With under two weeks left to go until Article 50 expires and, if nothing intervenes, the UK leaves the EU on the 29th of March.We’ve put together a Brexit Flowchart laying out the possible outcomes.
It’s fair to say that the Brexit Flowchart demonstrates that the UK Government has lost all control of the Brexit process as we’re now firmly reliant on the remaining 27 EU countries to grant some sort of extension. If they don’t then the only possible two outcomes are a No Deal Brexit or the UK withdrawing Article 50 and remaining within the EU.
We are now in the territory which virtually every supplier to the ecommerce world has told Tamebay is the worst possible situation – prolonged uncertainty. Whilst very few people realistically wanted a no deal Brexit, even that some say would be preferable to a three month delay let alone a possible one or two year delay. It’s worth remembering once more that what the UK Government has been trying to arrange isn’t a Trade Deal with the EU – this is merely a transition deal with a Trade Deal to be negotiated over the next couple of years.
Our options now, with time running out, are for an extension to the Brexit process. The UK either needs a short technical delay of a couple of months, if Mrs May can rally enough votes in Parliament which will include getting the DUP on board in order to pass her deal (and she’s unlikely to put it to the Commons again unless she’s pretty certain of winning a third vote), or a long delay while we pretty much go back to the drawing board and start again.
The EU are keen for a deal but not a deal at any cost and so if we have a deal on the table a short extension is almost a given. What’s more doubtful is what a long extension would look like, what conditions the EU would attach and how much it will cost the country.
What’s more crippling is that, especially with a long delay of several years and still no certainty as to what deal if any would be put in place, businesses remain in limbo, unable to plan for the future and reluctant to invest. A deal is needed and for many at this stage, from both those who voted leave and those who voted remain, there’s a disbelief that after two years of negotiations Parliament has totally failed to come together and reach a consensus.
Too many politicians are fighting their own fiefdoms rather than come together and work towards a process with an outcome. Many MPs (about 500) voted remain but even they haven’t been able to vote in unison for an outcome that could be put to the EU. Just about everything has been voted down and the only thing they’ve been able to agree on is to prolong the uncertainty, nominally rule out a No Deal Brexit and to request some sort of extension from the EU. They’ve not been able to vote on a way forward to end the uncertainty.
Our Brexit Flowchart sets out the various routes that Brexit could go up to the 29th of March and what options this will leave the country after the EU summit depending if an extension is granted.