Thursday 17 October. A week ago I was in Amsterdam for my last visit to the EU before the 31 October Brexit deadline, working with AGN International as EMEA regional Chair, building connections and business for our UK clients.
It was clear to me that our friends in the EU do not want the UK to leave the EU, but enough would be enough at some point.
Today in Brussels, Boris agreed a new deal with the EU. It’s not great and it leaves significant issues that may take years to resolve.
We presume the EU27 will back the new deal, but will the UK Parliament pass it on Saturday?
It also appears that the EU are not willing to grant the UK a further extension beyond 31 October and why should they? The choice for MPs on Saturday might therefore be:
- Back the deal
- No deal and a hard Brexit on 31 October
- Revoke Article 50
I hear that the deal would sail through Parliament, if Boris agreed to a confirmatory referendum. Will Boris agree to this? Would the EU agree to an extension on these terms? Maybe we will get:
- An eight month extension to 30 June 2020
- A March 2020 referendum?
- And a May 2020 General Election?
Or will Parliament reject the deal, with the Benn Act bypassed because there was a deal and hence Boris has no compulsion to request an extension, which the EU wouldn’t grant anyway.
Maybe the time has come and the EU will call enough and maybe we, the UK, just need to face up to No Deal, or No Brexit?
In these uncertain times, UK businesses need trusted advisors with connections across the EU. If you have concerns about how Brexit will impact your business, please get in touch.
Martin Gibbs is Dafferns Managing Partner and AGN International EMEA regional chair. He likes talking about BREXIT and any views in this post are his own.