The decision by British citizens to vote for Brexit will have profound political, economic and legal implications for relations with the European Union.
The British voted to leave the European Union in a referendum on 23 June 2016. Over time, British government representatives and the European Union reached a withdrawal agreement that should shape future relations.
However, it was also necessary for this Brexit deal to be accepted at a national level by the British Parliament. On 15 January 2019, the British House of Commons voted on the Brexit Deal. Its decision was clear: 432 MPs voted for the deal, and only 202 rejected it. First and foremost, this means that the current version of the withdrawal agreement can no longer be salvaged, and minor concessions by the European Union will probably not be enough either. The situation became even more complicated on 27 February 2019 when the Prime Minister Theresa May put forward voting to extend the Brexit deadline (for three months). This would, however, only come about if the Brexit deal that she had negotiated with the EU was again rejected by Parliament and, a no-deal exit could not generate a majority in Parliament.
A day earlier, on 26 February 2019, Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, took a different direction as he publically called for a second referendum. However, a second referendum is highly unlikely to be able to be implemented as it would probably not have the necessary parliamentary majority. Therefore, a no-deal scenario – now possibly with a preliminary extension of the deadline – remains the most likely option.
This scenario would have far-reaching legal consequences, which would have a profound impact on the trade relationship between the EU and the UK. With effect from 30 March 2019, the UK would be a third country in relation to the EU, and all EU law would no longer apply to and within the United Kingdom. Trade relations between the EU and the UK would, as with other third countries, be governed by WTO rules; with the corresponding impact on import and export duties.
Our advice would, therefore, be to prepare for a no deal Brexit and take the appropriate steps now. Our team at Luther is thoroughly and comprehensively versed with the current developments in and around Brexit so as to optimally prepare you for a no deal Brexit. Detailed assessments of the individual legal areas can be found in the menu bar on the right.
Up-to-date information on legally compliant handling of the challenges of Brexit