without a deal.

22-23 November 2018
Possible EU-UK agreement of final draft text of the Withdrawal Agreement, which is then laid before Parliament.

13-14 December 2018
European Council meeting-seen as the last practical date for a Brexit deal to be agreed by the UK and the EU.

November 2018-January 2019
Agreement in principle in the Council and request for European Parliament consent.

The House of Commons debates and votes on a resolution - the 'meaningful vote' - on both the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration on the Framework for the Future Relationship (possibly 26/27 November 2018). The House of Lords then votes on a motion on both agreements.

European Parliament's Constitutional Affairs Committee scrutinises the Withdrawal Agreement.

December 2018-February 2019
The EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill is introduced in the House of Commons. It will amend the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 to save the effect of the European Communities Act 1972 during the transition/implementation period, while implementing other elements of the Withdrawal Agreement in UK law (the vote on second reading is a de facto second 'meaningful vote').

21 January 2019-4 February 2018
If no agreement has been reached on the Withdrawal Agreement and/or political declaration, a Minister of the Crown must make a written statement within five calendar days. The motion must then be moved within a further five sitting days, meaning Parliament would be asked to debate the government's intended course of action no later than Monday 4 February 2019.

February-March 2019
The European Parliament votes in plenary on the Withdrawal Agreement. The Withdrawal Agreement is concluded by Council acting by a super qualified majority (20 of EU27, comprising 65% of EU27 population).

March 2019
The EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill is passed (this Bill must be passed before exit to provide the necessary legal framework for the transition/implementation period).

Withdrawal Agreement is ratified by the UK in accordance with the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.

21-22 March 2019
European Council meeting.

29 March 2019
The UK is expected to leave the EU. A special summit of the EU27 is expected soon after.

30 March 2019

Transition/implementation period begins. Talks resume on trade and future relations between the UK and EU.

23-26 May 2019
European Parliament elections. The UK will not be represented.

31 December 2020
The transition period ends (unless somehow extended past 2020).

31 December 2021
The UK government expects 'Irish backstop' to end, in the hope that alternative measures to any temporary customs arrangements will be in place.

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