Brexit deal to be sent to EU lawmakers to ratify, but they may prefer to wait (MLEX)

  • The national governments, which this Wednesday extended the Brexit deadline to 31 October 2019, plan on sending the withdrawal agreement to the European Parliament for ratification next week.
  • The rationale, one senior diplomat explained, is to demonstrate to the UK that the EU27 have taken the necessary decisions on their side.
  • However, the European Parliament is only likely to ratify the agreement if the House of Commons reach a consensus in respect of the deal.
  • The ratification vote by the European Parliament may therefore be delayed until at least July, once a new assembly is formed following elections in May.



Brexit Timeline (FT)

  • April: Talks with labour – May is in discussions with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to seek a compromise on future relations with the EU and approve the deal she has negotiated with the EU. Commentators suspect the likelihood of the talks succeeding are slim because many Tory MPs favour a hard Brexit.
  • May 22 or Before: One more push for May’s deal – May is hoping to push her deal through Parliament to avoid the UK participating in the European Parliament elections on 23 May.
  • May 23: European Parliament elections – May has infuriated hardline Brexiters by accepting that to lead her party in the European elections three years after the UK voted to leave the EU.
  • June 1: Possible Exit – If no deal is ratified by Parliament and Britain does not hold European Parliament elections, the UK will depart the EU without a deal on this date. This scenario appears unlikely, as Britain is making preparations to hold the poll.
  • June 20 – 21: EU Summit – Review of Brexit developments – although this is not a ‘cliff-edge’ meeting.
  • September 29 – October 2: Conservative Party Conference – If May remains PM until autumn, there will be significant pressure on her to resign in advance of the Conservative party conference for a leadership contest to take place.
  • October 17-18: EU Summit – Last scheduled summit prior to UK’s scheduled exit day.
  • October 31: New Deadline? This would be the next day on which a no-deal Brexit would most likely occur unless a further extension is agreed. The end of October will mark a new 5-year cycle for the EU as a new European Commission takes office.



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