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Boris's Brexit

Brexit Briefing – Boris’s Brexit

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Boris’s Brexit

It’s been an eventful summer in British politics. Boris Johnson was declared the leader of the Conservative party and took over as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. In his victory speech, he declared that his first priority is to deliver Brexit. During the leadership contest, Mr Johnson stated that “do or die”, the UK would come out of the UK on the 31 October 2019. Unlike his predecessor Mrs May, Mr Johnson is clear about this stance that the UK will leave without a deal if no deal can be agreed.

Mr Johnson has made it clear he does not believe the Withdrawal Agreement agreed during Theresa May’s premiership is workable. He has indicated his wish to renegotiate with the EU. He confirmed that a new deal with the EU will not be easy and as a result, the British public should prepare for a no-deal Brexit. The EU remain steadfast, in their view, there is no opportunity to renegotiate.

Prorogation of Parliament

In drama normally only seen in Albert Square, the government confirmed that they would suspend Parliament, formally known as proroguing, in September, only to recommence on 14 October 2019. The announcement proved to be controversial, with opponents saying it will limit the time Parliament has to debate Brexit before 31 October 2019. A legal challenge against the prorogation was issued in the Scottish courts but this was thrown out as the prorogation was deemed lawful.

With Parliament only sitting for a week before suspension, quick work was made by the opposition in an effort to avoid a no-deal scenario. An emergency motion was made for Parliament to take control of Parliamentary business. This meant that a Bill which would require the Government to request an extension to Article 50 if no deal had been reached by 31 October 2019. Mr Johnson was against this motion, advising that any Conservative MPs who voted for the motion, would be deselected from the party. He also warned that he may request that the House votes on a general election. Prior to the vote, a member of the party dramatically defected to the Liberal Democrats which meant the Conservatives lost their majority in the Commons. Mr Johnson lost the vote by 328 to 301. 21 Conservative MPs voted against him.

Mr Johnson is now seeking a general election to take place in October. This will require at least two thirds of MP’s approval. At present, the opposition parties will not back it. Mr Johnson is unlikely to secure the majority he requires.

Preparing for No-Deal Brexit

Are we ready for a no-deal Brexit? According to a leaked document from the Cabinet Office, the UK is less able to cope with no-deal than it was in the Spring. However, a flurry of preparations are underway.

The government has confirmed they are putting further funds aside to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. The plans for the £2.1 billion include upgrading transport infrastructures, stockpiling medicines and increasing border force officers. The funds are in addition to the 4.2 billion made available earlier in the financial year.

It was announced that from 1 September 2019, UK officials will stop attending most EU meetings. The decision was made to enable UK officials and ministers to focus on immediate national priorities.

The Government also announced that it will automatically enrol UK businesses into customs system to allow them to continue trading with the EU after Brexit.

In other news

Lidl has confirmed that British suppliers will be responsible for any additional tariffs post Brexit.

London’s household rubbish could be transported to the North in the event of no-deal.

More than 700 civil servants are being recruited to help government departments with Brexit.

Ending free movement on 1 November 2019 is impossible, according to experts.

EU migration to the UK has halved since the 2016 referendum.


If you have any questions about any aspect of our Brexit Bulletin, please contact Ashley Stothard at Ashley.stothard@freeths.co.uk.

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The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the present time and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.
Emma Brooksbank, Partner

Author: Emma Brooksbank

Partner

Tom Bradford, Partner

Author: Tom Bradford

Partner

Ashley Stothard - Immigration Executive

Author: Ashley Stothard

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