Brexit Briefing - Brexit Finishing Line

We hope you enjoyed our last Brexit Bulletin. The UK is leaving the EU this month. Let us update you on the latest news. Sign up here to stay informed with regular updates.

Brexit Finishing Line

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill (“WAB”) continued its journey through Parliament. The House of Lords scrutinised the WAB and proposed five amendments. The WAB was then returned to the House of Commons with the suggested amendments. The House of Commons rejected all five amendments and the WAB was bounced back to the House of Lords.  Some in the House of Lords were disappointed with the rejections but the House voted to pass the WAB without the amendments.  The WAB received Royal Assent on 23 January 2020. The WAB is now The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020.

What's Next?

The European Parliament will now consider the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. They are expected to vote on the Agreement on 29 January 2020. UK MEPs will be allowed to vote. This is likely to be their last act as MEPs as they will lose their seats on 31 January 2020 if the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified.  The Constitutional Affairs Committee has recommended that the European Parliament approves the Withdrawal Agreement and it is anticipated that they will vote to ratify the Agreement.

The Agreement will then be passed to the Council of the European Union for their consideration and vote which, if passed, will amount to the final approval of the Agreement. They will provide their vote by a written procedure rather than at a council meeting. The vote will be by reinforced qualified majority, which requires that at least 72% of Member States, representing at least 65% of the total EU population vote to ratify the Agreement. The UK will not take part in this vote. It is anticipated that the Withdrawal Agreement will be ratified.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the UK will leave the EU at 11:00pm GMT, 31 January 2020.

In Other News...The3million group are marking Brexit by launching a series of networking events for EU citizens in the UK. The events are advertised as a chance to “have a drink, participate in the pub quiz and perhaps join our team!”

Wetherspoons is celebrating Brexit by offering discounted drinks. The “Let's stay friends” promotion will run from 31 January 2020 to 29 February 2020.UK business leaders have called on the Home Office to lower the salary threshold of £30,000 for sponsored workers. The call comes two days after reports surfaced revealing that Downing Street is likely to lower the threshold when the 2021 immigration system is introduced.

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